The summer so far has been a flurry of gorgeous and delicious events.
Outstanding in the Field in August was, well, simply outstanding. Hosted by Covert Farms in Oliver, the famous outstanding long table was set in the middle of a mustard field. Surrounded by a sea of yellow sunlit flowers drifting into sunset, the majestic mountainscape’s glow dimmed as we dined on outrageously good food al fresco — surreal seems to be the best word to describe the meal.
Founder Jim Denevan and his merry band of outstanding folks travel around the world setting their table in the most remarkable settings. Their mandate is to promote the farmers, or rather, “star-mers” as they are now being referred to. You know, those incredibly hard working people that you see at the farmers markets and fruit stands — the ones that grow and create healthy food for us to survive on. Joy Road Catering (the poster couple for locavorian living) created the meal from ingredients from the Covert’s organic fields surrounding us and it was heavenly. Don’t miss it next year! Keep posted on their website www.outstandinginthefield.com.
Another fabulous event last month was the annual 1.6 Mile Dinner at Orofino Winery in the Similkameen. Those who know me know how I gush about this incredibly special region. The organic food (did you know that Cawston is the organic capital of Canada?), the award-winning wines and then most importantly, the beautiful, evolved, passionate humans that live there and create food and wine to share with us. John and Virginia Weber are two of those humans and they host this event each year celebrating a meal that is created literally from soil in a 1.6 mile radius from their winery. Down to the almonds, which come from their beautiful trees on the property, this dinner is a celebration of what is possible and what should be aspired to in this breadbasket that we live in. It is an example of people working together to create a delicious, gourmet meal from the produce and craftsmanship in your community. The Similkameen people live by example, they represent who we CAN be as a food and wine community and destination. For more info visit www.orofinowinery.com.
If you have not had the chance to experience Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart of Joy Road’s exceptional cuisine – you can still book into their dinner series that takes place up on God’s Mountain. See their website for details www.joyroadcatering.com.
The Similkameen Pepper Festival is coming up on Sept.15 and this year they are hosting a valley wide Hot Sauce contest. Details to follow in my next column — you could be named the hottest in the valley! Visit www.ttpsoftware.com/sizzlesite. Other events coming up include the third Annual Garlic Festival on Aug. 19. Hosted by the Grindrod Recreation Association at the Grindrod Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be, of course, local garlic and produce plus local artisans, garlic contests, live music and kids’ entertainment all day. Grindrod is absolutely stunning and full of beautiful farms, I can’t wait to celebrate this beloved stinky bulb with them.
Jennifer Schell is the editor of B.C. Food and Wine Trails magazine.