The idea of showcasing the South Okanagan’s best and freshest was hatched on a car dashboard under the glare of the Osoyoos midday sun.
Admittedly a little abstract, Brianne Hearle of Destination Osoyoos decided to put together a series of short videos featuring some of the region’s top chefs incorporating the field-to-table theme after she successfully baked some cookies in her car one hot summer day.
“It’s kind of an unusual story. I had done a video for social media the year prior to demonstrate how hot it gets here and I baked cookies in a car and it went so viral,” said Hearle. “When we started talking about it (cooking series) we thought because of all the farm-fresh produce and the great chefs it would be really incredible to have something to show that off.”
With that in mind, it was decided to contact some of the best chefs throughout the region and put them to the creative edible task of producing some really good eats from the valley’s bountiful in-season harvests.
The actual work to produce the videos was entrusted to Erick Thompson of the Summerland-based ET2Media and Andrew Jakubeit of Groove-V Production of Penticton.
Each participating chef was required to go to the farm where the ingredients were raised and footage was taken of them interacting and selecting what they planned to use.
“This is such a great place for chefs and we hear that all the time because of how fresh all the ingredients are,” said Hearle. “It’s so inspiring for them, it’s sort of like a kid in a candy store.
“We’ve noticed we’re getting a lot of foodie tourists as the number of talented chefs in the area increases. As big as the wine is, people will travel for food, and having the combination of food and wine only makes us more desirable.”
She added with increasing importance to the general public on organic and free-range farms, the field-to-table concept has become more than just a fad.
“It’s one thing to say on the menu that your ingredients are locally sourced, but to see a video that shows where the chefs are going to select the produce, that the chef actually knows the farmer, is paramount,” said Hearle. “I really think people’s palettes are becoming more educated.”
For her own culinary challenge, which will obviously have to wait until next summer, Hearle plans to tackle auto-baked bacon and eggs with croissant.
To see the car-cooked chocolate cookie and this summer’s other videos visit https://www.facebook.com/DestinationOsoyoos.