Chefs, wineries and film-makers brought their best game to South Okanagan’s Watermark Beach Resort last weekend
The second annual Devour! Osoyoos Food Film Fest had chefs and filmmakers vying for honours May 5 – 7 at the Watermark Beach Resort.
The event is modelled on the seven-year-old Devour! The Food Film Fest, founded by Wolfville, Nova Scotian chef Michael Howell. The original Devour takes over the town of Wolfville every fall and has launched events around the world. Osoyoos’ 2017 version was a weekend affair, all but one event held at the Watermark Beach Resort. On Friday, a cocktail party took place at Black Hills Estate Winery, with a backdrop of silent films. Saturday afternoon saw a lively Ocean Wise Chowder SmackDown. Saturday night’s Gala featured carefully curated short films preceding five inventive courses by five chefs – from Wolfville, Calgary, Vancouver and Osoyoos – with each film informing the contents of the plate, and each course paired with wines, mostly from the Okanagan. The festival concluded on Sunday with the Bubbles Brunch.
According to the judges’ panel, led by Ocean Wise Executive Chef, Ned Bell, the winner of Friday afternoon’s Chowder SmackDown was Witches’ Brew: A Celebration of Pea, Bacon and BC Sidestripe Shrimp, made by Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) chef Julian Bond and his students, from Ocean Wise sidestripe shrimp caught by trawl in BC.
The People’s Choice award went to Nova Scotia chef Michael Howell’s Finnan Haddie and Chorizo Chowder, made with Ocean Wise haddock caught by bottom longline in Canada’s Atlantic waters.
Saturday’s Gala turned out to be a star turn amidst stiff competition for Chef Paul Rogalski, of Calgary’s Rouge. Rogalski won over the audience with his smoked Okanagan Salmon on stinging nettle puree, birch bark syrup, juniper needle oil, spruce tip oil, rösti potato, watercress, Poplar Grove Camembert and pickled rhubarb. The best wine pairing was awarded to Rogalski’s dish served with Church & State Wines’ 2015 Chardonnay.
Hannah Cheesman’s short comic film, Cheese, was chosen as best film. It tells the story of an apparently shy young woman contending with a macho cheese merchant after she’s been assigned to buy cheeses for a discerning hostess’s dinner party. The film has won numerous awards and can be seen here: hannahcheesman.com/#/cheese.
“Devour! enjoyed Canada’s warmest welcome a second time at our encore festival in the South Okanagan,” said Michael Howell, Executive Director, Devour! The Food Film Fest. “We stirred up food, film and some of Canada’s best wines and hospitality into a successful and delicious weekend. This magnificent landscape is inspiring on myriad levels and we cannot wait to return in 2018 with an expanded 3rd edition of Devour! Osoyoos.”
“We are delighted to see the growing success of Devour! Osoyoos Food Film Fest,” said Kelley Glazer, Executive Director of Destination Osoyoos. “Osoyoos is easing into summer in May, so this is a wonderful time of year for people to visit the area. Devour’s unique focus on food-related films inspires chefs to create new dishes using local ingredients and products, and gives both them and the event’s guests lots to think and talk about all weekend long.”
About Devour! The Food Film Fest
Devour! The Food Film Fest is an international festival celebrating cinema, food and wine culture. The five-day festival takes place in the culinary epicentre of Nova Scotia – the town of Wolfville, Kings County. The festival is an experiential celebration of food on film, the culture of food and the dramatic impact it has on our day-to-day lives. In 2016, the festival made its first cross-country stopover in Okanagan’s wine country at Watermark Beach Resort to launch Devour! Osoyoos Food Film Fest. More information about the 2017 second annual event can be found here: destinationosoyoos.com/devour-osoyoos.