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Happy-Gourmand

Do you fancy farm-to-fork?

As the harvest comes in, events celebrating the bounty are in abundance.

We have had the pleasure of attending stellar events in the past, and this year was no exception.

Before the Fall Wine Fest started, we were treated to a beautiful wine paired dinner featuring tastes of the season, organized by Jennifer Cockrall-King, author of Food Artisans of the Okanagan.

There is no one better to do this than Joy Road Catering, pioneers of cuisine de terroir, that concept which takes simple seasonal and local ingredients and elevates them just by showcasing them at their peak.

Hosting the event was David Patterson, the winemaker at Tantalus Vineyards.This estate winery prides itself on growing grapes in a bio-diverse environment and them making wine in a sustainable and eco-friendly facility.

We enjoyed a chat with David as he toured us around the facility talking of their practices and the progress on this vintage, which seems to be shaping up nicely.

The four-course meal was delicious — the food paired with the wine perfectly, the sunset was spectacular and the company was interesting and enthusiastic.

After all, it's not every night I get to sample Alsatian "choucroute garni" (sauerkraut stew with cured pork and vegetables) while speaking French with a fellow foodie and blogger, and then discussing the finer points of wine with fellow sommeliers and winemakers.

It got me thinking, does farm-to-fork have to be fancy?

Local food from independent operators often costs more, and events are often dressed up.

Do we need that extra value to feel that our money is well spent?

I had farm fresh eggs this week, fried up on a camp stove with garden veggies and potatoes.

That version of farm-to-fork was just as spectacular as our fancy dinner. And it's not every day that I can have that meal, either.

Those vegetables don't grow in my garden all year, and picking the eggs from a friend's coop isn't something I get to do all the time.

Perhaps that uniqueness is part of what makes the meal taste so good and be so memorable.

Some of you by now are probably thinking, "that's all well and good for you, but I've got kids (or work, or something else) to take care of and I can't be spending my days picking fresh eggs and veggies or gallivanting around to fancy events all the time."

You're right. Neither can I.

My husband and I count ourselves as Iucky to be living here, and we try to respect the bounty by honouring it.

I suppose you could say that Thanksgiving is a year-long event at Rabbit Hollow.

This time of year there is much rejoicing as we take advantage, but even having a homemade chutney with meatloaf in the dead of winter is a way to bring back the fresh flavours of our region.

(Not to mention the wonderful B.C. wines, ciders, craft beers, spirits and even non-alcoholic juices that we have available!)

So please don't think that all this fancy talk of farm-to-fork or slow food or even being a foodie needs to be a snobbish, trendy thing.

Supporting a local farmer does mean you contribute to our community, and it also means you get fresh food.

I think that tastes better than not-so-fresh food, so why wouldn't I choose it? I respect the farmer's work (including me, in my own little garden) and I respect Mother Nature's efforts.

At the end of the day, We don't have to dress up ourselves or the food; I think what matters is that we value the connection to each other planet.

I believe that is what Julia Child meant when she said, "People who love to eat are always the best people."



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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