Dig ‘inn’ with Naramata's new chef

Farm-to-table fare on menu

"Farm-to-table” is now a such a familiar mantra at Okanagan eateries it’s almost odd to not see it as a phrase on a restaurant’s menu, website or latest Instagram story.

But for Chef Jacob Deacon-Evans, recently arrived at the Naramata Inn by way of the Similkameen, England, and – as a teenager – Naramata’s Robinson Road Bistro, for those who remember that spot, it’s just a part of the story he wants to share on the plate.

“Farm-to-table is not a soundbite for me, it’s genuinely important to me. We’re surrounded by nature and it’s important get it on the plate,” he explained during a recent chat. “I like showcasing the ingredients.

That’s why the menu was refreshed earlier this month; case in point, it’s asparagus season, therefore a tasty asparagus soup was a good choice to start lunch, with a side of freshly grilled ‘Dana’s’ sourdough bread. Dana being consummate hyper-local baker Dana Ewart.

“We are buying from people who abide by the campsite rule,” said Deacon-Evans. That rule being what you bring in, you take out, and hopefully leave things better than as you found them.

Planning more “tweaking than wholesale changes”, Deacon-Evans is getting his feet under him in this new role, stepping in for Chef Ned Bell, a well-known champion of sustainability and buying local.

Speaking of local, Deacon-Evans hopes that “tells the story of Naramata. So many people have had their stories told here. I met my wife here. I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with food here. And I want the ingredients to sing here.”

On the menu is brilliantly executed Catalan style Omelette that looks deceptively like a slightly puffed-up soufflé. Prepared by executive sous-chef Macià Bagur, the confit potatoes and sweet onions are the stars, bring local ingredients to the table with a Spanish flair.

While the Naramata Inn is at the end of a winding road dotted by wineries, distilleries, and cideries, the search for a sophisticated non-alcoholic version of a gin and tonic may just end here in this quirky village, with the Lumette! and tonic. You won’t miss the gin.

And you shouldn’t miss the apple fritter, served with a yogurt sorbet and sumac. Save some room for dessert.

Watch for dishes inspired by the garden—Deacon-Evans says he’s a gardener but not a full-fledged farmer—collaborative dinners and an occasional surprise or two.

The restaurant at the Naramata Inn is currently open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch or a long lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations can be made online.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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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]

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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