Taking it slow in the Thompson Okanagan

At Market of Taste crowd gathers at Davison Orchards and The Village Cheese Company booths

At Market of Taste crowd gathers at Davison Orchards and The Village Cheese Company booths

As if on cue, cooler spring days gave way to warmth in Osoyoos for the Slow Food Thompson Okanagan second annual Market of Taste. The warmth went beyond the Okanagan sun to the cheerful chatter and embraces as volunteers and vendors gathered to set up a farmer’s market-style street fair.

It was staged on Main Street in front of Watermark Beach Resort and the allure of local treats such as honey, preserves and baked goods, produce from farms and foraging, fresh fish swimming just hours previously, and tantalizing grilled meats captured casual visitors as well as those who travelled purposefully for the event. Live entertainment by talented BC musicians punctuated the celebration of products that personify the Slow Food mantra. The joy was palpable as folks perused the tables of “good, clean, fair” goods that taste good, are grown and/or produced cleanly, that the farmer is paid fairly and are indicative of our region.

Vendors for the Market of Taste paid $20 per table to display and/or sell products from 1 to 4 pm, May 18. Participating in 2014 were:

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Author Jennifer Cockrall-King, Taryn Boyd of Touchwood Editions, and local writer Jeannette Montgomery of M Gallery Books discuss the latest Canadian culinary books

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Larry Moran of Roots, Fruits & Fungi discusses foraging

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Jon Crofts, Codfathers Seafood Market, displays local Arctic Char

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The chefs from Farm 2 Chefs prepare lamb sausage from the fine meats of Dominion Creek Ranch

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Raina of Lutz Nutrition offers samples of Kombucha

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It was an opportunity to not only bring together regional supporters of Slow Food but to welcome the general public to learn more about the movement.

Author Jennifer Cockrall-King, Curtis Stone of Green City Acres and Tarynn Parker of The Field Guide take time for a visit

Author Jennifer Cockrall-King, Curtis Stone of Green City Acres and Tarynn Parker of The Field Guide take time for a visit

Next up from 3 to 6 pm, the conference area of Watermark was transposed into a Wine Garden where guests could purchase tokens to sample the latest vintages from a talented group of wineries, cideries and distillers. While the inside venue offered a welcomed respite from the heat of the afternoon, the warm vibe of the festivities continued.

This year’s Wine Garden purveyors included:

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Slow Food volunteer Carolynn sells tickets in the Wine Garden

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Mia Papadopoulos along with her Mother learn from Ann all about the Sperling Vineyards wines.

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KC Mapoles, Assistant Winemaker, at Covert Farms displays the latest vintage.

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Sara Triggs offers Leanne Pawluk (Slow Food volunteer) a taste from Culmina Family Estate Winery while in the background Sara Harker of Rustic Roots Winery discusses latest vintages.

The hallmark event and main fundraiser for Slow Food Thompson Okanagan, for which $75 tickets were purchased in advance to nail down catering numbers, was a Slow Food Interactive Chefs-and-Winemakers Dinner starting at 7 pm. Guests roamed the room to the featured food and wine stations that showcased Okanagan chefs, wineries and local products. The regional chefs and wineries that donated their time, expertise and passion created a sensory escapade of the Thompson Okanagan.

Participating Chef Stations:

The food paired beautifully with selections such as Black Hills Estate Winery, Calliope Wine, Crannog Ales, Culmina Family Estate Winery, and Upper Bench Winery & Creamery. Think delicious and out of the ordinary such as Handmade Nettle Orecchiette, Morel Mushroom, Pork and Spruce Tip Sausage. Perhaps Covert Farms Heirloom Beets, Smoked Ricotta Cheese, Maple Hill Farms Chicken Skin, Preserved Strawberry, Hazelnuts, Lavender Wildflower Honey, and Greens. Imagine Mushroom Ravioli, Rosebank Farm Chicken Meatballs, Covert’s Arugula Pesto. How about decorative spoon servings of Northern Okanagan Lamb from Dominion Creek Ranch with Gremolata Parsley Root Foam and Pickled Green Garlic? Savour Backyard Farm Italian Plum Braised Lamb Terrine on Heritage Mills Sourdough Brioche French Toast with Spiced Coronation Grape Jelly and garnished with Opal Basil and Chive Blossom. Contrast Upper Bench Creamery Grey Baby with Garden Herb & Violet Red Fife Wheat Crisps, House-made Prunes with Spruce Tip Honey, Local Spiced Walnuts, Sumac & Wild Juniper. Every sip and morsel was so creative and vibrant, a feast both for the eyes and the palate honouring the best of the region.

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At the Slow Food Interactive Chefs-and-Winemakers Dinner the room was abuzz with appreciation including guests such as Mayor Stu Wells and his wife Dr. Martha Collins.

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Handmade Nettle Orecchiette, Morel Mushroom, Pork and Spruce Tip Sausage.

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Covert Farms Heirloom Beets, Smoked Ricotta Cheese, Maple Hill Farms Chicken Skin, Preserved Strawberry, Hazelnuts, Lavender Wildflower Honey, and Greens.

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Preparing the Mushroom Ravioli, Rosebank Farm Chicken Meatballs, Covert’s Arugula Pesto.

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Northern Okanagan Lamb from Dominion Creek Ranch with Gremolata Parsley Root Foam and Pickled Green Garlic.

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Sharing a smile making Backyard Farm Italian Plum Braised Lamb Terrine on Heritage Mills Sourdough Brioche French Toast with Spiced Coronation Grape Jelly and garnished with Opal Basil and Chive Blossom.

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Upper Bench Creamery Grey Baby with Garden Herb & Violet Red Fife Wheat Crisps, House-made Prunes with Spruce Tip Honey, Local Spiced Walnuts, Sumac & Wild Juniper.

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Dana Ewart of Joy Road Catering displays the full sheets of Garden Herb & Violet Red Fife Wheat Crisps.

Additionally, Watermark provided Slow Food room rates at $50 per person based on double occupancy. Many artisan producers, Slow Food members and participants jumped at the chance to tarry awhile and catch up with colleagues and like minded individuals.

Slow Food is “a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and environment.” It has been active in regions across Canada for more than 10 years. Today, there are 1,000-plus members spanning the country.

To learn more about Slow Food Thompson Okanagan and find out about upcoming events and initiatives, see http://sfto.ca/ or www.facebook.com/SlowFoodThompsonOkanagan

Join Slow Food Thompson Okanagan to learn more about regional delicacies such as Okanagan Select Sockeye Salmon.

Join Slow Food Thompson Okanagan to learn more about regional delicacies such as Okanagan Select Sockeye Salmon.

Roslyne Buchanan

About Roslyne Buchanan

A freelance writer based above BC’s Naramata Bench, Roslyne Buchanan is a regular contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine and blog.hellobc.com. After retiring from The City of Calgary as communications strategist in environmental and safety management 2009, she returned to Penticton where her journalism career began as a Herald reporter/photographer. Even back then folks she met on her news beat commented she was like an official ambassador for the Okanagan. She is perpetually enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. She is convinced she has found the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences.

Her writing is supported by a proven track record of career progression and achievements in strategic marketing, communications, editing, media relations, event planning, relationship building, business development, fund development and supervisory leadership. She has worked in non-profit, educational, governmental, tourism, and private sectors. While not an army brat, her family moved across Canada while she was growing up and her parents taught her how to find the beauty in whatever location she finds herself. Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, she has lived in Crooked River and Regina, Saskatchewan; Fort Churchill and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Ottawa, Ontario; Hull, Quebec; Calgary and Olds, Alberta; and Nelson and Penticton, British Columbia. While Canadian by birth, she prides herself in having a global perspective and is thrilled when she gets the opportunity to travel to experience how the locals live and to learn about people, new things and vistas.

Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com and/or follow her on twitter @RozDB

One thought on “Taking it slow in the Thompson Okanagan

  1. Very nice article. Love it !!!

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