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