Two Penticton chefs make the perfect guides to the Okanagan’s terroir for a national television audience.
“Our concept is cuisine du terroir, which means food of the earth, of a region. Every question that we ask has to relate back to that concept,” said Ewart. “We source everything from our local farmers, from garlic, onions and it all the building blocks of our food. It comes from all of our local growers.”
Their mission statement fit exactly the concept of the television program. It is a visual and culinary delight and the 10-part series features masterful field-to-table feasts by acclaimed chefs in St. John’s, the Okanagan, Niagara region, Montreal, Tofino, Prince Edward County, Saskatoon, Calgary, Cambridge and Sherbooke. The Joy Road Catering episode is a celebration of the riches the Okanagan offers in food and wine, and it’s as much a travel show as it is a food show highlighting the region.
Ewart and Smith came to Penticton about six years ago on a mountain biking trip and fell in love with everything it had to offer, including the close relationship that can be built with local farmers.
Every chef dreams of sourcing their own ingredients just outside their back door. In the local chefs’ episode they are quick to point out how they are spoiled with such a great farmer’s market. Ewart said whether you are a professional chef or a home cook, the farmers market is an amazing way to get inspiration for what to put on your plate. Being able to talk to the farmers about their food can provide you with ideas of how and what to make with the fresh produce.
“It gives you a real appreciation for the ingredients you have to work with, the wine you have to work with and the availability we have to local produce here, which is unbelievable,” agreed Cameron. “It is a passion for these farmers, not just a financial interaction and I think it comes through in the quality of the produce they sell and you don’t see that at a lot of places. That is what is so unique about our farmers’ market and dealing directly with the producer, it’s like you can buy a piece of furniture directly from the guy who made it as opposed to going to Ikea.”
Having not seen the episode, the chefs were shocked to hear they looked so comfortable in front of the camera.
“I think they did a good job of editing,” joked Smith.
More likely it is the passion the chefs have for the area, the bounty it produces and what their jobs are that makes it so easy to talk about. It is one of the reasons why Joy Road Catering was chosen for The Chef’s Domain series.