Since I am a wedding Planner, I don't usually write about culinary pursuits, but just to keep my Okanagan Destination brides up to date with what's happening in the area, I decided to write about this incredible event. Of course it probably has much to do with the fact that my husband and I, both proclaimed foodies and lovers of wine, can't say enough of the culinary talents of chefs in this area. We are blossoming with untapped raw talent, and no wonder we are noted as being the "Napa of the North". Our fame for award winning wines and highly acclaimed food establishments, is spreading. The organic revolution and sustainable farming is burgeoning in the Okanagan as is the thriving culinary and wine scene.
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual FEAST OF THE FIELDS event, hosted on the stunning property of Brock Farm, in Okanagan Falls. This event plays host to the celebration of farmers, vintners, chefs, food, artisands and producers of all kinds. A veritable gourmet grazing and harvest festival, showcasing the strong connections between farmer and chef.
Each ticket purchased had a well marked directional map on the one side, so we had no problems finding the location. It was a glorious August summer day, with a few clouds overhead. As we arrived to our destination we were waved into a parking area. Soon to be transported by limousines to the field where the event was taking place.
A mass of tents perched on a hilltop, surrounded by pumpkin patches and plum trees. What a sight. We were ready, hungry and bursting with anticipation. Upon arrival guests were handed a linen napkin and a wine glass. We eagerly and hungrily head off to roam and discover the food and beverages of the region. Soon we were sampling and swirling, tasting so many fabulous local products. 25 of the top chefs from all over the Okanagan Valley provided what was basically a 25-course, wine paired, wandering tasting menu!
Light glistening through the glorious colors of fruit vinegars from Summerland's Vinegar Works!
Manteo Resort's - Halibut Ceviche with Anise Brulee, Little Creek Farm Organic Tomato Jam, Little Creek Farm Organic Carrot Bellini on a Grape Leaf
It was a sold out event with some 600 attendees. Numerous popular restaurants from Kelowna as well, were involved. One or two of my particular favorites were Summerland's Local Lounge - Sockeye Salmon" SlowCooked " with Grilled Corn-Bacon Salad & Arugula Emulsion, Manteo Resort's - Halibut Ceviche with Anise Brulee, Little Creek Farm Organic Tomato Jam, and this paired beautifully with Black Hills Estate Winery's latest release of their new Viognier 2009.
Then there was the Okanagan Chefs Association with their "BLT" Gougeres with Sungold Tomatoes, Wild Boar Bacon, Arugula and a Cippolini Onion Viniagrette. The perfect one bite morsel. Not to forget the Harvest Golf Club - Cedar Jelly cured Salmon Gravlax with Bannock Bread and Anjou Pear Salad & Mediterranean Seafood Salad Marinated with Fresh Tomato Basil, Toasted Pinenuyps on a Homemade Crisp. Or how about Codfather's Seafood - BC Albacore Tuna with Compressed Melon Kalamata Olive, Okaangan Cucumber and Candied Orange Peel. A super refreshing mouthful. Are you hungry yet?
Dana Ewert, of Joy Road Catering, one of the initial collaborators in bringing the Feast of Fields event to the Okanagan, 2 years ago!
Not just wineries participated. Okanagan Spirits provided Raspberry Sours to tantilize your palate!
So If you are planning an August wedding in 2011 in the Okanagan, be sure to tell your guests about this incredibly delicious event. Hosted on a Sunday, it is perfect for that day-after-thank you for your wedding party. Why not try this instead of Brunch. It's a fantastic Culinary Showcase of the bounty of the terroir of the Okanagan. A true Gastronomic Journey not to be missed. Just remember to bring a designated driver with you better still get your party together and rent a limo. Let someone else do the driving.
An outstanding and memorable food and wine pairing event! See you all there next year.
AGATHA SOROS, Kelowna, B.C.
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