Chef sizzles at hot sauce contest

Chef Bernard Casavant from the Wild Apple Restaurant at Manteo wins best overall hot sauce at Similkameen Pepper Festival

Simon Cecconi

Simon Cecconi

The 11th annual Similkameen Pepper Festival was held Sept. 15 in Keremeos and it was a sizzler. The winner of the first annual Hot Sauce Competition for Best Overall submission and newly crowned hottest chef in the valley is chef Bernard Casavant from the Wild Apple Restaurant at Manteo. He won a gift certificate at Kelowna’s new Urban Fare as well as a contract with them to retail his hot sauce in store for a year.

Winners in other categories were: Best Red Sauce: Bernard Casavant; Best Green Sauce: Louise Devaux; Best Special Sauce: chef Paul Cecconi, Local Lounge * Grille in Summerland. Don’t miss this fun event next year.

In the mood for a good old-fashioned harvest dance? The East Kelowna Hall is the place to be on Oct. 13 for a foot stomping, line dancing party — farmer style. This hall is in the community I grew up in and holds special memories for my family — my parents even had their wedding reception there. Memories from childhood include harvest celebrations.

Tickets are $25 each with all proceeds going back into the restoration of the hall. Come and enjoy the fun and celebrate the real harvest with the farming community. There will be a full bar and line dancing lessons too. Starts at 7 p.m. — dinner at McCulloch Station or the Bunkhouse prior would be a fun idea. Tickets are available at the KLO General Store next door — save by booking a group of 10 for $20 each. Yay for East Kelowna!

From cowboy fun to sexy chic, I can’t wait for this vodka and caviar affair hosted by Okanagan Spirits with Codfathers Seafood Market on Oct. 4. Jon Crofts and his team of talented chefs from Codfathers Kelowna will be on hand to present a luxurious, gorgeous menu including:

n Fresh B.C. Oysters, Mignonette Fizz, Organic Hot Sauce “Caviar”, Preserved Meyer Lemon Foam;

n Northumberland Strait Lobster Bisque, Lobster Tortellini;

n Northern Divine Sturgeon Caviar with Crisp Artisan Potato Bread, Creme Fraiche, Shallot, Chives.

Each is complimented by Okanagan Spirits cocktails and neat vodka tasting.

Tickets for A Taste of Luxury are $75 each and can be purchased by phone: 1-778-484-5174 or by visiting either of the Okanagan Spirits Distillery shops in Kelowna and Vernon.

Are you a fan of scotch as well as a wine lover? This is the event for you. The Hopscotch Festival is back in Kelowna for its fourth consecutive year. Sip, sample, taste and learn about so many different products in the area of scotch (and all other) whisky, premium beer, spirits (vodka, tequila, gin, rum, etc.), and wine too. A total of 3,200 people attended each of the past years. From 20-year-old scotch whisky to frozen margaritas and craft beer from all over B.C., this sounds fantastic. Visit to purchase tickets. This is a two-day event: Sept. 28-29 at the Kelowna Curling Rink.




Jennifer Schell is the editor of B.C. Food and Wine Trails magazine.