142790
146206
Okanagan-Taste

Fair food and top chefs

It’s not fall-fair season just yet, but there are a number of agricultural fairs and exhibitions coming up soon.

That means it’s time for fair food, chef competitions, and getting to know where your ingredients come from.

There is a handy calendar from the BC Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions, found at https://bcfairs.ca/, as well as info on the provincial Buy BC program that aims to educate foodies and fair goers on the importance of supporting your local farms.

Some fairs are large, some are small. Some have rodeos, some have loggers performing tricks, and a handful have unique contests:

  • Goat milking
  • Lawnmower racing
  • Rooster crowing
  • Llama costume contests
  • Zucchini races.

The Peachland Fall Fair celebrates 100 years this September, the Summerland event continues to grow, and the Grand Forks fair is a fun day trip to the edge of the Kootenays and back.

Rock Creek brings in 15,000 fairgoers, impressive for a town of 1,000, and a weekend getaway to Creston will get you to a fall fair feast.

Just before school starts and summer unofficially ends, and under two hours away, is the largest agricultural exhibition in the province. The Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong covers five days of family fun and mini-donuts.

For me, it’s my end of summer working vacation.

This year? Explore wacky food such as dill pickle lemonade, corn dog poutine, and bacon cheddar hush puppies. If you’ve never had a horse blanket or a hay stack, this is the year – the 120th IPE – to try these iconic bites.

And if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to compete as a chef, sign up for the popular Top Chef competition.

Home cooks will challenge other competitors in their age category to be judged and tasted by a panel of judges (me included).

It wouldn't be exciting without the mystery ingredients and crucial timeline that creates drama as the competitors create their culinary masterpieces.

Sign up here, and I’ll cheer you on: https://www.armstrongipe.com/IPE%20Top%20Chef/

UPCOMING EVENTS

Aug. 15 (and other dates), Summerland: The Lobster Dinner series takes place at Dirty Laundry Vineyard on Thursday evenings through August.

Aug. 16, Naramata: Join the winemakers at Roche for a dinner in their cellar with Chef Chris Van Hooydonk of Backyard Farm.

Aug. 16, Naramata: Tightrope Winery shows The Greatest Showman for movie night in the vineyard. 

Aug. 18, Kelowna: Garagistes North is a wine festival for the smaller producers. Hard to find gems, plus cider as well.

Aug. 18, Summerland: Visit Evolve Cellars to create a fabulous rustic sign to complement your home décor while enjoying a glass of wine and the view.

Aug. 24, Okanagan Falls: Noble Ridge hosts the West Coast Kids Cancer Foundation Concert, featuring performer wiL, to raise funds for a permanent facility to send kids to camp.

Aug. 25, Penticton: Head to Township 7 for SPCA Sip & Support. Food trucks, music, and meet some adoptable dogs.



146853


The great food truck face-off

Have you ever wondered, while enjoying a bite from your favourite food truck, “What wine would pair with this pulled pork perogy poutine?”

The answer may be revealed at the B.C. Wine and Food Truck Face-Off, taking place Aug.16 at the Okanagan Mission Community Hall.

This culinary-focused, wine-and-food pairing competition evening will feature local wineries paired with seven local food trucks for a festival-style tasting experience, highlighting a variety of different Okanagan wines and food truck small plates.

At the end of the night, guests will vote on their favourite pairing, and a winner will be awarded the title of Best Pairing.

“Approachability, intensity and fun are my objectives when I look at this food and wine pairing,” said sommelier Bram Bolwijn, who created the pairings to be revealed at the event.

“Each dish has its own character, and the key is to highlight that by selecting the right wine. I choose wines that complement a dish to make the wine and food better together than on their own.”

Participating food trucks include:

  • Rollie’s Roadhouse (home of perogy poutine)
  • The Deli Don,
  • Artisto Gelato
  • Street Eats
  • Inferno Woodfire Pizza,
  • Peter Ze German Streetfood
  • The Boneyard BBQ and Grilling.

Just a few of the participating wineries include:

  • The View Winery
  • Dirty Laundry Vineyard
  • House of Rose Winery
  • Indigenous World Winery
  • Sperling Vineyards,
  • Crescent Hill Winery
  • O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars.

Food truck culture is burgeoning in the Okanagan. Why not pair a dish from one with a glass of wine?

For more details, visit https://www.thewinefestivals.com/events/view_event/1901

UPCOMING EVENTS

Aug.8, Penticton: Chill’n For Summer is combo of shopping plus food and wine tastings in Downtown Penticton.

Aug. 8, Kelowna: Take in a Sunset Tasting with the winemaker at Tantalus.
https://tantalus.ca/collections/all-wines/products/summer-sunset-tasting-tantalus-event-ticket?variant=8016806117424

Aug. 10, Okanagan Falls: Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars hosts a Summer Social with live music, outdoor games, and bites from Joy Road Catering.

Aug. 10, Silver Star: The Mile High at SilverStar Mountain returns. Outdoor tastings, entertainment and more.

Aug. 11, Kelowna: Caldwell Heritage Farm hosts the 11th annual Okanagan Feast of Fields, a gourmet wandering picnic.

Aug. 16, Naramata: Join the winemakers at Roche for a dinner in their cellar with Chef Chris Van Hooydonk of Backyard Farm.

Aug. 17, Naramata: Chef Victoire Bongo hosts a Rosé Party in Pink at Bench D’Or estate.

Aug. 18, Summerland: Visit Evolve Cellars to create a fabulous rustic sign to complement your home décor while enjoying a glass of wine and the view.

Aug. 24, Okanagan Falls: Noble Ridge hosts the West Coast Kids Cancer Foundation Concert, featuring performer wiL, to raise funds for a permanent facility to send kids to camp.



There's an app for that

There are a lot of apps out there for tracking your wine purchases, your cellar, your tasting notes, and more.

And now, there’s one that has been developed close to home.

Now available for download, TasteAdvisor is a free app that allows users to track wine they have previously enjoyed and assists them in discovering new options that match their preferences.

With a database of more than 3,000 wines that is inclusive of every winery in British Columbia, the app is the first of its kind.

“We have all experienced the frustration of buying wine that doesn’t match our palates or missing out on a phenomenal winery or local wine event because we weren’t aware of it,” notes Alyssa Farr, founder and CEO of TasteAdvisor.

“Our team saw an opportunity to connect individuals to wines and wine experiences, in a way that is customized to them, and centralized in one location – their mobile phone.”

TasteAdvisor makes personalized wine recommendations based on flavour and focuses on regional wineries and events.

The platform allows Tasters to explore exciting categories of curated wine routes and collections that may interest them and to create their own custom routes and digital wine cellar inspired by their unique taste – all easily shareable to friends or social networks via the app.

For those in the business of wine, the app provides wineries with analytics on their Tasters to increase customer satisfaction and engagement.

“TasteAdvisor helps Tasters find more of what they like, while bringing wineries and wine business operators more of the right customers,” said Farr.

“As long-time wine lovers ourselves, we have a personal interest in seeing the B.C. wine industry continue to grow and thrive, and it’s our hope that TasteAdvisor will play a role in supporting that goal.”

Download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Visit TasteAdvisor.co for more information and to start creating your personal sensory profile, then see what it recommends for you.

Maybe you’ll  be surprised at what this technology suggests is best for your taste buds.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Aug. 6-18, Summerland: Visit Evolve Cellars to create a fabulous rustic sign to complement your home décor while enjoying a glass of wine and the view.

Aug. 8, Penticton: Chill’n For Summer is combo of shopping plus food and wine tastings in Downtown Penticton.

Aug. 8, Kelowna: Take in a Sunset Tasting with the winemaker at Tantalus.

Aug. 10, Okanagan Falls: Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars hosts a Summer Social with live music, outdoor games, and bites from Joy Road Catering.

Aug. 10, Silver Star: The Mile High at SilverStar Mountain returns. Outdoor tastings, entertainment and more.

Aug. 11, Kelowna: Caldwell Heritage Farm hosts the 11th annual Okanagan Feast of Fields, a gourmet wandering picnic.



145034


Summer sipping

We keep getting teased with reports that the hot hot weather is coming, and then wake up to grey skies and clouds threatening a downpour.

Perhaps some positive thinking is in order to push the clouds away and make sure an Okanagan summer actually comes to fruition.

In that spirit, here are a few beverage ideas to get you fully prepared for the heat, whenever it finally makes an appearance.

Gin and Tonic Slushy:

Quite simple to do. Throw ice in the blender, add your favourite gin, and some tonic syrup (not bubbly tonic), and blend. Add lemon or lime juice onto the mix, or crushed raspberries, or even some pink lemonade.

Port of Call:

Fill a short glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker — an ounce of dry gin, an ounce of Ruby port (or ruby-style port from your favourite Okanagan winery), lemon juice, a dash of cinnamon syrup, and a spoon of cranberry preserves. Shake and strain into the glass.

Spiked Dole Whip:

This is available at Disney resorts, or make at home. Whip together a couple of cups of frozen pineapple, a cup of whipped cream, a cup of pineapple juice, 2 jiggers of rum, a splash of lemon juice, and a bit of sugar to taste if desired.

Popsicles and Bubbly:

Try not to use a really expensive bottle of champagne (or, just go for it). Pour a white or rosé sparkling wine into wine glasses, then add a fruit popsicle (no dairy) to the glass. Dip and sip, or let the popsicle melt.

Sangria:

The standard summer punch. Change it up with different fruits. A stone fruit sangria is an idea choice for summer. A weighty, unoaked white wine such as a Viognier, a cup of Grand Marnier, fresh chopped mint, slices of apricots and peaches, and sugar syrup to taste. Feel free to add a neutral effervescent such as club soda.

A tall, cool cider or beer: need I say more?

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 25, Oliver: The Vineyard Kitchen at Black Hills begins its summer dinner series with Rhone Meets Morocco, Roussanne and Syrah paired with Moroccan cuisine, call 250-498-0666 to book.

July 25, Penticton: The BC VQA shop hosts Summerland’s TH Wines for a special tasting of small batch wines.

July 26 (and more), East Kelowna: Meadow Vista Farm Winery hosts a summer evening market on select Fridays till Aug. 23.

July 27, Okanagan Falls: celebrate the Tempranillo grape with a Tapas & Tempranillo party at Stag’s Hollow, join the winemaker for tastings of six different Tempranillos. 

July 27, Okanagan Falls: Book a spot at Wild Goose for a performance by Crystal Shawanda and a barbecue buffet.

July 28, Vernon: The BX Press cidery hosts a family-style brunch on their patio complete with live music, with two seatings to choose from.

July 28, Oliver: Enjoy the annual celebration of Paella, Wine, & Live Music at Quinta Ferreira.



More Okanagan Taste articles

145505
About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



141853
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories





136607