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BRITISH COLUMBIA MADE

Go Ou Ur Rm Me Et T

OKANAGAN CHEFS

for GO THEGold

Culinary Coasting

4.95 CAN

ISSUE 6 • VOLUME 2

RECIPES:

To warm up the hearth and home WINTER 2011


Circle the Date June 9-12, 2011 · The VIP reception & Beach Party · The Vinos Wine Film Festival · The Nota Bene Release Party · 3rd annual Celebrity Wine Auction · Olympic, Hollywood, Culinary and Winemaking Celebrities

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Winter 2011

Contents New Wine FEATURES

Neighbour in Lake Country By Helene Scott

31

Time in a Bottle By Rhys Pender

17

Outstanding in Their Field - Gene & Shelly Culinary Coasting in Covert 40 Tofino and Ucluelet By Joyce D. Wegner

COVER:

Chef Roger Sleiman's

Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Lemon, Herb & Potato Gnocchi

See pages 56-57 for recipe.

BRITISH COLUMBIA MADE

24

PHOTO: stuart may

By Andrew Findlay

Go Ou Ur Rm Me Et T

OKANAGAN CHEFS

for GO THEGold

Culinary Coasting RECIPES:

To warm up the hearth and home WINTER 2011


Cover story

PHOTO: PETER MOSCONE

Okanagan Chefs

Gothefor

Gold

By Remy Scalza

34

COLUMNS

DEPARTMENTS

Swirl.......................................... 10

Contributors.............................. 6

Guest Columnist....................... 23 Gold Medal Plates and The Canadian Culinary Championships Come to the Okanagan

Editor's Letter............................ 7 Letters to the Editor................... 8

By Stephen Leckie, CEO and Co-founder of the Gold Medal Plates

Book Reviews........................... 53

Tasting Notes........................... 32

Recipes..................................... 54

Restaurant Review.................... 44 WINE CLUB DINNER AT THE VANILLA POD

Featuring

Seasonal dishes from our very own Okanagan Gold Medal Plate Competitors.

Savour Spots............................ 47 Savour Its................................. 50 magazine • WINTER 2011

5


contributors Andrew Findlay

GOURMET

Returning to our pages after his summer culinary trip to Nelson, Andrew explores life out of his shell and goes culinary coasting in Ucluelet and Tofino to attend the Clayoquot Oyster Festival. Somehow in between dining at Fetch Restaurant, Blackrock Resort and slurping oysters at the Wickanninish Inn, Tofino, Andrew managed to find some time to squeeze in some surf time at Long Beach. Another tough day at the office.

Lisa Harrison Lisa gets hot and spicy with visits to Hector’s Casa and to Soul de Cuba Café which she says offers far better cuisine than any restaurant she frequented during her actual visit to Cuba. She also cracks open the cookbooks in her kitchen and tests some recipes from Troy and Cheryl-Lynn Townsin’s Wine Feast: Eat Drink & Discover BC Wine, a cookbook that has earned a spot in her culinary library. The Wisewoman’s Cookery: Food, Sex, Magic and Merriment by Shannon Loeber and Mary Elsie Edwards made her think of — well, George Castanza.

Rhys Pender, MW Rhys walks us through the 411 on a vertical tasting. Canadian wineries have cellars that can offer vertical tastings that span a decade or more. You don’t have to be a geek to educate your wine beak. It’s an interesting journey through time from vintage to vintage — follow Rhys as he taste time in a bottle with an Osoyoos Larose vertical tasting from 2001–2007.

Remy Scalza Remy takes us to the front lines of competition at the Canadian Culinary Competition for the Gold Medal Plates in Vancouver as our Okanagan chefs put their dishes on the line for a place at the national finals in Kelowna in February. Remy serves up a big dollop of pride in our hometown competitors as they perform admirably on the national stage.

Helene Scott South African educated and locally renowned, wine writer Helene navigates us through a selection of ports, fortified wines and an Icewine for the winter months. It’s the perfect time for slow sipping these delicious blends so let her guide you to her favourites.

Editor-in-Chief

Chytra M. Brown

Managing Editor Joyce D. Wegner Art Director

Donna Szelest

Contributors

Roslyne Buchanan Andrew Findlay Lisa Harrison Rhys Pender Remy Scalza Helene Scott Juliette Williams

Cover Photograph Shawn Talbot Contributing Photographers: Lionel Trudel Shawn Talbot Unless specially credited, all photos were submitted or taken by staff. Publisher

Craig N. Brown

Director of Sales Roy Kunicky Account Managers Angus Cathro Teresa Campbell Don Jack Arlene Paulson Vancouver/Mainland & Vancouver Island Sean Kravetsky Jesse Kunicky Distribution Manager/Administration Joanne Clarke To subscribe:

subscribe@savourmag.com

Savour Magazine is published quarterly by Prosper Media Group Inc. Copyright (2011)

SWIRL In every issue, the Swirl column strives to cover the news of the wine, culinary, and hospitality industries: recent events; sponsorships; new products, people, and businesses (or significant changes to existing ones, including promotions and transfers). Our team invites contributions and pictures for consideration either in our print magazine or online. Please contact us at swirl@savourmag.com

guest columnist Stephen Leckie, CEO and Co-founder Gold Medal Plates Stephen Leckie is the CEO and visionary of Gold Medal Plates, founded in 2003 as a national project to celebrate Canadian excellence through the country’s best chefs, wineries, entertainers and athletes. Gold Medal Plates supports Canada’s Olympic athletes through such programs as the Own the Podium Fund, and to date has contributed over $4.1 million.

6

magazine • WINTER 2011

Prosper Media Group Inc. 101B-1979 Old Okanagan Hwy. Westbank, BC V4T 3A4 P: 778-755-5727 F: 778-755-5728 President Vice President

Craig N. Brown Noll C. Derriksan Grand Chief WFN, U.B.C.I.C.

Canadian Publications Mail Product Agreement No.7296429. Publication Mail Agreement No. 41835528 The views expressed in Savour Magazine are those of the respective contributors and not the publisher or staff. No part of this publication may be produced without written consent of the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA


look! win!

BRITISH COLUMBIA MADE

letter from theeditor

Go Ou Ur Rm Me Et T

Happy New Year!

e

OKANAGAN CHEFS

for GO THEGold

veryone I have spoken with agrees that the past year absolutely flew by. I like to think it’s a positive sign that there are so many pleasurable activities within our region that before we know it we have enjoyed every season and we are anticipating the beginning of another spring.

After a very productive meeting with our editorial board in the fall we determined that in the coming year we want to stretch our focus to include the direction that our wines have taken into some of the finest restaurants and events throughout BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. In this issue, Andrew Findlay breaks out of his shell and goes culinary coasting at the Clayoquot Oyster Festival in Tofino. Andrew indulges in an Okanagan wine-paired dinner with Chef Andrew Springett of Fetch Restaurant, Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet and slurps oysters while sipping Cedar Creek Syrah and Pinot Gris at the Wickaninnish Inn. Remy Scalza follows our Okanagan chefs as they compete for a position in the finals at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Vancouver. It is an inspiring story of our chefs Stuart Klassen (Delta Grand Okanagan), Roger Sleiman (Quails’ Gate Winery), and Dana Ewart and Cameron Smith (Joy Road Catering) who made us proud on the national stage. See some of their favourite recipes in our recipe section. And once again our BC wines play a prominent role in the story as competing chefs not only integrated the flavours into their dishes but also paired their plates to select vintages. Award-winning wines are easy to find in BC, and in the Okanagan Valley we are gifted with a pantry full of prestigious chefs, but did you know that Gene and Shelly Covert of Covert Organic Farms from Oliver, BC are BC’s Outstanding Young Farmers? This passionate farming couple competed late last November for the title of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year and what an experience the process of competing has been for them this past three years. We sit down and talk with them. Like the Coverts, our roots will always remain in the Okanagan. We appreciate there is a wealth of opportunity to discover and explore within our region. We also know that as a wine and culinary destination we are growing up and expanding our boundaries through a myriad of avenues from the expression of social media to building new infrastructure and hopefully destroying antiquated ones like the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act of 1928. We wish you a prosperous 2011.

Joyce D. Wegner Managing Editor editor@savourmag.com Above photo: Joyce with her trusted companion, Winston

Become a fan of Savour magazine online and get the latest on what the Savour team is up to, behind the scenes photos, chefs’ tips and more.

Culinary Coasting RECIPES:

To warm up the hearth and home WINTER 2011

Enter to win a weekend for two in the sunny south Okanagan. Just tell us about your favorite Savour recipe. For details and to enter visit savourmag.com

happenings What’s been going on? Read about it in Swirl.


come and discover your . . .

letters to theeditor "a friendly and welcoming place to linger and peruse the selections of import and regional specialty food products."

t

he magazine is excellent. Your article on Gio Bean was interesting. The article Espresso yourself was excellent in honourably mentioning the other independent coffee bars. For information purposes, you missed a really cool one. The Streaming Café at the corner of Leon and Bertram in Kelowna. Check it out.

Sincerely, Jim Murray, BSc Interior B.C. Sales and Service Oughtred Coffee & Tea culinary inspirations gourmet & speciality foods

ph: 250.832.1585 170 McLeod Street, Salmon Arm , BC www.culinaryinspirations.ca

Sent with Twitter for iPhone 8th Generation (@8thGenVineyard) From: Stefanie Schales, Owner/Manager

c m

an not put the magazine down. Great job again.

Like Rhys’ realistic CRUSH—brings juggling of work to the front and the romance to the back

International

Award Winning Wines

Downtown Kelowna’s most Exclusive Wine Selection Collectables from B.C.’s most Renowned Wineries

y name is Irene Moschini, I am renting Naramata House B&B. I have to say I had a look at your  fifth issue and I like it a lot.

Food is very important for the human spirit. I am Italian and I went to cooking school in Desenzano Del Garda. This is my passion. I love to look at food magazines and yours did attract my attention. It has a great presentation.      Have a nice day.  Sincerely, Irene Moschini

Your feedback is important to us. Let us know how we're doing or share your experiences preparing our featured recipes. We may publish your comments in our next issue.

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Winter 2010 Thanks to everyone for stopping by to say hello at our booth during the WestJet Wine Tastings held in Kelowna and the Valley First Grand Finale Wine Tastings in Penticton in October. Over 3,500 people attended all four events and we received tremendous feedback regarding our magazine.

By Joyce D. Wegner

Congratulations to Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, Best White Wine (2007 Reserve Reisling); Desert Hills Estate Winery, Best Red Wine (Syrah Select 2007); Inniskillin Okanagan Dark Horse Vineyard, Best Dessert Wine (Riesling Icewine 2009); and Cassini Cellars for Best New Winery.

We were also an event sponsor of Whistler’s Celebration of Food and Wine, Cornucopia, in November. To promote the Okanagan we held a draw for all attendees courtesy of Watermark Beach Resort. The lucky winner was Christine Cason from Auburn, WA. We appreciate the warm welcome from everyone in Whistler to our publication!

PHOTO: Kevin

Trowbridge

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society has elected Eric von Krosigk, owner EVK Winery Consulting and winemaker at Summerhill Pyramid Winery, as their new president. Summerhill’s Cipes Gabriel recently won the “Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine” at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition and the winery also earned the title of “Canadian Wine Producer of the Year” at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England.

president of Eric von Krosigk is new Society als Okanagan Wine Festiv

10

magazine • WINTER 2011

The inaugural BC Wine Awards were presented with our own regular contributor and Master of Wine Rhys Pender heading the judges panel.

Medal staurant Gold La Bussola Re ine List W ll ra ve Best O Winner for BC

La Bussola Restaurant won the gold award for BC best overall wine list in another awards ceremony during the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival. Manteo Resort’s Wild Apple Grill and Raincity Grill in Vancouver were both awarded silver, while the Wild Apple also earned recognition for the best first-time entry. Erika Staffanson, a certified sommelier who joined the Wild Apple less than a year ago worked closely with Chef Bernard Casavant to craft the list to match chef’s wine country cuisine. Best overall winner of the BC Wine List awards was


swirl the Cobblestone Wine Bar in the Naramata Heritage Inn. The kitchen of the Wild Apple will be saying a temporary goodbye to pastry chef Robyn Sigurdson as she heads to Tuscany this summer for an all expenses paid ten week culinary internship at the acclaimed Erika Staffans on Wild Apple agriturismo La Patraia, Grill sommelier win s silver for fir st Italy. Robyn comtime entry in BC Wine List awards peted in a black box competition sponsored by the Okanagan Chefs Association as part of the Farm to Fork Global Scholarship. She competed under the Okanagan sun at Milan Djordjevich’s (The Tomato Man) Stoney Paradise Farm against Tiffany

Robyn Sigurdson in competition

Winter... cozy up.

Love What We Do

www.hestercreek.com


swirl Moon. A delicious lunch was catered by Cam Smith (Joy Road Catering) and we were spoiled with an extensive tasting in the barrel room, plus a sneak peek at their new restaurant currently under construction and scheduled to be fully operational by spring wine festival. Well-known Okanagan architect Nick Bevanda has another brilliant design with this 130-seat (65 interior and 65 elevated patio) market cuisine inspired eatery with stunning unobstructed views of the valley Other changes in Oliver: Mark Sheridan, general manager of Hester Creek Estate Winery has taken over the marketing efforts for the winery. Mark brings considerable experience to the operations as the former director of vineyard operations for Vincor Canada. He has been called “a rising star in a young wine industry,” and he emaker Viticulturist Andrew Moon and Win s yard vine Sandra Oldfield tour the

Anderson (Grapevine Restaurant, Gray Monk Estate Winery) and David Columbe (RauDZ Regional Table). It was a gorgeous south Okanagan autumn day at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards when we took a vineyard tour with owner Ken Oldfield, his partner and winemaker Sandra Oldfield, plus viticulturist Andrew

LIFE BEHIND BARS. -gerry jobe We’ve served our time, and we’d love the opportunity to share our experiences with you. Inspired by local farmers, artisans, distillers and brewmasters, we’ve created a series of evenings we’re calling “Liquid Sundays” with Liquid Chef Gerry Jobe to demonstrate our philosophy & techniques of field to glass beverages. Launching January 16th from 5 - 6:30 pm for a limited time only. Tickets are $40 and advance purchase is required. For more information visit raudz.com

-Chef Rod Butters, Audrey Surrao & Gerry Jobe

RauDZ REGIONAL TABLE

©

FRESH • LOCAL • COMFORTABLE

Open 7 days a week from 5:00 p.m. 1560 Water Street, Kelowna

250•868•8805

www.raudz.com

Hester Chef Roger Planiden in chen Kit ion Creek Demonstrat

has been busy. The winery has already posted their 2011 Cooking Class Dinner Series Schedule online commencing in May. With chefs like Ned Bell, Natasha Schooten, Roger Planiden, and Eric Patemen cooking in their expansive demonstration kitchen, plus an opportunity to reserve a space in the gorgeous Villa — book now to avoid disappointment, is all I’m saying. Mission Hill Family Estate has also released their 2011 schedule of Culinary Classics Winter Program created by Winery Chef Matthew Batey and Terrace Chef Riley Bennett. From international themes with dishes derived from Spain, Italy, Jamaica, and


swirl

e with Savour

Table full of Fun at Din

Singapore to ‘A Tribute to Julia Child’ each of these three-hour sessions are interactive, informative and delectable. If you haven’t experienced their stateof-the-art Culinary Theatre and hospitality this is an incredible interactive evening for the novice cook to the gourmet enthusiast. Our Dine with Savour at Predator Ridge Golf Resort in Vernon was another amazing Assistant Winemaker for y is Summerhill David Murph event. Chef Jeff O’Neill and his r ou Sav th wi e Din cohost of staff did a superb job pairing a four-course meal with Summerhill Wines. Assistant winemaker David Murphy guided us through each delectable course with an outstanding selection of Summerhill’s

premium wines. Chef O’Neill’s presentations were as amazing as the flavours on the dish. The three-way courses were outstanding — scallop three way, duck three way, and shots (three variations of mushroom soup in shot glasses — brilliant!). The bison tenderloin with potato risotto as the main course was perfection and the d’Anjou tart with Summerhill’s Chardonnay Ice Wine wrapped up the evening with a deliciously sweet flair. We enjoyed meeting many of the Predator “locals” and our overnight stay at the Lodge was deluxe. Speaking of Icewine, the 13th Annual Winter Festival of Wine at Sun Peaks returns January 15–23, 2011. Formerly known as the Icewine Festival, this epic week long event is an easy one-hour drive from Kamloops, BC. The Okanagan’s Icewines are showcased as well as a myriad of other fun activities like the progressive tasting through the village and new events such as Wild Meats & Wild Wines and

Fine Italian Dining

Authentic Italian Dining Enjoy a sensory experience where each course is savoured, every aroma enjoyed and taste treasured.

1451 Ellis street, Kelowna BC (Downtown Cultural District)

For Reservations:

250.763.3110 Chef speaks with Chytra

www.labussolarestaurant.com


swirl It’s been six years since Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar opened for business. Tucked into the apron of Kelowna’s Cultural District, this trendy little eatery has a loyal following and is typically hopping especially on event nights. Chef Mark Filatow has created some innovative marketing with his weekly spit roasts and his focus on regional wines. Congratulations to Chef and his friendly, knowledgeable staff. It’s the perfect time of year for preserves and award winning chef Rod Butters of Kelowna’s RauDZ Regional Table has released his rjb preserves and canning. This BC Restaurant Hall of Fame chef with a love for the plentiful fresh and local ingredients of the Okanagan has created over a dozen products. “Drunken Cherries” showcase the valley’s cherry harvest with the added flavour of Sandhill Merlot. New this season is rjb’s line of salts and seasonings: Terrace Mountain Morel Salt to sprinkle on steaks, pork chops and lamb; or Peach & Cinnamon Sugar made from dried organic Okanagan peaches, cinnamon and raw sugar to create a unique cinnamon toast or sprinkle in your tea.

Graham Pierce winemaker for Black Hills Estate Winery

Mixology to Music. We hope you join us in the fun at Sun Peaks! It’s hard to believe that the iconic Black Hills Estate Winery already reached its first decade of winemaking last fall. Their flagship Nota Bene brand crafted from the vineyards along the Black Sage Bench is regarded as one of the finest in Canada. Kudos to winemaker Graham Pierce; his craft has grown such a reputation that within the last six years, each of the Nota Bene wine releases has sold out within weeks.

There’s a new face up at Big White Ski Resort: Trevor Hanna is the new director of food and beverage services. Hanna is a Red Seal Chef and is formerly the accommodations program manager for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Michael J. Ballingall,

RauDZ Drunken Cherr

ies

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Celebrate Nature’s Perfection

www.summerhill.bc.ca

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swirl senior vice president of sales and marketing for Big White, says “We are thrilled that [Hanna] has chosen to join our team and look forward to continuing to develop our food and beverage experience into the future.”

PHOTO: TOTA

The village of Sun Peaks also has a few new executive chefs this season. Globe Café & Tapas Bar welcomes Michael Coates, formerly of Globe at the Beach, Veranda Beach Resort, WA. Michael will put modern gourmet twists on ski hill comfort food classics like mac ’n’ cheese and donairs.

J-M (Jean-Martin) Bouchard is the new winemaker at Road 13 Vineyards. With work experience from Australia, Europe, and in the Niagara region J-M is enthusiastic about his new winemaking position at Road 13. “I am excited to join the team,” says Bouchard. “I had admired the work being done here, as the winery’s approach is close to mine.” J-M is determined to follow the practices of his predecessor Michael Bartier who will remain as a consulNew Chair of TOTA Board tant. “Like Michael, I like to focus on non-interventionist Ingrid Jarrett and terroir-driven wines,” he continues. “As I transition into my role and Michael leaves, we will work together to ensure that the wines that everyone loves from Road 13 are maintained.”

Morrisey’s Pub House at Sun Peaks Village

Steve Buzak arrives at Mantles Restaurant, Morrisey’s Pub, and the M Room (Delta Sun Peaks Resort) from Rocky Mountaineer, Delta Vancouver Airport, Fairmont Hotels. Memories at the Cahilty introduces Cliff Alan Huck from Copper Point Golf Resort and St. Eugene Mission. He brings with him his signature dish of Canadian Chèvre and sun dried cherry stuffed chicken supreme with mushroom duxell crêpes and Madeira pan jus. As a Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) member we attended the TOTA summit in November in the capacity as a trade exhibitor. It was a great experience to meet with tourism-related industry professionals and receive positive feedback on our publications. Congratulations to our editorial board member Ingrid Jarrett, general manager, Watermark Beach Resort (Osoyoos, BC) who is the newly elected president of TOTA. The focus of the summit was social media in all of its varied forms. Luke Whittall, owner/producer of Wine Country BC invited us on as a podcast (#51) to discuss wine publications in BC. Luke works part time at the VQA Wine Information Centre in Penticton when he’s not behind the mike discussing wine. Check out his site — winecountrybc.wordpress.com or twitter.com/winecountrybc.

Join the Ex Nihilo Reserve Club January 15, 2011 Visit our website for more details

Launching

Winter Hours

Tastings by Appointment May 1 - Oct 31 • 10 am - 5:30 pm

1525 CAMP RD LAKE COUNTRY BC V4V 1K1 p. 250.766.5522 f. 250.766.5579 www.exnihilovineyards.com


swirl

PHOTO:

L. Trud

el

The Okanagan Chefs Association (OCA) Annual Awards dinner was held in December hosted by Chef Stuart Klassen at the Delta Grand Resort. Chef Willi Franz (OCA chairman of board) chef/owner of Grapevine Restaurant at Gray Monk Winery artin M n a Je was a dual winner as aker New winem d 13 Vineyards Roa Member of the Year Bouchard and Chef of the Year. Jon Crofts of Codfathers Seafood was named Associate of the Year. His award was accepted by Anne-Marie Crofts, his wife and business partner. Jonathan Garratt (OCA junior director) from the Delta Grand is the Junior of the Year. Chef Bernard Casavant, Wild Apple Restaurant at Manteo Resort was the recipient of The President’s Award, in honour of Bruno Stass. And Friends of the OCA Award went to Alison Love and David McIlvride from Spatula Media and Communications. A case of mistaken identity hit our last issue in Swirl: a picture of Heather and Gary Kennedy from Granite Creek Estate Winery was identified as Hazel and Jack Mansur from Larch Hills Winery. Plus, the corresponding content noted that Larch Hills “is a trail ride away from Skimikin Lake Trails and Campground where there are eight equine spots,” and quoted Jack Mansur as saying, “We often welcome

nite Creek Estate Winery

Heather and Gary Kennedy from Gra

groups of trail riders that stop here at our tasting bar.” That, of course, was not Larch Hills but Granite Creek and Gary Kennedy describing the close proximity of his winery to the horse endorsed camp spot. I apologize for the confusion to both couples, their wineries and to our readers. And I thank all involved for their understanding. We will be at the Canadian Culinary Championships, Gold Medal Plates Competitions in February and hope to see you there too. Come and say hi or keep in touch via swirl@savourmag.com. Unless otherwise specified, photos in Swirl have been submitted by La Bussola Restaurant, Spatula Media, Black Hills Estate Winery, and Sun Peaks Village.

Get Away From It All... Without Going Too Far WINTER GETAWAY PACKAGE

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129

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Includes: one night stay at the Guest House, dinner in the Sonora Room Restaurant, and a wine-country breakfast.

Please call 1-877-498-0620 extension 3 for more information or to reserve. *Package is in effect Thursday, February 17th - Sunday, April 3rd based on Sonora Room Restaurant days and hours of operation (Thursday - Sunday nights). Price is based on double occupancy. Dinner is a 3 course meal. Beverages, gratuity and applicable taxes are not included.

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Black Sage Road, Oliver, British Columbia, Canada. For more information, please call us at: 1-877-498-0620 or visit us at www.burrowingowlwine.ca


wine feature

Time in a

Bottle

Vertical Tasting Guide

i

t might seem a stretch to imagine that a wine taster, with just an ounce or two of wine in a glass, can determine so many details about a wine, but with some training, and the all important practice of lots of tasting, it can be done. One of the things you can train yourself to do is to identify vintages of the wine regions of the world based only on the clues in the glass. Sounds unlikely, but it is something that can be quite astonishing to watch and fun to learn. This is called a “vertical tasting.”

PHOTO: BLACK HILLS ESTATE WINERY

By Rhys Pender

Taste of the Times — Vintages Captured Tasting wine can range from an informal sip to a serious affair. Formally structuring a tasting can provide a fun and educational way to learn about a grape, a region, a country or a producer. One of the most interesting approaches is the vertical tasting. A vertical tasting involves trying the same wine from a number of different vintages. One of the fascinating things in tasting wine is the difference that can occur in the flavour of the wine depending on the vintage year. The vagaries of the vintage, the challenges of pests and diseases and unforeseen events such as drought, History is now being made in the Okanagan with vintages extending over ten years. magazine • WINTER 2011

17


PHOTO: BLACK HILLS ESTATE WINERY

time in a bottle

Black Hills Estate Winery recently celebrated a ten-year vertical tasting of Nota Bene.

PHOTO: TREE WILLS

flooding, frost, hail, excess rainfall, excess heat, lack of sunlight or sunburn, and wind can all take the seemingly pedestrian process of ripening grapes and turn it on its head. No matter how skilled the winemaker or the grape grower, there is little that can be done to fight what Mother Nature gives us and the vintage conditions will leave their indelible stamp on the wine. This is one of the things that are explored in vertical tastings. The idea of a vertical tasting is generally one of pleasure. It is typically a bit of a wine geek thing to want to explore differences in wine so closely, but Preparation of a vertical tasting. many non-wine people get equally as intrigued when the tastings begin and the differences in the wine become apparent. One of the amazing things about learning to taste wine is when your palate can taste something and you can explain exactly why that taste

18

magazine • WINTER 2011

is like it is. To taste the rich, concentrated dark fruit of a warm and dry vintage of Bordeaux versus the lighter, green astringent and more red fruit flavours of a cooler damper vintage, it all becomes very clear.

Pick Your Pedigree It is not every wine in the world that is suited to a vertical tasting and it often takes a little bit of forethought in order to stockpile the wines. The best wines to taste are those with some longevity. You want to get a wide number of vintages together that are all still likely to be in a good drinking state. Ten vintages of $9 chardonnay that was made to drink young will not be an enjoyable experience. The wines need to have been cellared properly too, otherwise the flavours attributed to the vintage may be masked by those of poor storage. It is grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc (and blends of these varieties), shiraz, pinot noir and many of the Italian red varieties that have the greatest aging potential. For white wines, quality Riesling and chardonnay are amongst the best and most interesting to sample. Any wine that has a pedigree with ability to age is a suitable candidate for a vertical tasting.


time in a bottle

The best way to start preparing for a vertical tasting is purchasing wines that you like that also have a history of being able to mature well in bottle. Get on a mailing list to make sure to buy every vintage that comes out and try to buy between four to a dozen bottles so you have a stockpile in the cellar. Within four to five years you will have enough wines for an interesting tasting. Some wineries will also re-release mini-verticals of wine at a later date, although often for a premium price. They often hold back some wine and then sell them either as individual vintages or as packages with multiple vintages. Another great opportunity is to look out for wine events and dinners where a producer guides you through a vertical tasting. Having the winemaker hosting the event is the perfect way to ask questions and find out the subtle nuances that made each vintage taste the way it does. (Osoyoos Larose regularly holds vertical tasting events and dinners. See sidebar.) It might be vintage variation, it might be winemaking technique, but the fun lies in the search and discovering those differences.

PHOTO: TREE WILLS

Commence Your Collection

Celebration of Nota Bene Tasting.

Cellar Time Complete - Uncork History To conduct a vertical tasting there are a few things you should do to prepare. As the wines have aged through storage they may have developed some sediment. Bring wines carefully from the cellar and stand them vertically so that the sediment has a couple of hours to settle to the bottom. Just before the tasting, carefully decant the wines to remove any further sediment. Make sure there are suitable


time in a bottle PHOTO: TREE WILLS

glasses — ideally one glass for every vintage so you can easily compare back and forth between the wines. It is also a good idea to have a bit of background on the wines and the seasonal conditions of each vintage. This makes it more fun and may give you some clues as to specific flavours and characteristics to look for in the wines. Also, this is a great experience to commemorate a special event, as years can be remembered and vintages shared between friends or loved ones leading up to the signature year — a graduation, anniversary, or a significant birthday. It is not just the classic wine regions of the world that are suitable for vertical tasting. In Canada, largely because of the short history of our industry, there was little opportunity to consider the ability of Canadian wines to age. That is now changing and it is possible to look back over five or even ten years of some wines and assess how well they cellar. The results are looking very promising. There are many Canadian wines that consumers will increasingly recognize as great value options to mature and consume with age just like they would with established regions such as Bordeaux or Burgundy. So while it might take some time and patience, it is never too late to start considering vertical tastings in your future. Buy a few bottles every year, look out for tastings and dinners or maybe give someone a bottle every year to encourage them to start their own collection. Vertical tastings can be fun, educational and offer an intriguing showcase and timeline of the conditions in which the grapes were grown.


time in a bottle

Osoyoos Larose Vertical By Rhys Pender

Osoyoos Larose 2001, British Columbia, Canada

Osoyoos Larose 2005, British Columbia, Canada

The first vintage of the exciting Osoyoos Larose project. A

Another good vintage with youthful deep ruby tones and

youthful looking deep garnet colour with plum and floral

aromas of oak, spice, cedar, plum and cassis. The palate is

aromas along with developed orange zest, baking spice and

dry with good intensity and concentration and the trade-

tobacco. The palate is dry and medium-full in body with

mark tannins although they are riper and better textured

strong tannins that dominate the fruit. Lacks the fruit to

than in previous vintages. The ripe fruit, generous dose

continue to develop further.

of new oak and impressive length make this a delicious

3.0 out of 5 stars

concentrated wine with long aging potential.

Osoyoos Larose 2002, British Columbia, Canada

4.5 out of 5 stars

A deep ruby colour with a garnet rim showing signs of

Osoyoos Larose 2006, British Columbia, Canada

development. The nose is subtle and shy with hints of

A warm vintage resulting in some very ripe fruit flavours,

plum and Christmas spices. The palate is more lively with

bordering on but not crossing the line to raisined. The

balanced acid and tannin and a medium-plus body with

aromas are dried plum, dried herb, marzipan and cherry.

flavours of red currant, fresh plum, pepper and spice. The

The palate is youthful, with good flavour concentration

tannins are still quite hard and dominant but riper than

and a full body with lots of chocolatey vanillin oak, plum

2001 and the wine is more fruit forward.

and some interesting hints of savoury tobacco. A rich

4.0 out of 5 stars

wine with good aging potential and impressive balanced

Osoyoos Larose 2003, British Columbia, Canada A deep ruby colour, still youthful looking with medium

tannins to last for at least a decade.

4.5 out of 5 stars

intensity on the nose and aromas of oak, graphite and

Osoyoos Larose 2007, British Columbia, Canada

plum. This hot vintage has produced a fuller bodied wine

The best vintage yet showing how this wine has evolved

with balanced acid but immense dry and hard tannins.

as the vines age and the team gains experience with

There is some complex cassis, plum pudding, Christmas

the vineyards. Very deep in colour with ripe, soft, floral,

cake and raspberry but the tannins dominate and dry out

cassis, blueberry, violet and plum aromas. The palate

the finish. This very structured wine may come around with

is dry, plush and rich with lots of oak, black fruits,

further aging but the tannins are likely to outlast the fruit.

chocolate, tobacco, clove and graphite. The tannins

3.5 out of 5 stars Osoyoos Larose 2004, British Columbia, Canada A deep ruby colour with a touch garnet showing some development. The nose is the most interesting and intense

are formidable, ripe and concentrated and the finish is impressively long. The structure and fruit concentration gives this wine the potential to age for ten plus years.

4.5 out of 5 stars

of the vintages to date with spiced plum, cassis and complex charcuterie and charred meat aromas. The palate is dry, full and rich with the typical solid tannins but supported by more intense plum, spice, earth and tobacco. The best vintage produced to date with concentration, texture and intensity and the ability to develop further.

4.5 out of 5 stars

magazine • WINTER 2011

21


dine

WITH GOURMET

At QuAils’ GAte Winery Join us for a wonderful night of food and wine at Quails' Gate Winery with special guest John Schreiner, renowned wine writer, and Winemaker Grant Stanley.

Join Savour and the Quails' Gate family in the Stewart Family Room for a spectacular evening of wine, food and history. 2011 marks the 50th year the Stewart family has been growing grapes. Winemaker Grant Stanley will be on hand to discuss how each vintage offers its own magic. Reserve wines from the Quails' Gate library will be featured; the evening will offer comparative tastings paired with dishes from the Old Vines Restaurant. Each year is different in the kitchen, as Chef Roger Sleiman and his team work with seasonal and local ingredients from regional farms and the Estate garden at Quails' Gate. Celebrate the past, present and future of Quails' Gate and our beautiful region as you dine with Savour! Dine with Savour is a popular series of dining events held in the Okanagan wine region. Seats are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.

WHERE: s teWArt

F Amily r oom , QuAils ' GAte Winery

3303 Boucherie Road West Kelowna, BC, Canada

WHEN: TIME:

mArch 18, 2011 6:30 p.m.

TICKETS: $99 per person (Credit Card payment is required upon booking. Cancellation policy applies) To Purchase Tickets: 250-769-2514 or email: groupgookings@quailsgate.com


guest columnist

Gold Medal Plates

Culinary &The Canadian Championships Come to the Okanagan

By Stephen Leckie, CEO and Co-founder of Gold Medal Plates

s

ince 2006, Gold Medal Plates has staged between six and eight events per year in most of Canada’s major cities. These events are focused on celebrating Canadian excellence in food, wine, entertainment and sport, and bring together the best chefs, wineries, performers and athletes in events that are both memorable and successful at raising necessary funds for our Olympic athletes. In each city, in early April, a carefully selected panel of five food and wine critics are charged with selecting that year’s ten best chefs. Those ten chefs are invited to compete in the fall at their respective regional Gold Medal Plates event, where they present what they believe is their “Gold Medal worthy” dish. They must prepare enough of this dish to feed not only the hundreds of hungry guests who have paid to attend the regional event but also the five food and wine critics who initially selected them plus a national judge. What emerges is one winner per city, and that winner takes home a gold medal and the right to represent his or her city at the Canadian Culinary Championships held the second week of February each year. For the chefs of Canada, earning a spot at the Canadian Culinary Championships is a highlight and milestone of their career. The possibility of winning the Canadian Culinary Championships is the highest honour a Canadian chef can achieve. It is Canada’s ultimate culinary prize! Over the past four years, the Canadian Culinary Championships have been hosted in a different city or region each year, with Whistler, Toronto, Banff and Vancouver all performing as exemplary hosts for

this exciting weekend. It has been the dream of the organizing committee to find a permanent home for the championships, and for the past two years various locations across Canada have been assessed, discussed and debated. The short list included Niagara-on-the-Lake, Banff, Whistler and Kelowna, all very worthy candidates. The initial factor was easy airport access, as Canada’s top chefs, judges, media and guests from all over Canada attend this prestigious event. The second factor was having a strong and committed regional leadership team that was willing to work closely with the Canadian National Team to ensure the event was well supported and promoted. The third key factor was that the host city/region needed to have sufficient food and wine savvy to fit the high profile of Canada’s greatest culinary weekend. And lastly, ensuring that the host city was an attractive destination with pre- and post-opportunities for guests to enjoy activities such as world-class wineries, chef-inspired restaurants, a thriving arts and cultural community, not to mention resorts such as Big White and Silver Star, two of Canada’s premiere ski getaways. I am very proud to announce that the Okanagan was selected as the host city/region for the next five years for the Canadian Culinary Championships. The next event is scheduled for February 18 and 19, 2011. If you are lucky enough to attend one of the three culinary challenges that make up the competition, you will be treated to mastery in food and wine that is rarely seen in the world as Canada’s gold medal chefs compete for the ultimate prize, being declared the best in Canada!

magazine • WINTER 2011

23


food destination feature

Culinary Coasting

in Tofino

& Ucluelet

Breaking Out of My Shell at the Clayoquot Oyster Festival By Andrew Findlay

t

he cedar and Sitka spruce twist and bend while snowflakes the size of toonies drift in chaotic patterns, trying to make sense of the wind. Waves crash the cove, moonlight casting a ghostly luminescence on the surf that curls then dissipates suddenly upon the rocks. Underpinning everything is the timeless, primal rumble of the restless ocean. It’s wild outside; but here inside Fetch Restaurant at the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet it is positively civilized. On a frosty November my wife and I, and our squirming eight-month old daughter ventured across Vancouver Island to the West Coast at a time of year that makes me think of storms, wild mushrooms and seafood so delectable that it makes you wonder why you’d ever eat anything else. It’s also the weekend of the 13th annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival, a now infamous celebration of that cheeky, sensuous little

Facing Page: Aerial view of Black Rock Resort.

The luxurious lobby of Black Rock Resort. magazine • WINTER 2011

25


culinary coasting bivalve that tends to make people do outrageous things. It seemed like an appropriate occasion to explore the cuisine of Tofino and Ucluelet, and besides local chefs had recently banded together to form the Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild, which sounded socialist and intriguing. “I worked in Toronto for so many years and kind of fell out of love with seafood,” says Andrew Springett, executive chef at the Black Rock Resort and formerly of the Wickaninnish Inn, as we settle in for our 7 p.m. reservation at Fetch. “When I came to the West Coast I had never seen seafood so good, the spot prawns, the wild salmon, the halibut.” However it’s not just seafood that sautés Springett’s creative energies; it’s the natural abundance of the forest, its pungent pine mushrooms or creamy chanterelles, the salal berries and blackberries. No matter how luxurious the accommodations and dining may be, opportunities for which there are plenty around here, it’s difficult to shelter visiting patrons from the fecundity and wildness of nature; and that’s what chefs like Springett love abut the West Coast. Fittingly tonight I sip a Dark and Stormy, a rum cocktail of ginger beer, cinnamon infused simple syrup and lime. I start with a taste of the rainforest, creamy chanterelle and corn soup drizzled with truffle oil, followed by a main of roasted Cowichan Valley pork loin, winter squash and confit shallots. The closer of warm white chocolate bread pudding is paired beautifully with Wild Goose’s Black Brant, a dessert wine of Marechal Foch grapes. Tofino and Ucluelet have an intense tourist high season that lasts perhaps five months of the year, when it’s head down in the kitchen. Off-season is a time for reflection and planning. And now is the time to take stock of year-one for the culinary guild. Geographic isolation and proximity to the ocean’s bounty, not to mention it’s wild spirit, has fostered a culinary scene that befits the location—a tad eccentric and resourceful, yet as creative and diverse as the technicolor fungi that emerge from the forest floor every fall. However isolation also adds costs. Traditionally competing restaurants made their own food

Seaside Dining at Black Rock Resort.

orders. However chefs came to realize that if they could consolidate orders and achieve some economies of scale everybody would win. So last spring they formed the guild, with a membership that now includes Black Rock Resort, Wickaninnish Inn, SoBo, and a dozen other local resorts, restaurants and B&Bs. “It’s created a lot of opportunities for us especially when it comes to ordering from small producers,” Springett says. Bobby Lax is a business and philosophy grad from Toronto, and self avowed “professional food lover.” As the guild’s sole paid employee, his job is to seek out quality ingredients from around Vancouver Island and the Mainland. Restaurants still use the big distributors for much of their food — volume demands it — but the guild allows them to cut delivery costs while accessing artisanal food products from smallscale farmers and suppliers. Before arriving on Vancouver Island, Lax worked in the Okanagan Valley for Joy Road Catering, where he says he learned the beauty of simple, rustic cuisine. When he moved to Tofino, he landed a job cooking on the line at SoBo, which in turn led to his involvement with the guild.

PHOTO: CHRIS POUGET

Favourite for storm watchers at the Pointe Restaurant at Wickaninnish Inn.


culinary coasting

Big waves to watch at Black Rock’s Fetch Piano Lounge.

oyster wrapped in potato, lightly fried in a bed of parsley sauce, and drizzled with truffle oil. “The culinary community is really strong here and I think the guild has helped to build on that strength,” Nutting says. “When we plan our menus, we start with the ingredients. We don’t open a catalogue for ideas. We have such a bounty of seafood here, with fish like halibut and yellow eye rockfish. In the fall we move to more robust ingredients, like wild mushrooms and venison from Sydney Island.” I soon get elbowed out of the way as oyster lovers are lured toward Nutting by the unmistakable scent of truffle oil. Wine rep Alfons Obererlacher is on hand to match CedarCreek Estate wines with the oysters. “You’ve got to try our CedarCreek Syrah with the Cortesian. It really works with the creaminess of the oysters,” he says. “And our Pinot Gris is perfect with P.E.I. oysters.” I take his advice and indulge in more of these curious little shellfish. Satiated with seafood, I return upstairs with a glass of wine to our 3rd floor suite, and watch the moonlight glow on Chesterman Beach. The following night the oyster gala is in full swing, and most local restaurants are there to exhibit their most creative interpretation of this fruit de mer. Outside in a covered tent, the faithful are consuming oysters raw chased with a little Phillips Brewing Company Blue Buck or Longboat Chocolate Porter. Inside PHOTO: Ivan Hunter

“There’s really no template for what we’re doing and I think we exceeded our expectations in terms of both bringing in food and bringing the community together,” Lax says, about the first year of the guild that saw it bringing in fresh morel mushrooms from an interior forager, potatoes from Echo Valley Farms in Qualicum, and greens from Nanoose Edibles, among many new and promising food connections. “We source out farmers who have a moral sense of integrity about their food and I don’t haggle with them. There’s very little money in farming as it is,” Lax says. On Friday night snow frosts the towering evergreens outside the Wickaninnish Inn. Inside the Driftwood Lounge the mood is boisterous. Brine drips from chins of well dressed patrons as they inhale raw oysters on the half shell. The aphrodisiacal qualities of the oyster may be more lore than science, but what’s not in doubt is this little mollusc’s ability to shatter inhibitions and pretence — a culinary social leveller if you will. Nicholas Nutting, chef at the Wick’s Pointe Restaurant, shares the floor with special guest Brent “the oysterman” Petkau, who arrived the previous day with a few crates of oysters from both coasts — Malpeques from P.E.I. and Pacifics from Petkau’s Cortes Island lease. He has dubbed the latter, rather artfully, “the Cortesian.” Now there’s a frenzy of shellfish consumption, the Wick’s intimate precursor to the oyster gala that happens Saturday night at the Tofino community centre. Nutting is serving up a fresh beach

Coastal culinary delights from the Wickaninnish Inn. magazine • WINTER 2011

27


PHOTO: CHRIS POUGET

culinary coasting

the community hall, it’s elbow-to-elbow as people circulate past the various kiosks, displaying delectable oyster dishes that are miniature works of art. Andrew Springett and his Black Rock Resort team are offering a cayenne bacon wrapped around a steamed oyster served atop a crispy pastry. The Tin Wis Resort Hotel is preparing alder smoked oysters with and avocado and mango salsa. Nick Nutting from the Wickaninnish is serving oysters on the half shell in a Goan style curry. As an odd, sort of avant-garde twist to the oyster the bakers from the Common Loaf have conjured up an oyster cookie that clearly has gala patrons pondering just how far they can stretch their liberal palate. Lisa Ahier, founder and culinary genius behind SoBo, says the gala is an important event for the community. It is fun mixed with debauchery on the one hand, but on the other, a way to connect the oyster growers like Michael Mullin and Derek Arnet who work the weather-whipped deep water leases of Clayoquot Sound, with the kitchens and people of Tofino and Ucluelet. Ahier, perhaps as much as anyone, embodies the West Coast culinary spirit. The Texan chef Outstanding views of Chesterman Beach at the Wickaninnish Inn.

DRESSED UP & READY TO GO! A day outside of the office – the vineyards at Tinhorn Creek dinner out, a family gathering, Vineyards.

For home parties or kicking back at the cabin, Tinhorn Creek has the wines for the occasion.  We are proud to show you our 100% estate-grown varietal line up and Oldfield Series wines.  At Tinhorn Creek we sustainably farm our land and create wines of merit. Our 150 acres of vineyards are located on two unique and diverse south Okanagan sites: the Golden Mile and the Black Sage bench. Our ability to blend the grapes from these vineyards and capture the best characteristics of each site sets us apart.  Visit our spectacular estate winery in Oliver, BC and experience for yourself. We will welcome you with open arms. NATURALLY SOUTH OKANAGAN www.tinhorn.com


culinary coasting migrated northwards in search of authenticity in food after learning about the Sooke Harbour House and owner Sinclair Philip, who in the early days would personally dive for his restaurant’s seafood. Eventually Ahier followed her taste buds to Tofino where she started SoBo with her husband Artie in a cramped trailer. Since then this legendary little fish taco shop has outgrown two locations and is now found in a contemporary commercial space in downtown Tofino. Ahier is maverick in her thinking, passionate about food and community and is even championing a mini food revolution at the local school after she learned hotdogs and packaged mac and cheese were being served up to her elementary school-aged kids. Once a month for each class, she and Lax conduct a cooking workshop in an effort to engender a love of wholesome food and cooking. She was also instrumental in having the patron-nominated “best oyster competition,” which was a feature of the event for the past dozen years, discontinued. “We’re all colleagues and we’re all going

to give our best effort,” Ahier says. “We don’t need to pump up the celebrity chef thing.” Which in essence was the genesis of the Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild; sure the resort and restaurant members are in competition by the very fact that they are businesses trying to pay the bills. However by cooperating to source and bring in the best possible ingredients, the culinary bar is raised for everybody on this wild little slice of rainforest and ocean on Vancouver Island. Judging by the feverish consumption at the gala on this crisp, star-filled November night, this place is a little on the wacky side as well. For more info: Ucluelet Tourism, www.ucluelettourism.ca Tourism Tofino, www.tourismtofino.com Black Rock Resort, www.blackrockresort.com The Wickaninnish Inn, www.wickinn.com Clayoquot Oyster Festival, www.oystergala.com Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild, www.tucg.ca

PHOTO: Mark Hobson

All Black Rock Resort images are provided by Black Rock Resort.


The Okanagan Wine

Festivals

Start Planning Your Visit to Okanagan Wine Country Okanagan Spring Wine Festival 2011: April 29 - May 8 2012: May 4 - 13 2013: May 3 - 12 Okanagan Summer Wine Festival 2011: July 8 - 16 2012: July 7 - 15 2013: July 6 - 14 Okanagan Fall Wine Festival 2011: September 30 - October 9 2012: September 28 - October 7 2013: October 4 - 14 Okanagan Winter Festival of Wine 2011: January 19 - 23 2012: January 18 - 22 2013: January 16 - 20

Purchase Your Tickets Today!

For more information on our four annual Okanagan Wine Festivals,

contact www.thewinefestivals.com or email info@thewinefestivals.com or call

250-861-6654.

download our free app on iTunes


winery feature

New Wine Neighbour

EX NIHILO:

in LAKE COUNTRY

w

hat started as a dream 12 years ago on a visit to the Napa Valley has at long last become a reality for owners Jeff and Decoa Harder, and their partners Jay and Twila Paulson. Ex Nihilo is the newest neighbour to one of the oldest wineries in the Okanagan Valley, Gray Monk Estate Winery, and nearby Arrowleaf Cellars in Lake Country. Walking into the Ex Nihilo tasting room you are greeted by an elegant modern interpretation of Mediterranean style with its classic charm and attention to detail. Thoughtfully laid out, the interior architecture has multi-purpose rooms for events such as wedding receptions, social gatherings and winemakers’ dinners. Future plans include cooking classes to host some of the Okanagan’s top chefs. The owners are also big supporters of the arts with in-house exhibitions featuring revolving works from local artists. A print of Russian artist Igor Babailov’s painting depicting the Ex Nihilo sculpture of Frederick Hart hangs in the tasting room, and Jeff has been designing a label that will have this artwork covering the whole bottle. The term Ex Nihilo is the Latin for "out of nothing." The first grapes from the lovely ten-acre Ex Nihilo property were harvested in November 2010 and the wine has begun its journey of development in their cellar. The vines were planted in 2007 and the plantings consist of pinot noir, Riesling and pinot gris. The first wines released in 2005 were crafted from grapes that came from Okanagan Falls. Well-known winemakers like Graham Pierce and Rob Thielecke made some of the earlier wines under the watchful eyes of consultant Dr. Allan Marks. Dave Fredricks is responsible for the wines now. Ex Nihilo wines have won many local and international awards including gold at the 2009 Riesling du Monde in France. The Harders are involved in every aspect from the vineyard to the bottle, and are proud of their hands-on approach to the craft of winemaking.

By Helene Scott For visitors to Lake Country, Ex Nihilo has brought some intriguing diversity to this traditional wine neighbourhood. The Ex Nihilo experience is focused on the artisan approach from the artwork displayed on the premises, to their label design, to the gentle nuances of the open ambiance of their architecture.

Tasting Notes 2009 Riesling has just been released and it shows complex flavours with apple, peach, melon and honey on the nose. The taste is tart and zesty and a bit drier than previous vintages, but has a lovely balance on the palate. $22.95 2009 Pinot Gris has a refreshing, steely minerality and tropical fruit on the nose and a delicate spicy apricot finish. $20.95 2006 Merlot shows the classic aromas of dark berries, cherries and chocolate with hints of spice from being aged in 50% French and American oak barrels. Soft and elegant, this wine is enjoyable now. $34.95 2007 Night is a blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc and was aged in second use French oak barrels for 20 months. A lovely dark ruby colour, complex nose showing raspberry, mocha and smoky cedar spice. The oak is well integrated and the palate is laden with earthy flavours, tobacco leaf, loads of berry fruit and is delicate yet firm; the tannins are silky and the wine has balance, volume and length. Jeff says, “The wine lasts as long as a clear Okanagan summer night!” You will be rewarded for your patience if you can cellar this wine. $39.95

Ex Nihilo Vineyards January–March (tastings by appointment only) 1525 Camp Rd., Lake Country, BC 250.766.5522 www.exnihilovineyards.com Photo contributed.

magazine • WINTER 2011

31


tasting notes

i

Dessert and Fortified WINES

By Helene Scott

have always enjoyed fortified wines and have marvelled at the great value for money there is internationally in this often overlooked and underestimated style of wine. Port, Sherry and Madeira are all examples of this style. Usually brandy or a neutral spirit is added to the wine — at different stages during production — to fortify and preserve the wine. This is necessary because the high residual sugar (RS) could start the wine re-fermenting, if it is not fortified. Using the words Port and Sherry is restricted, as is the use of the terms Champagne and Bordeaux, to wines that come from that specific geographic region.

At this year’s Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival (March 28 to April 3) the global focus is on fortified wines. Here are some local examples to help chase away the winter blues and bring some liquid sunshine to your day!

Cedar Creek Estate Winery “M”, Okanagan Valley

$60.00 (750mL) Lovely bright golden hue and made from pinot blanc grapes harvested in 2005. The wine was left in the hot Okanagan sun for five years in partially filled barrels allowing it to madeirize over time The mouth feel is rich and creamy and the finish long and smooth. A versatile wine that can be enjoyed with nutty desserts, flavourful

cheese like a Manchego, or chocolate cake. Or serve it chilled as an apéritif with tapas or a gazpacho. With only 100 cases produced, this is a great wine gift for yourself or someone special! RS 72g/l*

4 out of 5 Blasted Church Amen NV, Okanagan Valley

$64.99 (750mL) This is a blend of 2006 and 2007 merlot, fortified with neutral pinot gris wine spirit. Medium body and a bright garnet colour. The flavours on the nose are delicate with cassis, raspberry, vanilla, white pepper and a spiciness of subtle oak. The palate is surprising as it shows a fortified wine made in a lighter style. Soft dark fruits and choco-

late dominate the taste and the finish has a medium length and is drier than I expected. In the future this wine will be made in the Solera style (like a Sherry) and will become more complex as the building blocks acquire more age. Lovely presentation including a glass cork. RS not available.

3.5 out of 5 32

magazine • WINTER 2011


Quails’ Gate Tawny NV, Okanagan Valley

$30 (375mL)

This gamay noir blend is garnet in colour and shows some browning on the rim. Aged for 60-84 months in French oak. Notes of bright, summery red fruits — strawberry and raspberry with spice, straw and chocolate aromas: it has an uncomplicated and easy drinking style and will pair well with blue cheese and rich desserts. RS 40g/l*

3 out of 5 Quails’ Gate Fortified Vintage Foch 2008, Okanagan Valley $22.99 (375mL)

Made from Marechal Foch grapes this fortified wine is full-bodied and deep ruby in colour. An intriguing nose suggests a combination of dates, fresh figs, fruitcake, prunes, smoky leather and Bovril. Palate pleasing and good value, suitable to pair with strong cheese and traditional baked puddings or chocolate desserts, or just a good fireside sipper. RS 75g/l*

3.5 out of 5 Ganton and Larson Prospect Winery The Lost Bars Vidal Icewine 2007, $39.99 (375mL) Okanagan Valley

Discover Our Award Winning Wines 30480-71 St Black Sage Road

250.498.6664 deserthills.ca

Icewine Truffles by Rogers’ Chocolates By Helene Scott

Deep golden in colour, the nose is an interesting mix of tropical and stone fruit with flavours of citrus, apricot and quince also coming through on the palate. The wine has a soft, long aftertaste with a balanced finish. RS 190g/l*

3.5 out of 5 Sumac Ridge Pipe 2005, Okanagan Valley

$29.99 (500mL)

The Pipe is named for the traditional measure of Port — a pipe barrel holds 145 gallons of wine. Rich ruby, medium bodied and a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc grapes aged for 40 months in French and American oak barrels. There are aromas of red and black berries, tobacco, fig and burnt sugar on the nose and a palate with a medium to long aftertaste. RS 86.5g/l* *RS (residual sugar) g/l (grams/per litre)

3 out of 5

In celebration of Rogers’ 125th anniversary master chocolatier, Cornell Idu has combined their dark chocolate ganache with Ganton and Larson Prospect Winery’s The Lost Bars Vidal Icewine in a delectable truffle presented in an elegant silver box. The truffle has a rich creamy filling and the dark chocolate outside is covered in a fine white chocolate lattice. When paired with the Icewine the cognac in the filling was a bit overpowering but the truffles were a balanced match for the richer, more full-bodied fortified wines.

Box $19.99 / Individual Bar $3.99

Available: Rogers’ retail shops (Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler) and select retail partners throughout Canada. For a full listing, visit rogerschocolates.com.


Photo: RONSOMBILONGALLERY.COM


food feature

Okanagan Chefs

Go for Gold The Valley's finest battle it out in Vancouver for the title of BC's top chef

By Remy Scalza

s

“Whatever happens, the Okanagan comes out of this on top,” Klassen says. “Now the world knows that the food we have to offer is finally up to the level of our wine.” Waiting alongside Klassen are ten other top chefs from around BC, all gathered here for the Vancouver installment of Gold Medal Plates. Started in 2004, the unique contest pairs Canada’s premiere chefs with Olympic athletes in the name of fund raising for the Canadian Olympic Foundation. At regional cook-offs throughout the country, chefs serve signature dishes to hundreds of hungry guests, who pay handsomely for the Facing page: Adding the finishing touches to Chef Klassen's plates for the judge.

Photo: RONSOMBILONGALLERY.COM

tuart Klassen is exhausted. The executive chef from Kelowna’s Delta Grand has just plated 550 servings of cherry-braised beef and squash terrine in 90 minutes — a rate of roughly one plate every ten seconds. He removes his chef’s hat, twists the cap off a bottle of Rickard’s Red and flops into a chair inside the Grand Ballroom at Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre, where the winners of tonight’s culinary competition are about to be announced.

Cam Smith & Dana Ewart from Joy Road Catering. magazine • WINTER 2011

35


chefs go for gold local celebs, athletes and hard core foodies. “You can be a dark horse and have one or two tastes that make the judges go crazy and you win. But the Kelowna guys that are here definitely know local.” Over Feenie’s ravioli and a selection of bubbly from the Okanagan, ticket holders in bowties and evening gowns mingle with Canada’s Olympic heroes: Alex Bilodeau, moguls master who took home Canada’s first ever gold medal on home soil in the 2010 Games; goldmedal-winning kayaker Adam Van Koeverden; and dozens of other athletes from past Games. Standing at six feet four inches, 2008 goldmedal rower Adam Kreek looms a full head and shoulders above the crowd. He’s wearing a bright red tie and pair of colossal white leather loafers for the occasion. “There are a lot of parallels between what these chefs do and Olympic competition,” he explains, while making fast work of a martini. “Just like us, they’re striving for excellence in a field of the heart and creating something that we can all celebrate.” And just what exactly is Kreek’s role in the kitchen tonight? “Well, I’m a little bit of a finishing chef,” he concedes. “So I’ll be sprinkling salt or putting the final garnish on.” The athletes at Gold Medal Plates, it turns out, are here primarily for their star power. The real work is left to the professionals. Back in the kitchen, the 11 competing chefs representing ten restaurants are busy finalizing dishes. Because of the scale of the event, most of the prep work was done well beforehand in their respective restaurants. “It’s not easy to prep four and a half hours away and then get it to Vancouver,” says Cam Smith from Penticton’s Joy Road, who wears a soul patch and has the punchy look you’d expect of someone who’s been cooking for a week straight. Because staff had already left for the season, he and partner Dana Ewart were left with the monumental task of preparing applewood-smoked sweetbreads and braised oxtail short ribs for 500-plus people all by themselves. “Then we had to drive here with all the food and the wine,” he says. Still, the real test is yet to come. Photo: RONSOMBILONGALLERY.COM

privilege of sampling Canada’s finest fare. Judges select a gold medal winner from each city, who moves on to the national finals. Proceeds, a whopping $4.1 million to date, are donated to Own the Podium and other initiatives for Canada’s amateur athletes. The Gold Medal Plates finals this February, and every year through 2016, will be in Kelowna — a fact not lost on the Okanagan competitors here in Vancouver. Apart from Klassen, there’s Roger Sleiman from Quails’ Gate Winery, as well as Dana Ewart and Cam Smith from Penticton’s Joy Road Catering. On the line for them is not just culinary kudos but hometown pride: a chance to represent the Okanagan in February on their home turf. The road to Kelowna won’t be easy, however. Earlier in the night at a swanky VIP reception, I run into last year’s winner, Rob Feenie of Cactus Club. “It’s fair game. There are no favourites,” he says, serving up some of his braised lamb ravioli to a crowd of BC corporate titans,

Black-tie feeding frenzy At precisely 6:00 p.m., honorary chair of the event — no less eminent an MC than Mr. Canuck, Trevor Linden — announces the official start of competition. A mere 90 minutes has been allotted for guests to sample dishes from all ten restaurants. There’s an urgent push for the doorway to the Pavilion Ballroom, where Michael Bublé is pulsing from the speakers and chefs have set up battle stations around the perimeter of the room. Chef Roger Sleiman from Quails’ Gate Winery.


chefs go for gold With lines forming quickly, I make for Roger Sleiman’s post at the far end of the ballroom. The chef, his sous chef and half-a-dozen line cooks are plating with the intensity and speed of a NASCAR pit crew. Appropriately enough, the Quails’ Gate chef has prepared a cold smoked breast of quail and foie gras-stuffed leg wrapped in Okanagan wild boar schinken. The hyper-local menu is rounded out with truffled Quails’ Gate sunchoke purée and a reduction made from the winery’s own pinot noir. With a practiced eye, Sleiman wipes an errant drop of reduction from a plate before handing it to me. “The biggest challenge tonight is definitely execution,” he says. His eyes are tracking a food runner as she darts across the room, carrying his dish to the all-important judges’ table. “Keeping everything warm and keeping up with the volume is incredibly difficult.” I take a glass of Quails’ Gate 2009 Pinot Noir and leave Sleiman to his task. Only ten minutes into the plating, he’s already broken out in a sweat. Meanwhile, the volume and temperature in the room have steadily risen. Bublé has given way to Gypsy Kings, and the air is hazy with smoke from fried, seared, grilled and braised flesh of all kinds. Diners

vie for coveted spots at the few bar tables sprinkled throughout the ballroom, while others simply eat standing up. Empty glasses and plates pile up faster than the platoon of bussers can clear. I hurry to make the rounds and suss out the competition. Chef Robert Clarke, the culinary heavyweight from Vancouver’s C Restaurant and an early favourite, is serving a terrine of Fraser Canyon rabbit, paired with a 2009 Viognier from Oliver’s Black Hills Estate Winery. Perennial contender Dale MacKay of Vancouver’s Lumière is turning heads with baked BC black cod in barbecued pork consommé, matched nicely with a 2009 Riesling from Kelowna’s Tantalus winery. There’s smoked Sidney Island venison from the Wickaninnish’s Nicholas Nutting and wild venison carpaccio with pine mushrooms and black truffles from Cibo’s Neil Taylor. Not to mention Haida Gwaii sablefish and pan-seared Bayne Sound scallops and charred bison carpaccio, all paired with wine in a gustatory overload that leaves diners red-faced and anxiously queuing for another bite. So how is the Okanagan’s contingent faring under the pressure? “Well, I just took my plates to the judges and I feel pretty good,” says the Delta Grand’s Klassen, busy serving the last of his cherry-braised

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wine-fed beef. “I took ingredients right from my back door in the Okanagan and put them on the plate. I’ve gotten great feedback and hope the judges feel the same.” Over at their table, sequestered in a quiet corner of the ballroom, the seven judges hunker down to their task. Among the eminent palates assembled are national food critics, restaurateurs and chefs. I watch as Sid Cross, Vancouver’s reigning gourmand, slowly brings a bite to his mouth. He chews, then pauses, squinting his eyes as though trying to place an unfamiliar taste. Then he reaches for his pen and begins scribbling. A sip of water. A sip of wine. And then he repeats. A voice booms over the PA — the tasting will be closing in five minutes — sending the room into a final tizzy of feasting. While diners throng the chefs, I sidle up to gold medallist Alex Bilodeau, who has spent the entire evening posing for photos with fans, mainly older ones in dark dresses and high heels whom he allows to hold his gold medal. In person, he’s smaller in stature than on TV but unfailingly nice. “It’s been a great night for a great cause,” says Bilodeau, who has fundraised with Gold Medal Plates for four years now. “The athletes get to meet great people, plus it’s awesome food and awesome wine.”

And the winner is . . . I ask Bilodeau if he has a favourite. Turns out he hasn’t had a chance to eat yet. As he runs off to grab a bite, guests are shuttled down into the hotel’s cavernous Grand Ballroom for the announcement of the night’s winners. Tables have been laid with dessert and more wine, a 2007 Merlot and 2009 Petite Blanc from Oliver’s La Vieux Pin. Applause rolls around the room as

38

magazine • WINTER 2011

The Joy Road Catering team share some excitement. Photo: RONSOMBILONGALLERY.COM

Chef Roger Sleiman and his team relax in the kitchen.

athletes are paraded in to swirling lights and exultant music straight out of the 2010 Games catalogue. Chefs, meanwhile, mute and shell-shocked from the marathon of plating and still in their aprons, file into the back of the room. Klassen nibbles idly on a crouton. Sleiman of Quails’ Gate and his line cooks stake out some empty chairs and crack open a round of beers. Joy Road’s Ewart stands with her hands on her hips, hair drawn back into an efficient ponytail, pooped but smiling. “I’m so proud for the Okanagan tonight,” she says. “We’ve shown people around the world that they can come to the Valley and have not just one or two good meals but a whole week’s worth. That’s the point we need to be at, where we’re competitive with Napa Valley or with Burgundy.” Inside the ballroom, the night’s entertainment takes the stage: Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo and Colin James do a really good cover of Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic; frenetic comedian Ron James razzes BC and especially the Okanagan (“Fleece is a holy garment out there: It’s what the baby Jesus would have worn if he were born in Kelowna – Hey!”); Bilodeau recounts his gold medal run in a presentation that leaves many reaching for their cloth dinner napkins. And then, finally, it’s time for the verdict. The four Okanagan chefs are arm in arm, posing for a group photo, when the names of the winners are read. Bronze goes to Neil Taylor and his wild venison carpaccio, silver to Dale MacKay and his black cod and gold — the one that really matters, the ticket to the Gold


Photo: Remy Scalza

Medal Plate finals in Kelowna this February — to Robert Clarke and his rabbit terrine. Vancouver has swept the contest. The Okanagan has been shut out. The chefs’ arms drop. Faces force smiles — those reluctant smiles Oscar losers always wear as the cameras zooms in. There is a moment of disappointment, to be sure. But it is a brief one. Klassen recovers first. He takes a big pull from his beer, gathers his thoughts and puts the night into perspective: “Four Okanagan chefs got to come here and compete. And you know what? We all did a fabulous job. And we have the best wine and we have the best food. Look out for the Okanagan next year.” Minutes later, the ballroom is nearly empty, a sea of tables strewn with wine bottles and half-eaten desserts. Some chefs have gone to celebrate, others to collapse into bed. But for those from the Okanagan, morning will come too quickly. Soon enough, they’ll be packing up their gear for the long drive up the Coquihalla, over the Cascades and back home where in a few months’ time they’ll play the role of spectators as the regional winners square off in the Gold Medal Plates finals in Kelowna. www.goldmedalplates.com

Chef Klassen supervises his dish for competition.

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food feature

Outstanding in their field:

Gene & Shelly Covert

BC's Outstanding Farmers

By Joyce D. Wegner

p

rotected by the shadows of McIntyre Bluff, Covert Organic Farms is nestled in an idyllic farm setting in the South Okanagan only eight kilometres from the town of Oliver and a half hour drive from Penticton. Settled in 1961 by George and Winnifred Covert with their sons Calvin and Michael, the expansive acreage yielded mostly ground crops of tomatoes, onions, potatoes and corn with some grapes — sold in wholesale proportions out of the office window. Over the past 50 years, the farm has evolved from a large multigenerational operation to a smaller scale farm handled by Michael’s son Gene and his wife Shelly. “We made a lot of changes since my dad passed away in 2004,” Gene explains. “One of the changes was to lease out a big chunk of land because with dad gone we’d lost a large cornerstone of our management. That got us down to a size that we felt was manageable to handle our own production.” The wisdom in their decision ensured that they maintained their quality in fruit and vegetables as well as paced their rate of growth. One of their goals was to stop selling their produce out the office window. Shelly was the visionary behind converting the draft barn into a full fledged market. “The name Pancho’s Market actually came from Gene’s grandfather.” Shelly recalls the family story. “When he was in California he was a shipper and packer of tomatoes and onions. His brand name was Pancho’s and the brand identity was the man on the burro.”

Gene, Shelly and Rhya Covert.


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The dormant vines stand under the protection of McIntytre Bluff until spring.

But Gene and Shelly have realized over time that the Mexican influence of the name Pancho confuses their customers. “This year we decided to put all our operations under Covert Organics,” says Shelly. “The marketing is a lot simpler and the message is clearer: organic.” Shelly is busy with the retail operations. “We acquired our picnic licence for the winery in 2010. We hope to have a patio licence approved for this year, refine our menu and get some chefs in for the weekends with live entertainment. “We’re also looking to have a culinary festival where we will host chefs who strictly use ingredients that we grow. Plus, the festival will have a kids’ cooking competition. The most wonderful plan for this year is we are organizing two children’s organic farm camps during the summer.”

Reservations and Info: 250.495.8007 Osoyoos, BC


outstanding farmers

Keeping kids connected to the earth is important to both Shelly and Gene. “I’m really excited about children discovering the process of food production,” Shelly says. Gene agrees. “That’s one of the reasons we continue with u-pick at the farm. Philosophically it’s important that people see the dirt and have the farm experience.” He chuckles. “People have a vision of bedlam with pickers running all over the fields. But most pickers are very respectful of the farms. Fifteen percent of our sales come from u-pick. And for us, we’re in high value commodities that have cost production. That 15 percent margin does not include packing or shipping costs and because they are u-picked there are less issues about quality too.” Historically, the farm has always invited u-pickers to join the harvest. Italian families come from as far away as the lower mainland, Calgary, and Edmonton for hundreds of pounds of tomato varieties every year. “We used to see the younger kids watch their parents pick; now they know if they don’t help that they won’t reap the rewards of their parents’ hard work.” Gene smiles. “The families don’t pick as much as they used to, but they still come to pick.” Recognition for hard work has also come to the Covert family. Last year Gene and Shelly became the recipients of BC’s Outstanding Young Farmers of the Year, earning them the privilege of competing in the Canadian Finals that took place in November 2010. How does one qualify to be Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year? “You have to be between the ages of 18 and 39 years old, and 75 percent of your income has to come from your farming operation,” says Gene. How many farmers in Canada qualify? “That’s my joke,” he smiles, “There’s us and the other six young farmers in the country.” Actually, the organization 42

magazine • WINTER 2011

A patio licence is planned to enhance the culinary experience this year.

PHOTO: L. Trudel

Pancho’s Country Market has evolved to Covert Organics.

separates the nation into seven regions, each represented at the national competition. Even though they didn’t win the top farmer spot in the country, they were both very appreciative to be part of the experience. “It’s really energized us in the past three years to meet other like minded individuals in the agricultural industry across the country,” Shelly says. “It’s reaffirming to see the organic movement gain more influence in the industry as more nominees within the Outstanding Young Farmers Program are from the realm of organic operations.” What are the goals of Covert Organic Farm? “One of my dreams for the Okanagan would be all of the viticulture converted to organic production,” Gene says with enthusiasm. “Mainly because viticulture is one of the easiest to transition into and is completely doable. And I’d like to see farmers return to direct sales relationships with our local stores. The cost of land, cost of


outstanding farmers labour, and the cost of production is higher here, so the only cost saving is transportation for local produce. But there is the added benefit of supporting our local economy.” Shelly’s dreams extend from her experience as a busy mom with three children in the school system. The goals on her radar? “Getting schools involved by putting children’s hands back in the dirt, educating them about where their food comes from, the benefit of nutrition, and the value of sustainability,” Shelley says with conviction. Gene and Shelly Covert are working hard to cultivate meaningful change in their industry, and that truly makes them outstanding in their field of expertise. Outstanding Young Farmers of Canada Program: www.oyfcanada.com Covert Farms: www.covertfarms.ca Gene educates visitors with field tours.


restaurant review

Vanilla Pod TAPAS &

WINE BAR i

By Joyce D. Wegner

have to admit that I have enjoyed dinner at the Vanilla Pod before. This cozy eatery on Main Street in Summerland is a locals’ favourite. Owner/manager Paul Jones and his wife Sheila, with executive chef Bruno Terroso, have spent the past three years as a team fine tuning their operations. Chef Bruno’s legendary Sushi Pizza has created its own loyal following and brought business through the doors. Paul’s extensive wine knowledge and support of the Okanagan wine industry has evolved into the restaurant hosting their own wine club with tastings from local Okanagan wineries. And that is what brings me back to the restaurant for the Vanilla Pod’s Annual Wine Club Dinner.

Co-hosted by Twisted Tree Winery and winemaker/owner Chris Tolley, the fourcourse, wine-paired dinner created by Chef Bruno was a sold-out success. With Paul and Sheila greeting guests upon arrival the evening began with a homey atmosphere where everyone appeared to know each other and if they didn’t, introductions were quickly made. I enjoyed sharing a table with a local Vanilla Pod interior


Vanilla Pod

Chef Bruno Terroso

couple and a Vancouver couple. The B&B where they were staying had recommended the wine event when they made their reservation and they were thrilled to be a part of the evening. Since Twisted Tree’s varietals derive from the Rhone region, Chef Bruno’s menu was of the French persuasion. A flavourful roasted endive accompanied with smoked ham, French bread crumbs and a spattering of Arbequina olives was our introductory course. Paired with 2009 Marsanne Roussanne, the first dish offered a nuance of the minerality of the wine and the earthiness of the endive. As Paul navigated from table to table pouring the 2009 Viognier/ Rousanne, I couldn’t resist a pre-course sip. Winemaker Chris Tolley had finally arrived for dinner. He had just finished crush. He held up his purple stained fingers as evidence in a wave hello. “We are the Rhone Rangers,” he smiled in way of introduction as he held a glass of the Viognier/Roussane. “This is our crowd pleaser. Made in the new world style. It is fruity, generous and sweet.” One sip of wine, one bite of seared halibut pulled through citrus beurre blanc, was an exquisite combination of buttery and sweet that was occasionally interrupted by the creamy sophistication of the scallop and prawn mousseline and the crisp zing of pea shoots. “This is delicious!” the couple from Vancouver exclaimed as they mopped up the last of their beurre blanc with a piece of French bread. I nodded in agreement. The halibut had fallen apart at the touch of my fork — seared to perfection. The next course was a unique approach to a wine-paired dinner. Three wines positioned as a vertical tasting of Twisted Tree’s Syrah 2006/2007/2008 and three meats hidden in the guise of a French cassoulet. It is always a special treat to experience a vertical tasting, especially with the winemaker on-hand to explain the history of the grapes, the climate of the growing season, and the characteristics of

each vintage. With candour and humility Chris walked us through the years as we sliced into our braised short rib, lamb chop, and sausage of our cassoulet. “For the 2006 and 2007 vintages we purchased our fruit from different growers,” Chris admitted. “You can taste the difference in the glass, as the grapes are influenced by their varied origins.” Twisted Tree is a young winery, established in 2004; the property initially had six acres and now has a total of nine acres of estate grapes that produce six noble vinifera varietals. “By 2008, the Syrah was made specifically from our estate fruit.” Chris concludes. The difference in taste is remarkable; the 2008 quality clearly stands out, as does the braised short rib that pulls effortlessly from the bone. After sipping the three robust reds, I’m not keen to sabotage by digestion by finishing the selection of white and Romano beans that complete the cassoulet even though I appreciate that they are a staple of the French dish. However I am looking forward to my favourite wine of the evening, the Twisted Tree Tannat. This unusual varietal on the Okanagan landscape was Chris’s intention went he brought it to the Valley. “I wanted to have something that wasn’t being offered anywhere else and that would survive well in our climate. Tannat is earning a reputation

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here and some hardware too.” The 2008 Tannat won a silver medal in the 2010 Canadian Wine Championships and a bronze medal at the 2010 Canadian Wine Awards. The candy red cherry aroma and intense flavours of black currant and a hint of plum of the Tannat turns out to be compatible waltz partner for Chef Bruno’s chocolate pot de crème with chocolate whip. It is a decadently slow and delicious way to end the thoughtfully planned wine paired dinner. As Paul and Sheila clear wine glasses, guests move from table to table as they compare notes about wine and dinner. It’s a convivial affair as I realize there are other wine representatives in the room as well as a few other foodies who are chatting with Chef Bruno who has finally surfaced from the kitchen. This is the evolution of the Okanagan epicurean revolution. We have come together in an intimate gathering to celebrate our passion for food and wine. The Vanilla Pod Tapas & Wine Bar has hosted another wonderful evening — informal, fun, and informative with good food, good wine, and exceptional service. Vanilla Pod Tapas & Wine Bar 9917A Main St., Summerland, BC 250.494.8222 Winter Hours: Tues–Sat from 5pm www.thevanillapod.ca Photos by Stephanie Seaton


savour spots

Hot 'n Spicy Escapes

Kelowna

Soul de Cuba Café

By Lisa Harrison

Escape to warm and sunny climes at Soul de Cuba Café. Visitors are transported by lively timba rhythms and the enticing aroma of classic Cuban cooking, which features garlic, cumin, lime juice, peppers, onions, bay leaf and oregano. Typically, visitors are greeted by the owner, César Hernández, who opened the café in 2009. However, not everything here will be reminiscent of a Cuban vacation. César serves homemade style cuisine — something most tourists never experience.

PHOTO: Lisa Harrison

Popular menu items are Ropa Vieja (shredded beef brisket marinated with peppers, onions, and Caribbean spices) and Filete de Pargo al Vino Blanco (red snapper with white wine sauce). Appetizers ($4+) include Tostones (fried green plantains), Yuca con Mojo (steamed cassava with Cuban sauce) and Camarones al Ajillo (sautéed shrimps in garlic sauce). Refreshing mojitos, famously imbibed by Ernest Hemingway, are a must-have but there are also Okanagan wines by the glass, half litre and bottle. Hot-pressed sandwiches are available at lunch.

César of Soul de Cuba

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250.768.9700 3361.Glencoe Rd. West Kelowna BC V4T 1M1 kalalawines.ca

101–1180 Sunset Dr., Kelowna, BC Tues–Sun 9:00am–2:00pm and 5:00pm–9:00pm 778.478.9529 www.souldecuba.ca Licensed


savour spots Kelowna

Hector’s Casa By Lisa Harrison

When Hector’s Casa opened in 1999, it was the closest thing to authentic Mexican dining that locals could experience. Today, it still offers the cheery décor, colourful seasonal outdoor patio, and popular menu items that regulars have come to expect. Six days a week, Hector Tisnado greets and serves customers and his wife Laurie prepares speciality items such as Chile Relleno. Available as an appetizer ($7.25) and entrée ($17.25), this dish is a labour of love requiring three hours of preparation. Laurie slow roasts the poblano peppers, skins them, removes the seeds, drains the hot juices, stuffs them with three types of cheese, dips them in egg whites, grills them on each side and serves them with tomato salsa and sour cream sauce. Fresh, in-house salsa and chips start off each meal giving customers time to choose from an extensive menu of Mexican classics including fajitas, enchiladas, chicken mole and chimichangas.

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1:49 PM

2911 Pandosy St., Kelowna, BC Mon–Fri from 12:00pm and Sat–Sun from 5:00pm 250.860.3868 Licensed


savour spots PENTICTON

VERNON

Iyara Thai Restaurant

New Delhi By Roslyne Buchanan By Roslyne Buchanan

When winter bites your toes, step into Iyara Thai Restaurant to beat the chill. Balance defines Thai cuisine as spicy, savoury, sweet and sour dance within a single dish, say owners Pat and Dao Amornpiyakrit. With just four years of restaurant experience for Pat in Vancouver after moving from Bangkok, the family took a risk in 2006 to open their Penticton restaurant. Based on the buzz of diners and emptied plates on a midweek evening, it was a great decision. The menu presents traditional Thai appetizers such as satay and springs rolls, salads, hot and sour soups, jasmine and coconut rice, and special combination platters. Prepared as spicy as you wish with homemade sauces, the stir-fries, array of curries, noodles and rice have a choice of meat, seafood, or veggie-tofu. Exotic beverages and creative desserts such as Muang Bean Custard evoke warm visions of Thailand and its street vendors. Menu items range from $4.25–$15.50 2985 Skaha Lake Rd., Penticton, BC Mon—Sat 11:30am–2:30 pm & 4:30pm–9:30pm Sun 4:30pm–9:30pm 250.770.9791 Licensed

Cheerful owners Jasbir and Balwinder Jammu welcome you into the warm paprika and turmeric décor that hints of the hearty feast ahead. Born in India, Jasbir studied in Sweden where his brother has a matching New Delhi restaurant. A perennial winner in Okanagan surveys for vegetarian and South Asian cuisine, New Delhi prides itself in fresh, bold flavours using healthy ingredients. New Delhi is a cosmopolitan city rich in multiculturalism. True to its namesake, this restaurant represents all regions of India. You will find curry and tandoori, samosa and pakora appetizers; lentil, vegetable or meat soups; saffron, basmati and biryani rice dishes; soft Indian naan bread and the crispy thin poppadom. Two can dine for $30. Fully licensed with Indian Hercules rum or Kingfisher and Raj beers available, the restaurant also features Okanagan wines from Sumac Ridge, Latitude Fifty, Calona Artist Series and Sawmill Creek. Take-out, catering and private meetings rooms offered. 2905 29 St., Vernon, BC Buffet special: Mon–Fri 11:00am–2:30pm Weekday dinner: Mon–Thurs 4:30pm–9:00pm Weekend hours: Fri 4:30pm–10:00pm; Sat 11:30am–10:00pm; Sun 4:00pm–9:00pm 250.545.6558 Licensed

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savour its

The Easy-Peasy Dinner Party

As winter looms before us, why not try hosting an easy-peasy dinner party? Something casual — try out a new recipe, consult your grocer, seek some wine advice, and set a pretty table.

Recipes for Every Month of the Year and More…

Made in Canada: A Collection of Recipes from Canada’s Junior Chefs

By Juliet Williams

Jon Garratt, junior board representative for the western region for the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCF) has a recipe suggestion for your next dinner party and for the next 18 months of year. Pick up the Canadian Junior Chefs Calendar. “We invited our junior chefs to submit their original recipes featuring regional tastes across Canada. We received 48 entries for 18 spots.”

Help Us Support Our Local Food Bank Feed the Valley is an innovative community partnership aimed at tackling hunger in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys.

If putting together a recipe calendar sounds simple to you than you’re not in the food business. Garratt explains. “Each dish had to be tested and tasted. Then of course, we required an experienced food stylist to prepare the food shots. Thankfully, Rod Butters, RauDZ Regional Table and fellow CCF member offered to help us out. He’s done an amazing job. The food shots are absolutely stunning.” The team from Spatula Media, Alison Love and David McIlvride added their expertise with photography and production of the 10,000 calendars to be distributed nationwide. The calendar’s mouth-watering recipes feature seasonal favourites such as prairie bison stew, grilled ocean perch, Dungeness crab bisque, and maple and birch syrup crème brûlée with a corresponding web address for each dish along with the chef’s bio and picture. “This was a colossal undertaking,” says Garratt with a tired grin. “Every calendar sold will benefit initiatives on behalf of our junior chefs and we are also proud to support the 2011 Bidvest World Chefs’ Tour Against Hunger hosted by the South African Chefs Association this August.”

All of the food collected and money raised in your community stays in your community. You can make a food or monetary donation at any Valley First branch or online at www.feedthevalley.ca.

www.feedthevalley.ca

Price $20 Available at: www.shopccfcc.ca Select retailers: Codfathers, Chef’s Edge, Canadian Restaurant Supply (CRS) Via email: juniordirector@okanaganchefs.com Photo contributed by Spatula Media


savour its

Get to Know Your Grocer:

Valoroso Foods By Roslyne Buchanan

With enthusiasm reminiscent of the Venetian explorer and trader Marco Polo, Joe Valoroso, his family and staff are eager to help their fellow Canadians discover the best of their Italian heritage. Their newly renovated Kelowna showroom mirrors the concept that Valoroso Foods is much more than a typical deli or grocery. It is a showcase of the Italian way of life. There is a traditional Italian stand up coffee bar and artful displays of cheese, pasta, oils and other fine Italian goods with sumptuous deli selections that are prepared daily. Valoroso serves as liaison to the best producers, top chefs and wineries from Italy. “We embrace the new era of knowledge of ingredients. Our role is to provide a constant revolution of new and exciting products,” says Joe. Claudia Valoroso, retail manager, notes that staff seminars are held every two to three weeks to ensure customers can count on timely advice. So, if you’re considering a dinner party, being on good terms with your grocer offers opportunities for practical suggestions, as well as the option of augmenting your menu with some flavourful ready-made dishes — Italian perhaps? Gourmet Shop and Deli 1467 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC Mon–Sat 9:00am–6:00pm 250.860.3631 www.valorosofoods.com

Serve the Perfect Wine

VQA Wine Information Centre

By Roslyne Buchanan

“I’m like a wine to English dictionary,” states the slogan on an apron worn by VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) store staff. Clearly, the mandate to take the confusion out of serving wine and to simplify food pairing is close to their heart. The Penticton VQA Wine Information Centre was the first retail store with the mandate to promote BC VQA wines. “Our employees are highly knowledgeable and love to work with customers to demystify wine,” says Laura Kowalchuk, general manager. Sold at winery prices, there are 90 VQA wines, wine glasses, racks and accessories, maps, magazines, cookbooks, gift baskets, paintings, posters and other wine-related products. Gourmet cheeses, vinegars, mustards, olives, and tasty spreads with an assortment of specialty crackers are on hand to fill an impromptu appetizer plate. To enhance your dinner party’s pizzazz the store offers thematic invitations, napkins, place cards and classy appetizer spoons. Specialty wine shops are a great resource for wine selections. Wine tastings are typically complimentary and staff are knowledgeable and eager to assist customers in choosing the appropriate varietal to match your dinner party menu. Penticton VQA Wine Information Centre 553 Railway St., Penticton, BC Winter hours: Mon–Sat 9:00am–6:00pm; Sun 9:00am–5:00pm 250.490.2006 www.pentictonwineinfo.com

PHOTO: SHAWN TALBOT

Metro Liquor Store 103–1180 Sunset Dr., Kelowna, BC (Next to Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar) Sun–Mon 11:00am–9:00pm; Tues–Thurs 11:00am–10:00pm & Fri–Sat 11:00am–11:00pm 250.979.1222 www.metroliquor.com Discover Wines 2080C Springfield Rd. (Orchard Plaza), Kelowna, BC Mon–Wed 10:00am–6:30pm; Thurs–Fri 10:00am–7:30pm & Sat 10:00am–6:00pm www.discoverwines.com

magazine • WINTER 2011

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Eat, Drink and Makeat theMerry

savour its

51st AnnuAl Vernon Winter Carnival This year’s theme is Cooking with Carnival Feb 4–13, 2011 There are many fun events including:

• The Jopo House Luncheon • “What’s Cooking” Dinner Theatre • and the Ukrainian Food Festival!

Come visit Vernon and experience Western Canada’s Largest Winter Festival www.vernonwintercarnival.com

kit.biz

kitchen design

consulting

contracting

millwork

Le Creuset dutch oven

Set a Pretty Table

Chef’s Edge By Roslyne Buchanan

It started with a gourmet club for Al and Diana Brooks, Chef’s Edge owners. Seven couples alternated as host with the responsibility to set the theme and supply the main course, with accompanying wine, beer or spirits. Planning a unique menu was a challenge and sourcing the tools to pull it off proficiently wasn’t always easy. So, over 20 years ago when Al got a buy out from his job, despite having two small children, the Brooks turned their hobby into their business. Today the store is chock-a-block full of quality cookware, knives, kitchen gadgets and presentation pieces that fulfill the demands of the professional to the amateur culinary enthusiasts. Enhance your dining room table with specialty cookware to highlight every course. Product knowledge is essential for all staff. “Pick a piece for its purpose,” counsels Al. His expertise is in knives. He teaches the skills of handling, chopping, carving, and sharpening knives — one of the most instrumental tools in the kitchen. Chef’s Edge is delighted that entertaining is at the forefront again and cooking is a hobby rather than a chore. 2445 Hwy. 97 N, Kelowna, BC Mon–Fri 9:00am–5:30pm Sat 9:30am–5:30pm 250.868.2425 www.chefsedge.ca

...for distinctive kitchens and miwork by Catherine O’Nei

GO oU uR rM mEeTt

102-1561 Sutherland, Kelowna | 250.712.1004 | www.kitbiz.ca


book reviews Book title:

By Lisa Harrison

Wine Feast: Eat, Drink & Discover BC Wine

Author: Troy and Cheryl-Lynn Townsin Published by: Polyglot Publishing Softcover Available: Mosaic Books and Chapters.indigo.ca

$26.95

Wine appreciation moves from the tasting room into the kitchen with Wine Feast: Eat, Drink & Discover BC Wine. With more than 120 wine-focused recipes, many of them created by BC’s best winery chefs and winemakers, this book is a connoisseur’s keepsake. Venturing far beyond a splash of generic red or white in sauces, the specific wines selected for these recipes make lively and often surprising contributions. The subtle strawberry aroma and smooth tannins of pinot noir enhance creamy butternut squash soup. Pinot noir also takes center stage in Summerhill’s Burned Lavender Chicken with Cherry Croissant Pudding by Chef Jesse Croy. Shallots, cherries, lavender flowers and wine create layers of flavour without being too floral; the cherry-studded pudding is as lovely as it is decadently rich! Township 7’s Porcini Risotto with gewürztraminer is satisfyingly earthy (no cream required). Mushroom lovers will also enjoy Blue Mountain’s Morel and Miso Sauce with pinot gris. In addition to recipes, authors Troy and Cheryl-Lynn Townsin provide readers with the essentials of wine touring, tasting and food pairing as well as profiles of the grape varieties grown throughout BC. The couple’s first book, Cooking with BC Wine, won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2005. Savour has sampled some of these delectable recipes on pages 62–65.

Book title:

Wisewoman’s Cookery: Food, Sex, Magic and Merriment

Authors: Shannon Loeber and Mary Elsie Edwards Published by: Shannamar Publishing House Softcover Available at Mosaic Books, Chapters.indigo.ca and Amazon.ca

$29.95

Noshing on a pastrami sandwich while making love, Seinfeld’s George Castanza tried unsuccessfully to combine his two favourite things: food and sex. Where George failed, Wisewoman’s Cookery: Food, Sex, Magic and Merriment succeeds with sensual abandon. Drizzled, inhaled, massaged and consumed: fruits, herbs and oils unleash their aphrodisiac properties write Shannon Loeber and Mary Elsie Edwards. Revealing the erotic secrets of seductresses throughout the ages, the authors blend flavours, aromas, science and psychology into recipes for great sex. Cinnamon, the sacred spice of Aphrodite, invites caresses with sweet Cinnamon & Almond Oil. When Isolde, an Irish shaman, fell in love with her patient, Tristan, she brewed a love potion containing nutmeg, cinnamon and whisky. Loeber and Edwards reassemble her enchanting ingredients in their delicious Love Potion Pears. Rose petals, perhaps the secret to Josephine’s intoxicating hold on Napoleon, are a fragrant addition to strawberry syrup, which is suggested for pouring on French toast, ice cream, and anywhere else . . . . Basil, thyme and other herbs impart their healthy and amorous effects in hearty recipes such as a Buns of Desire and Savory Sage Stuffing. Artwork reproductions and tantalizing photographs including “folklore erotica” make this an inspiring gift for adventurous lovers with delicious desires. magazine • WINTER 2011

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recipes

savour in the new year

54

magazine • WINTER 2011


Baby Beet & Fromage Frais Salad

By Chef Roger Sleiman

Serves 4 1 ½ lbs of assorted baby beets such as chiogga, golden and red 1 cup fromage frais (aka fromage blanc) salt & pepper to taste zest of one lemon micro lettuce or soft herbs such as chervil or Italian parsley

Raspberry Vinaigrette 1 cup raspberries 1 cup raspberry vinegar (Okanagan Vinegar Works) 4 tbsp honey ¼ tsp dry mustard 3 cups olive oil

Blend raspberries and vinegar then strain through a fine sieve. Add honey, salt and dry mustard powder. While whisking, slowly add the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste In a large pot cover beets with water and simmer until tender; strain. Using a cloth rub the skin off the beets; it should easily slough off. Cut the beets in half and set aside to cool. Mix the fromage frais with the lemon zest and season with salt to taste. In two separate bowls, one for the red beets and the other for the gold and chiogga, lightly toss with vinaigrette. Season both bowls with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve Colourfully arrange beets on one large dish. Drizzle with more raspberry vinaigrette. Spoon some fromage frais on top and arrange the soft herbs. *May substitute buffalo mozzarella, or goat cheese

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cover recipe

Roasted

Cornish Game Hen with Lemon, Herb & Potato Gnocchi By Chef Roger Sleiman

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magazine • WINTER 2011


cover recipe Serves 2 2 lb Cornish game hen 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika 1 tsp fresh rosemary (chopped) 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp sun dried black olives, sliced 1 tsp olive oil 2 cups brown chicken stock salt & freshly ground pepper to taste 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 cup butter

Split the hen into two halves and remove backbone. Mix together the paprika, rosemary, lemon zest and oil into a paste. Rub hen well and let marinate for at least four hours. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Gnocchi 2 lbs Yukon potatoes 1 egg 2¼ cups flour 2 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp sage & parsley (chopped)

Bake the potatoes with skin on. Let cool enough to handle but do not cool completely. Mash the potatoes using a ricer or food mill. Dust work surface with a little flour, make a well with the potatoes and add the egg, herbs and the flour. Knead together slowly until well mixed and cut into one-inch pieces. Bring water to a boil, blanch until pieces float, strain and cool on a tray. Heat a large frying pan and sear the hen in some oil and a little butter, skin side down, until golden. Flip over and place in 350°F oven for 15 minutes. When done, take out of frying pan and let rest. Separate breast from leg and remove breastbone. Drain some of the fat and return pan to the burner; deglaze with the lemon juice. Add brown chicken stock and scrape up any drippings. Reduce by half. Finish with a tablespoon of butter, olives and some freshly chopped parsley. Check seasoning.

Assembly Sauté gnocchi in some butter until lightly browned, place hen on top and finish with the chicken jus. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

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recipes

Wild Mushroom Soup

1 shallot 1 onion 2 cloves garlic 4 tbsp butter 1 lb button mushrooms ½ lb wild mushrooms (chanterelles, pines, morels etc.) or 1 packet dried forest mushroom mix 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 branch thyme 1 bay leaf 4 cups chicken broth 2 cups water dash Worcestershire sauce dash sherry dash sherry vinegar ½ cup whipping cream salt and pepper to taste

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magazine • WINTER 2011

By Joy Road Catering

Finely chop shallot, garlic and onion. Slice up all mushrooms (or re-hydrate dry in some boiling water). Melt butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and shallots until soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft and they begin to release their liquid. Add the thyme, soy, stock, water, Worcestershire and bay leaf. Allow the soup to simmer for about an hour, then remove approximately half and blend in a blender or with a hand blender. Add this back in and continue to cook for about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme, add cream, and season to taste with sherry, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bon appétit!


recipes Serves approximately 12

Dark

Crust

Chocolate Tart

By Joy Road Catering

1¾ cup pastry flour 1 cup confectioner’s sugar pinch of salt 1 cup of unsalted butter ¼ vanilla bean (seeds only) 2 egg yolks mixed with 1 tbsp milk

Place the flour, confectioner’s sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add cold ¼-inch cubes of butter and pulse a few times until the dough looks like cornmeal. Add the vanilla seeds and drizzle in the egg yolk mixture, pulsing the machine until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 2 lumps, and with parchment or cling film, flatten them in to ½-inch discs or squares. Chill for an hour or overnight. Roll the dough to about ¼ inch in thickness and line a removable-bottomed pan with the dough. Chill again for a minimum of 1 hour. If you bake it too soon it will shrink up. Line the shell with aluminum and beans to hold its shape, and bake at 375°F for approximately 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool the shell a little before adding the filling.

Filling ¾ cup whipping cream 6 tbsp half-and-half 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (we use lovely organic dark chocolate) 1 large egg

Lower the oven temperature to 250°F. Combine the creams in a pot and bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat. Chop the chocolate finely and evenly and place in a bowl. Pour the scalded cream over the chocolate and stir gently to melt. Allow to cool slightly and stir in the egg. Pour mixture into the tart shell and bake until just set. It should be gently jiggling in the centre. You can turn off the oven and leave it to fully set, or serve it molten. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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recipes

Honey Pork Belly with Braised Beans & Gem Squash

By Chef Stuart Klassen

Yields 6 servings 2 lb pork belly 2 cups navy beans 2 cups pork/beef stock ¼ cup honey (local & favorite flavor) 3 sprigs fresh thyme 3 oz red wine 2 tsp whole black pepper corns 1 medium onion 2 gem squash 2 cups vegetable stock (carrot, onion, celery, water) salt and pepper to taste 12 baby French beans ½ cup salt 2 quarts water

Pork Belly: To make brine, combine 1/2 cup salt, thyme, peppercorns and 2 quarts water. Bring to a simmer and cool. Then submerge whole pork belly in salt brine. Let sit refrigerated for 3 days. This will cure your pork. Remove pork belly from brine. Rub with honey, and slow cook in a 300°F oven for two hours. Cool. Cut into portion size (3-4oz per serving).Remove skin from pork belly (crisp skin in oven and use as a garnish if preferred). Sear fat side down in a hot pan and baste with more honey towards end of cooking. Heat thoroughly and serve. Beans: Soak beans in water in refrigerator for 24 hours. In sauce pot sauté onions until caramelized. Add red wine and any pork belly trim, diced. Add beans and pork/beef stock; simmer until beans are soft. Replenish liquid with pork/beef stock while cooking. Blanch French beans in salted water. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and serve. Peel gem squash and clean out seeds. Cut into large dice. In sauce pot, simmer squash and vegetable stock until squish is soft. Puree with a hand blender, and season with salt and white pepper. If gem squash is unavailable any hard squash will do.

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magazine • WINTER 2011


recipes Serves 6 to 8 1 side (1.5 lbs) Lois Lake steel head trout ¼ cup soya sauce ¼ cup maple syrup 3 ½ tbsp brown sugar 1 stalk lemon grass 2 tbsp sambal olek 5 medium size red beets 1 large red onion 4 cups red wine vinegar 3 sprigs fresh dill ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil micro arugula & watercress shoots for garnish 2 lemons 1 medium onion 1 cup ketchup ½ cup molasses

Steel head: Cut belly side off. Trim ends to ensure straight cuts. Remove pin bones but leave skin on. Place in pan. Marinade: Mix soya sauce, half of the brown sugar, half of the maple syrup, half of the sambal, and the lemon grass (split the stalks). Pour over steel head and let marinate in a fridge for 2-3 hours. Remove from pan. Place in a smoker and cold smoke for 3–4 hours. Remove skin; cut steel head in to square pieces (2–3 oz) sizes. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 325ºF for about five minutes, set aside and cool. Lemon BBQ: Cut lemons in half; place cut side down on hot grill/barbecue, until lemons are charred. Squeeze out all juice and pass through a fine sieve.

Smoked Lois Lake

Steel Head with Pickled Beet & Onion

& Charred Lemon BBQ sauce By Chef Stuart Klassen

In saucepan, sauté the diced onion. Add ¾ cup red wine vinegar, reduce by one third, add remaining brown sugar, maple syrup, and sambal. Add lemon juice, molasses and ketchup. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes; set aside & cool. Beet Salad: Cook whole beets in red wine vinegar and water half-to-half ratio until tender. Remove and cool. Peel beets and small dice. Dice red onion and cook in red wine vinegar. Remove and cool. Chop dill and add to cooled beets and onion, then add olive oil. Mix and season with salt and pepper.

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recipes

Serves 4 2 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp dried oregano 1 tbsp dried thyme 1 tbsp minced garlic 1 pinch cayenne pepper sea salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup unsalted butter ½ tsp wasabi paste 1 pinch ground cumin ¼ cup white wine ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (optional) 1½ lb sashimi grade tuna loin pickled ginger for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for later use. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, mix ¼ cup of butter with the wasabi paste, cumin, wine, vinegar and soy sauce. Allow the sauce to reduce and add the sesame seeds as it starts to thicken, about 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter and completely coat the tuna loin with the melted butter. Coat the tuna in the mixed spices.

Blackwood Lane

Ahi Tuna Featuring Blackwood 62

magazine • WINTER 2011

Lane Pinot Gris

WINE FEAST RECIPE

In a large non-stick pan over high heat, sear the tuna for approximately 45–60 seconds on each side. Do not overcook; tuna is best served rare. Slice the tuna loin into ¼ inch thick slices. Drizzle the sauce over the plated fish and garnish with some pickled ginger or herbs and thinly sliced vegetables.


recipes

OROFINO'S Harvest

Spaghetti Marinara

featuring Orofino Pinot Noir

WINE FEAST RECIPE

Serves 6–8 ¼ cup olive oil 1 large onion, diced 2 large ribs celery, diced 2 large carrots, diced 5 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tsp capers (optional) 10–15 medium tomatoes, diced 1 cup red wine 1 heaped tbsp sugar salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup chopped fresh basil 1½ lb spaghetti grated parmesan cheese to top flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, capers and tomatoes. After about 20 minutes, when the tomatoes have broken down and started to bubble, stir in the wine. Add the sugar along with salt and pepper to taste. Finally stir in the basil leaves. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend in batches. Return the sauce to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package. Serve topped with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese and garnished with some flat leaf parsley if desired.

magazine • WINTER 2011

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recipes

ISABELLA'S

Vanilla Cheesecake with a Fruit Wine Reduction

featuring Isabella Winery Raspberry Wine

WINE FEAST RECIPE

Serves 6–8 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs 1½ cups + 2 tbsp sugar ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ cup melted butter, cooled 2 lb cream cheese, at room temperature 2 tbsp all-purpose flour ¼ tsp salt ½ cup sour cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 large eggs, at room temperature 1½ cups sweet fruit wine ½ cinnamon stick zest from ¼ orange

Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly butter a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a bowl, stir together the crumbs, 2 tbsp of sugar, ground cinnamon and butter until well blended. Cover your hand with plastic wrap to form a glove, and evenly and firmly press the crumbs over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes or until it is golden brown. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. While the crust is baking, start preparing the filling. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, flour and salt, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add 1¼ cups sugar, sour cream and vanilla and continue beating until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the prepared pan, spreading the mixture evenly. Bake for about 70 minutes, until the filling is just set (it will still be a little loose in the centre). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. To make the sauce, combine the wine and remaining ¼ cup of sugar, cinnamon stick and zest in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat to high and reduce to ¾ cup. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Remove the zest and cinnamon stick and discard. Allow the sauce to cool. To serve, run a knife around the pan sides to loosed the cake. Release the pan sides, then cut the cake into slices and spoon the fruit wine reduction sauce over each slice. You may also like to top the cake with some fresh fruit.

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magazine • WINTER 2011


recipes

HOUSE OF ROSE

Winter Fruit Compote

featuring House of Rose Chardonnay WINE FEAST RECIPE

Serves 6–8 8 dried figs or dates 8 pitted prunes 8 dried apricots ½ cup seedless raisins 1 cup unsweetened apple juice 1 cup Chardonnay 1 cup water ¼ cup sugar 1 tsp grated lemon zest 2 tsp grated orange zest 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges 2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

Place the dried fruit in a small bowl and cover with apple juice. Allow the fruit to soak for 30–60 minutes. In a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, combine the wine, water, sugar and zests. Stir well and bring to boil. Add the pre-soaked fruit and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apples, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pears, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat, cover and for the best results allow to stand at room temperature for about 2 hours. This dish can be served on its own, but it’s also delicious with vanilla ice cream, gingerbread or lemon pound cake.

magazine • WINTER 2011

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recipes

and to

Drink...

Gourmet Shopping Codfathers Seafood Market

IL Vecchio Delicatessen

Chef Roger Sleiman

2355 Gordon Dr., Kelowna, BC

315 Robinson St., Penticton, BC

Winner of the Canadian Wine Awards 2010 BC, the 2009 Quails' Gate Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with this dish.

Phone: 250.763.3474

Phone: 250.492.7610

Cresendo

L & D Meats & Deli

311 First St. W, Revelstoke, BC

2365 Gordon Dr., Kelowna, BC

Phone: 250.837.6552 cresendocanada.com

Phone: 250.717.1997

Baby Beet & Fromage Frais Salad

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Lemon, Herb & Potato Gnocchi Chef Roger Sleiman

This is one of Chef Roger Sleiman’s favourites and he keeps it on the menu nearly year round. His recommendation is the 2008 Quails' Gate Chardonnay.

Wild Mushroom Soup Joy Road Catering

We love this hearty, heart warming soup paired with a local Pinot Noir. We recommend the 2008 Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir with its rich aromas and flavours of dark cherries, raspberries, plum and spice.

Unique vinegars and outstanding oils come direct from our hand picked manufacturers, who have extensive experience and then bottled in barrels.

Culinary Inspirations

Dark Chocolate Tart

70 McLeod St., Salmon Arm, BC

Try the 2008 Quail’s Gate Fortified Vintage Foch with this wonderful dessert.

250-832-1585 culinaryinspirations.ca

Joy Road Catering

For a complete tasting note refer to page 33.

Honey Pork Belly with Braised Beans and Gem Squash Chef Stuart Klassen

Discover Wines 2080C Springfield Rd., Kelowna, BC

Rich aromatics of ripe cherries, blackberry, roasted coffee, and cocoa make the 2008 Young & Wise Collection Syrah a winner with this recipe.

Phone: 250.868.3990 discoverwines.com

Smoked Lois Lake Steel Head with Pickled Beet & Onion & Charred Lemon BBQ sauce

Dolci Deli

Try this dish with a clean crisp 2009 Gewürztraminer from Wild Goose Vineyards. You will not be disappointed!

Phone: 250.495.6807

Chef Stuart Klassen

Blackwood Lane Ahi Tuna WINE FEAST

Pair with a wine with fragrant floral and citrus highlights, like the 2008 Blackwood Lane Vicuna Blanca with Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chenin Blanc and Gewürztraminer. Pairs with fresh salads and simple seafood dishes.

Orofino’s Harvest Spaghetti Marinara WINE FEAST

8710 Main St., Osoyoos, BC

Dolci Deli & Catering is a vibrant main street business serving Osoyoos, BC with killer lattes, inexpensive, quick lunches and fine grocery products. Part café, breakfast stop and licensed neighbourhood deli, Dolci is also an established full service catering company.

Brilliant with 2007 Orofino’s Pinot Noir. Delicious, hearty comfort food!

East Indian Meat Shop

Isabella’s Vanilla Cheesecake with a Fruit Wine Reduction

Phone: 250.495.4894

WINE FEAST

From the Wine Feast Cookbook, authors Troy and Cheryl-Lynn Townsin pair with Isabella Winery’s Raspberry Wine. Although raspberry wine was the first choice for this recipe, you can also substitute any other sweet fruit wine. For instance, Forbidden Fruit Winery’s Cerise d'Eve Cherry Port makes an unbeatable combination. House of Rose Winter Fruit Compote WINE FEAST This is beautifully paired with the House of Rose Chardonnay.

10475 Hwy. 97, Osoyoos, BC

The East Indian Meat Market features Fish Pakora, Chicken Pakora, Tandoori Chicken, Meat Pickles, Marinated Chicken and Meat Curry. The East Indian Meat Shop suggests the fish or chicken pakoras for appetizers; then some marinated specialties.

Okanagan Grocery Artisan Bread Bakery 2355 Gordon Dr., Kelowna, BC

Phone: 250.862.2811

Simply Delicious Natural & Gourmet Grocer 3419 31 Ave., Vernon, BC

250.542.7500

The Bench Market 368 Vancouver Ave., Penticton, BC

Telephone: 250.492.2222 thebenchmarket.com

The Market @ Spirit Ridge 1200 Rancher Creek Rd., Osoyoos, BC

Phone: 250.495.4660 www.spiritridge.ca

Valoroso Foods 1467 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC

Phone: 250.860.3631

Victoria Rd Deli & Bistro 108-13615 Victoria Rd. N, Summerland, BC

Phone: 250.583.9343 victoriard.com/deli.html The Victoria Rd Deli carries a large variety of gourmet local and imported cheeses, meats and grocery items.

Vinegar Works 10216 Gould Ave., Summerland, BC

Tel: 250.494.7300 vinegarworks.com


B.C.

BE THERE as eight Gold Medal winning chefs from across the country compete in three thrilling and gruelling challenges: Mystery Wine Pairing Competition – February 18, Hotel Eldorado Black Box Competition – February 19, Okanagan College Grand Finale Competition – February 19, Delta Grand Okanagan SAVOUR each chef’s competition dishes with superb select wines EXPLORE Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley CELEBRATE the crowning of Canada’s Best Chef for 2011!

Order your tickets today www.goldmedalplates.com 1-877-255-0707


The New Definition of Retirement! Make an appointment today to get your retirement plans on the right track!

www.valleyfirst.com

A DIVISION OF FIRST WEST CREDIT UNION

Savour Magazine Winter 2011  

Savour Magazine setting the standard for superior editorial coverage of the BC wine and culinary scene!

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