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Your guide to the ultimate OK foodie road trip. Make sure you hit the road hungry.
Edmonton native Jennifer Cockrall-King not only lives in the Okanagan, she actually wrote the book on where to suss out the area’s bounty: last year’s Food Artisans of the Okanagan. We asked the author and food activist to plot her perfect road trip from her Naramata home base south to the U.S. border (with a little jaunt to Summerland thrown in)—here are her picks.
This is the second—and only other location—of this Cowichan Bay bread-shop institution. Apart from the organic Red Fife or rye loaves made from grains grown in the North Okanagan, European pastries and coffee round out this Summerland café experience.
This is the absolutely brand-new spot from Bradley Clease, the chef who created the Vanilla Pod back when it was in Summerland. (It’s now at Poplar Grove winery.) It’s going to be all about handmade everything, from stock to hot sauce, and on his reputation alone, I’m stopping here.
Pork hock and foie gras terrine with pickled rhubarb and apple mustard—this is what happens when you let Montreal chef Simon Bouchard loose among Okanagan ingredients.
Sure, stop at the winery tasting room. But then hoof it over to the produce shop. Over 40 varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown right here on this third-generation (soon to be fourth) certified organic farm atop McIntyre Bluff. They’re known for their tomatoes, onions and peppers.
Who knew the best real BBQ in the Valley would come from a mobile shack in Lion’s Park, a public park in Oliver? Cash only. No diet sodas. Pulled-pork heaven.
This is a grand winery dining room experience but without the fuss. Chef Jeff Van Geest’s handmade Italian farm-to-table pastas, pizzas and elegant plates strike a perfect tone with Okanagan flavours as they peak.
A new partnership in 2017 with Hester Creek and restaurateurs chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao means a dynamite Sunday brunch and, better yet, a delicious happy hour with local spirits, craft beers and wines.
A brand-new tasting room in 2017 means more room to sprawl on the JoieFarm Winery lawn whileeating a wood-fired seasonally dressed pizza with a glass of rosé in hand and watching—or playing—bocce.
I like to spend my Saturday mornings with 50 Okanagan and Similkameen organic farmers, food producers and chefs. Must-stops are Honest Food Farm for incredible veg, Joy Road Catering for a rustic loaf and a cherry galette, and Nummers! for a plum-compote-filled Berliner doughnut.
It’s a pocket-sized Parisian room with the menu on a blackboard and interesting international wine selections. Duck confit, orecchiette with lamb merguez, and crepes are the ways to go.
Because sometimes you just need a flight of soup and the best grilled cheese sandwich in the land. Chef-owner Paul Cecconi’s menu is all about just doing a few comfort foods right, like his chicken tortilla soup or the smoked salmon-potato salad.
Simply put, chef James Holmes has created a perfect foodie hangout for the local food and wine (and beer and spirit) crowd with his daily tacos, very addictive Okanagan hot pickled chicken and “apple fries” poutine.
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