Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills.
The Similkameen is about to name a new Similkameen BBQ King or Queen at the annual Similkameen BBQ King event. On Saturday, July 11 from 5-9 p.m. at the historic Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos, chefs from the Okanagan and Similkameen will go head-to-head trying to earn the title.
“We invite you to enjoy an extraordinary evening with award-winning Similkameen wines and ciders and the distinguished chefs who are vying for the title of Similkameen BBQ King 2015,” said Caroline Cottrill, president of the Similkameen Wineries Association. “This truly unique Similkameen wine and food experience is a competition where our featured chefs will create unique dishes for you using organic ingredients from local farmers in the heart of Canada’s organic capital. Each chef receives an identical basket of ingredients, yet each chef prepares those ingredients into remarkably different dishes.”
The first hour of the event, from 5-6 p.m., will feature tastings from the Similkameen wineries and cidery. Then the competition begins.
“This year, we wanted to really showcase our local restaurants as well, so we added a second competition — a small bites competition. Each local chef competing in our small bites competition will also have a winery or cidery paired with them,” said Cottrill.
Similkameen BBQ King competing chefs are: Chris Boehm, Burger 55, Aden Clarke, Private Chef, Kevin Cooper, The Patio at NK’Mip Cellars, Jacob Gunn, Wrong Turn Tavern, Shayna Merritt, Shayna and Shulman Culinary Adventures, Natasha Schooten, The Grist Mill, Adair Scott, Watermark Beach Resort, Jeff Van Geest, Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek
Small bites competing chefs are: Rick from Benja Thai, Karl from the Branding Iron, Andrew from Tree to Me
After you enjoy each dish, you will get the opportunity to cast your vote for the best wine and food pairing of the night for both the Similkameen BBQ King competing chefs and the small bites competing chefs.
The event will feature two live entertainment areas. The main entertainment will be John Rousseau and Paul Henbury from The River Line. Hailing from Summerland, the duo play all original music. There will also be a second entertainment stage this year featuring local entertainers They Them Theirs and Wild Organic Humans.
“We have made some other great changes this year too. Something Blue Photography will be at the event with a fun photo booth featuring chef hats, BBQ gear and historic clothing from the Grist Mill so that our guests can create a special memory of the evening. We are also excited to feature the addition of local art at our Similkameen BBQ King. Our local Similkameen-based artists and members of the South Similkameen Arts Society add so much flavour and culture to our region and we are excited that a number of artists will have their art on display in a Similkameen art walk at the Grist Mill. Prepare to be amazed at their fabulous original creations,” said Cottrill.
There will also be a silent auction that is a partial fundraiser for the Grist Mill, which is a Heritage B.C. site.
“We are starting to get in some absolutely amazing prizes for our silent auction. We are thrilled to help raise funds and awareness for this beautiful facility in Keremeos,” said Cottrill.
Tickets are $90 and can be purchased at any of our member wineries, at the Keremeos Visitor Centre, the Grist Mill, Tree to Me or online at www.SimilkameenWine.com/events. Complimentary shuttles are available from throughout the Okanagan/Similkameen. Keremeos Taxi has also been hired to do continuous taxi runs to get local guests home safely.