All posts by cassandra

What’s Good This Week July 20 Edition

What To Do In And Around Vancouver Week – Living The Good Life in Vancouver

It’s a diverse city we live in and this week you’ll find everything from people dressed to the nines at the race track for Deighton Cup (see you there!) to folks consuming more meat in an afternoon than some do in a year at Brewery And The Beast! There’s an Italian Market, Cocktail Crawls, and Brunch to be had too. Get out there and celebrate summer.

mercato 2017 2

Italian Market at the Italian Cultural Center

Local organic and artisan products and tastes of Italy collide! Shop for fresh fruit and vegetables, handmade products from local artisans and delicious food prepared by Il Centro’s chef. Food trucks in attendance too! The MERCATO will run also on August 18, and November 24, from 5:00pm to 9.00pm.  Il Centro

deighton

Deighton Cup July 22

We’re getting pretty damn excited about this one and can’t wait to sip a Julep or two and bet on the races! For $75

  • Daytime derby racing – Eight adrenaline pumping horseraces to enjoy & bet on
  • A delectable lunch freshly prepared by some of Vancouver’s finest chefs
  • The chance to be named The Style Stakes “Best Dressed” and have your name engraved on The Deighton Cup
  • Interactive leisure sports, picnic area, cigar lounge, live + DJ entertainment
  • Musical live entertainment TICKETS

daiquiri3

Pride Crawl Fundraiser

Through August 6, dozens of bars and restaurants across Vancouver will shake up an array of signature cocktails in celebration of the inaugural Pride Crawl Fundraiser in support of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.

Throughout the 24-day event, participating establishments will be showing their support by offering Pride-themed cocktails with partial proceeds from the sale of each drink donated directly to the Dr. Peter Centre, a facility in Vancouver’s West End that provides services for British Columbians who face poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addictions and social isolation.

pig

Brewery and The Beast

TICKETS ARE NOW SOLD OUT
  • $99.95 + tax
  • 2 tickets per person purchase limit
  • Live music from the Electric Timber Co. with Special Guests.
  • Tickets are inclusive of all food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • 10 beverage tokens are included with purchase of an event ticket. Beverages are poured as follows: Beer — 12oz, Cider — 6oz, Wine — 3oz. (this is due to a recent policy change by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch of BC).

    beets

    Seeking taste testers! Golden beet tasting event at this week’s Farmers Market

    The UBC Farm is the mother farm for the BC Seed Trials project. Where FarmFolkCityFolk, the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, and variety trial experts research and conserve vegetable varieties that are optimized for our region’s farms. Arguably, the most fun component of this research is taste testing.

    Saturday July 22 you can become a beet judge on the spot, by filling in scorecards for a blind taste testing of the Farm’s very own golden beet varieties. Can you tell one apart from another? Let us know which ones performed best, just look out for our activities stall at the Farmers Market! Find out more about this event herebrunch

    Brunch Affair In The Shipyards

    Brunch Affair is taking over The Pipe Shop @ the Shipyards in Lonsdale on July 22, 2017. Enjoy amazing food, mimosas, live music and more! The Pipe Shop at the Shipyards, 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Brunch Affair is the perfect celebration for every music loving, breakfast savvy, mimosa enthusiast! Come celebrate and enjoy everyone’s favourite meal of the day while enjoying the best views of Vancouver!

    Weekend early-birds and late-risers alike will enjoy a variety of food stations serving up delicious brunch dishes from breakfast tacos to veggie hash. Bring your friends, your family and a big appetite!

    Pre-purchase your Early Bird ticket and save on the Admission Fee ($5 at the door) AND you get 3 food tokens ($12 value). Note: Admission is free for kids under the age of 12 years.

National Daiquiri Day – Original Daiquiri Recipe

Original Daiquiri And a History Lesson

The Daiquiri is a member of the sour family of cocktails. A sour is  composed of a base spirit, a sweet ingredient, and a a sour ingredient. In the case of the Daiquiri, those elements are rum ), lime juice and sugar.

2oz Bacardi Carta Blanca
1oz fresh lime juice
0.75oz Cocktail syrup
(castor sugar, confectioners sugar,
hot water)
Shaken, Coupe glass

The origin of this drink, like many others, is controversial. On theory is that it was invented by American mining engineer, Jennings Cox,  in Cuba at the time of the Spanish–American War. Another says,  William A. Chanler, a US congressman who purchased the Santiago iron mines in 1902, introduced the daiquiri to clubs in New York in that year.

daiquiri

The Daiquiri became popular in the 1940s because rationing made whiskey and vodka hard to come by,  and rum was easily obtainable. Rum-based drinks then became fashionable; they were previously thought inferior as they were the drink of sailors.

Originally the drink was served in a tall glass packed with cracked ice. A teaspoon of sugar was poured over the ice and the juice of one or two limes was squeezed over the sugar. Two or three ounces of white rum completed the mixture. The glass was then frosted by stirring with a long-handled spoon. Later the daiquiri evolved to be mixed in a shaker with the same ingredients but with shaved ice. After a thorough shaking, it was poured into a chilled coupe glass.

Let’s Patio #onRobson Passport to Summer Fun

Drink and Dine #OnRobson This Summer

I came home to a cool kit for a Moscow Mule to celebrate to launch of Let’s Patio #onRobson, a cool campaign from the Robson Street BIA. It’s kind of strange that we don’t head downtown to dine more, but in the summer we are hanging out at home more and enjoying the BBQ. I am a super big fan of CinCin for one, so a visit there is long overdue! In any case this campaign is a pretty good reason to get down to Robson Street and enjoy some time in downtown Vancouver.

Here’s the deal:

Let’s Patio includes six participating Robson Street restaurants, including AbodeCactus ClubCinCin RistoranteEbisuEarls, and Milestones. Visit each one this summer, bring your passport, enjoy your favourite dishes and drinks, get stamped and get rewarded. Collect all six stamps and receive a $25 gift card to the restaurant of your choice #onRobson (between Burrard and Jervis).

How It Works:

• Visit each participating restaurant and collect a stamp with a minimum $15 order (before taxes)
• Collect all six stamps and return your completed passport to the RSBA office at 412-1155 Robson Street
• Upon completion, receive a $25 gift card to the restaurant of your choice #onRobson (between Burrard and Jervis)

Passports can be downloaded HERE or picked up from one of the above participating restaurants.  Let’s Patio #onRobson will end August 31, 2017 or while gift card supplies last.

#onrobson

Moscow Mule

Ingredients

1 half lime
2 ounces vodka
4 to 6 ounces ginger beer, preferably

Squeeze lime into copper mug (a must for a super cool looking drink) and drop in half lime. Add 3-4 large ice cubes, then pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer. Serve with a stirring rod.

Venturing to Squamish As The Endless Honeymoon Continues

Eats, Drinks, And Culture Feature Large in Today’s Squamish

It seems this summer is one endless honeymoon as Michael and I have been venturing around BC having a series of fantastic adventures. We’d journeyed through Squamish, perhaps stopping for lunch or a refuel on the way to or from Whistler, but hadn’t actually spent the night there until just last month. This town is well worth putting  a night or two aside for it’s got everything from a Distillery to First Nations Cultural Tours.

Sea To Sky Gondola

On the way up we stopped at the Sea to Sky Gondola and ventured up for lunch and one of their new tours, the “Talking Trees” Aboriginal Cultural Experience. On this jaunt, First Nations guides accompany guests through the alpine while they share stories of the natural and historical significance of the alpine forests and Squamish area.

Sea To Sky Gondola

Our guide made us feel as if we were taking a walk with a good friend, she was very personable and we could tell that each walk would be completely different as her talks were so completely authentic. Talking Trees tours are 1.5 hours and depart the Summit Plaza at noon, lots of great stories were told!

executive inn2

Onto Squamish we checked into the Executive Suites. This gem is tucked off the road, but not far, and worth taking a few turns to get to, even if just for a meal in the newly opened Norman Rudy’s. We ran into our chef pal Darren Brown, he’s been working on the menu here and was helping man a pig roast on the balcony. Definitely some good food on this menu.

executive inn

The Hotel Suites include fully equipped kitchens and private balconies, and our suite had a fireplace and washer and dryer. Very much like a condo with lots of space, but also with the benefits of housekeeping and room service. The Executive in is set among the mountains and our room overlooked the golf course. We wish we could have stayed longer.

Gillespies

Before dinner we stopped in at Gillespie’s Spirits, where we sampled through their artisan imbibements. Plan to do the flight and then stay for at least one cocktail. If you are lucky you might even get a sneak peak into the back distilling room for a visit with the distiller. He was working on the new whisky on this day.

The Salted Vine

The Salted Vine

The Salted Vine

Dinner at Salted Vine is a must, this spot is just killing it with their cocktail program, stellar wine list and creative menu. It’s right downtown Squamish and is a collaboration between Chef Jeff Park and Pat Allan, who met at the well-accoladed  Araxi Restaurant in Whistler. The room is ultra comfy and service beyond attentive. You’ll find lots of small plates for sharing and delightful mains, the Don’t miss the Wagyu Beef with grilled broccolini, chimichurri, and smoked salt, or the Scallop Crudo with confit tomatoes, aji amarillo, yuzu, olives and potato crisps  and you absolutely need to sample the charcuterie. Find Salted Vine at 37991 Second Ave., Squamish, BC Open Wed– Sun; Happy Hour 3–5:30 p.m.;  Dinner 5–10 p.m.

Norman Rudy's

In the morning we fortified ourselves with breakfast and proceeded to check out and explore the area more.

Norman Rudy's

Westcoast Railway Heritage Park

First up we checked out the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. We took the mini train ride and peaked in and out of the many historic trains in the park. Quite fascinating, lots of Canada’s history revealed in these old iron horses!

Beer was next up as there’s three breweries to check out now, A Frame, Back Country (where their pizza was certainly tempting) and Howe Sound.

Howe Sound Brewery also has a great restaurant where we grabbed lunch before our trek homeward, both agreeing that this was one of our favourite fun-packed adventures!

What’s Good This Week – July 15th Editionn

What To Do In And Around Vancouver This Week

I’ve been away on assignment in San Diego and just catching up to what’s happening a little further north. We’re heading to Chicha Restaurant shortly for their BBQ, and tomorrow another BBQ at a friends house celebrating a birthday. Summer is definitely in full swing and I’ve even got a bit of a tan already! Here’s a couple things to do this week.

chicha restaurant

All You Can Eat Peruvian BBQ Chicha Restaurant 5 pm TODAY July 15

Annual “All You Can Eat Peruvian Street Meat” BBQ! Sample every kind of Peruvian street meat and fish bbq imaginable, ceviches, roasted corn, all of the summer bbq sides! There will be lots of local beers, wine and pisco cocktails flowing.

The party is both inside and outside. Out back we will have a giant grill, a constantly changing buffet selection, tents, areas to sit, stand, dance in under tents in the shade or out in the sun! There will be DJ’s playing music all day into the night…come join us for one fun summer all you can eat party! Tickets

mural

PIDGIN Charity Dinner July 18

PiDGiN is proud to announce the work on a long-awaited mural by Ilya Viryachev in the alley of 350 Carrall.  To commemorate its completion, they will be hosting a dinner on July 18th benefiting RISE (Responsible Indigenous Strategy for Empowerment), more information can be found here  https://vimeo.com/137296590.

Prior to the dinner there will be an unveiling at 6:00pm, which is open to the public and dinner guests. The dinner will start at 6:30pm and will be a collaborative effort featuring PiDGiN’s Wesley Young, Kissa Tanto’s, Joël Watanabe, Ai and Om’s Douglas Chang and Nemesis’ Jacob Deacon Evans. This dinner will be unique as it also has speakers from various cultures discussing the contents of the mural and their cultural perspective about the history of the neighbourhood.  The event will be MC’d by Aaron Chapman and feature local historians John Atkins and Ali Butcher.  Speaking for RISE / ALIVE will be Scott Clark.  Tickets will be $125 per person which includes 6 courses, wine, sake and cocktails.

gunawan

Renowned locavore chef, David Gunawan, will write the latest chapter in his ongoing series of collaborative guest chef dinners at South Granville’s Farmer’s Apprentice when he shares the stage with Jonathan Tam of Michelin-starred Copenhagen restaurant Relæ on Wednesday, July 19.

Featuring two seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., a limited number of tickets to the multi-course dinner — which also includes an amuse-bouche and dessert as well as wine pairings handpicked by Wine Director Kieran Fearing — are available for $150 per guest including tax and gratuity.

Canadian-born Tam hopped the pond in 2007 to take on the role of Chef de Partie at renowned Copenhagen eatery Noma before opening Michelin-starred restaurant Relæ under Chef-Owner Christian Puglisi in 2010. After six years as Creative Sous Chef and Head of R&D, Tam graduated to the role of Head Chef at Relæ, which won the Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2015 and 2016 and was ranked No. 39 on the 2017 List of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

lobster

Lobster Fest Returns to Provence in July

From July 4 to 31, Provence  Marinaside offers you the opportunity to enjoy Canadian lobster prepared with French flair at its annual Lobster Festival. Executive Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia and Chef de Cuisine Sheldon Maloff collaborated to create a three-course menu value-priced at $62 with optional wine pairings by Wine Director Joshua Carlson for an additional $26 (or petit pours for $16).

Dinner starts with your choice of appetizer – choose either the Lobster Salad (pea puree, fresh peas, snow pea sprouts, champagne and honey vinaigrette, lobster oil) paired with a celebratory glass of Cleto Chiarli e Figli Lambrusco di Sorbara, or Baked Lobster Thermidor (creamy dijon, shallot and mushroom sauce with emmenthal cheese) paired with Chandon Blanc de Noirs.

Mains offer a dazzling three choices – two of which involve a whole lobster.

  • Traditional Whole Atlantic Lobster – your choice of steamed, grilled or sautéed Provençal style (seasonal vegetables, seven grain rice), optional wine pairing Reichsrat von Buhl Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken
  • Whole Lobster Gratin (smoked tomato, corn, wilted spinach, forbidden rice), optional wine pairing: Angels & Cowboys Rosé
  • Coast to Coast with Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Butter-Poached Lobster (gem tomatoes, bell peppers, saffron risotto), optional wine pairing: Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosé

Dinner ends on a sweet note with BC Strawberry and Rhubarb Shortcake accompanied by Basil Agave Chantilly Cream. Wine Director Carlson suggests Paradise Ranch Merlot Icewine as the perfect pairing to complement.

For those with smaller appetites, all menu items are also available à la carte.

Reservations are always a good idea so you won’t have to claw your way past all the other lobster fans clamouring to take advantage of this once-a-year lobster extravaganza.

jean georges

Rose All Day Brunch At Jean Georges – All Summer

Grab your friends and celebrate the start of summer with Rosé All Day at Market by Jean-Georges. Rosé All Day is for the social brunchers, the ones that want to kick weekend brunch up a notch, with shared plates, refreshing cocktails, and live entertainment that gets everybody moving. Rosé All Day will start on Saturday, June 24, and return every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, through until Sunday, September 3.  WEBSITE

deighton

Deighton Cup July 22

We’re getting pretty damn excited about this one and can’t wait to sip a Julep or two and bet on the races! For $75

  • Daytime derby racing – Eight adrenaline pumping horseraces to enjoy & bet on
  • A delectable lunch freshly prepared by some of Vancouver’s finest chefs
  • The chance to be named The Style Stakes “Best Dressed” and have your name engraved on The Deighton Cup
  • Interactive leisure sports, picnic area, cigar lounge, live + DJ entertainment
  • Musical live entertainment TICKETS

Les Dames d’Escoffier Present Summerdine – August 16th

Dinner by the Province’s Best Chefs – Les Dames Summerdine

Fundraiser Supports Women’s Education, Project Chef and Growing Chefs 

I’m part of this amazing organization and each year we present a dinner party across the province created by our region’s top chefs. This year it’ Wednesday, August 16th when Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter presents Les Dames Summerdine – fabulous food and glorious wines  on one day only at more than 30 different restaurants, wineries, cooking schools and culinary venues across BC. Most are dinners, with one exception – a very special luncheon at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse on Vancouver Island. All funds raised from Summerdine go to support Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter’s Scholarship and Outreach programs.

summerdine

Some of the confirmed Metro Vancouver locations are still available, but many are already sold out. We are hoping aboard the Pacific Yacht Charters moored in Coal Harbour with spectacular views of the harbor, the mountains, Stanley Park and the towers of downtown Vancouver! JOIN US!!!! BUY TICKETS

Dinners are also still available at the Beach House, Bufala, Burdock & Co., Fable Kitchen, Fish Counter and Royal Dinette.

Metro Vancouver dinners will feature the wines of Bella Wines, Elephant Island Winery, Haywire Winery, Joie Farm Winery, Painted Rock Estate Winery and Poplar Grove Winery.

fairmont

Over in the Okanagan some of the tempting events still available today include.

summerdine

There are two larger events happening on Vancouver Island:

  • The first is a very special luncheon with 40 seats being held at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse in Saanichton and catered by Victoria’s popular Spinnakers Gastro Pub. Billed as a ‘Celebration of Women in Hospitality,’ the luncheon will include additional elements such as speakers and an auction. The ticket price is only $60 and includes lunch, beverages,tax,tips,plus a shuttle to/from downtown Victoria (for the first 30 people).
  • The second event is a dinner at The Farm Table Restaurant at Providence Farm in Duncan. It is being presented by chefs who have been recipients of Les Dames Scholarships and the Vancouver Island University Culinary Institute. This dinner will showcase locally grown fare to celebrate the bounty of the Cowichan Valley and will feature dishes cooked in James Barber Memorial Wood Oven. Ticket price for this fabulous celebration of farm-to-table dining is only $60 and there are 40 seats available.

The above are only a tempting taste of what will be happening on August 16th – to see the complete array check out the full participant list for locations, menus and photos.

Regardless of the location, all diners are treated to a specially-designed multiple-course menu, wines selected to complement that menu, a special table or location and an opportunity to meet and chat with the chefs and restaurateurs.

All but two of the events are priced at $79 per person and include the multi-course meal with wine (gratuity not included). The two exceptions are a steal at only $60 – lunch at Sea Cider Farm & Cider House and the dinner at Providence Farm, both on Vancouver Island.
Don’t miss your chance to participate in one of the most unique dining experiences of the summer. All funds raised from Summerdine go to support Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter’s Scholarship and Outreach programs.

Photo Gallery of High Res Images
About Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter
Les Dames d’Escoffier is the only organization of its kind: a world-wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 38 individual chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. The mandate of the BC Chapter is to support the advancement of women in the hospitality and culinary domains as well as fostering industry excellence through educational and charitable activities. The BC Chapter is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year.

For information on Les Dames D’Escoffier BC Chapter and updates on its various events and programs please visit: http://www.lesdames.ca Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @LesDamesBC

For information on Les Dames d’Escoffier International: www.ldei.org

Mojito Day is July 11 – Chill Out With One

Mix Up a Cardamon Mojito With Bacardi

We often mix up Mojito and have mint readily available on our balcony at GLV headquarters! So, what is a Mojito and why do you need one? Mojito’s were born in Cuba, but there’s often arguments over the actual inventor.  “La Bodeguita del medio”, a restaurant in Havana, Cuba claims to be the cocktail’s birthplace, the very spot that Ernest Hemmingway’s sipped on this drink. The African slaves working in the Cuban sugar cane fields created the drink from sugar cane alcohol and it made it’s way to the bar.

mojito

The other story we’ve found involves Sir Francis Drake. He came to Cuba for the gold and at the time his crew was plagued with scurvy. Local South American Indians were consulted and recommended aguarediente de cana, mint leaves, and the juices from sugar cane and limes as a cure. Afterwards an “El Draque” cocktail was seen in Cuba, with those very ingredients, named after Drake. Either way we’re happy to sip one and salute all of those who contributed to this muddled and mixed creation!

Here’s one from Bacardi, a readily available rum that often sits on our shelf.

Bacardí Cardamom Mojito

2 parts Bacardí Superior
1 part cardamom syrup (1/4 cup cardamom pods, 1 lit boiling water and equal volume of sugar)
6 mint leafs
1 part fresh lime juice

Method: In a highball glass, muddle mint leaves with cardamom syrup and lime juice. Blend in rum. Fill glass with crushed ice and top with soda. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

What’s Good This Week – July 4 Edition

What’s There To Do Around Vancouver This Week?

tiki shag

Pig Roast at Library Square – Saturday July 8th

Library Square is keeping summer rolling on Saturday with the “Juluau”— a pig roast and Tiki drink party which kicks off on their patio at 3pm. Tickets to the event are $25 and include:

  • Pig Roast and all the fixings
  • A Parallel 49 Filthy Dirty IPA
  • Fun in the sun, with South Pacific décor

A menu of delicious Tiki cocktails will be offered for just $9 each including Mai-Tais, Ricky Ricardos, and Daiquiris. Tickets are available here.

whisky

Fets Pig Roast, Catfish and Whisky Dinner

Beam Suntory Canada’s Bourbon Whiskey Ambassador Matt Jones will be hosting our first Jim Beam pig roast. Matt will be bringing 7 American whiskies and Chef Thien will be serving up a whole roasted pig and a mess of catfish. Matt will be bringing along some new releases as well as a few time honoured classics. How about we add some warm bacon & corn potato salad, collard greens, sweet potato mash and corn bread, then finish of with apple pie topped with bourbon ice cream.

It’s summer, it’s a pig roast and there’s gonna be loads of whiskey. What could possibly go wrong, ehm I mean how great does this sound.There are only 25 tickets available and I can assure you they sell out fast. $77 including GST fees and is open to only 25 people!

vikram vij at indian summer festival

Indian Summer Festival

For fans of the Jazz Fest who still want more– come to see Jazz virtuoso, saxophonist Ernie Watts at the Orpheum concertthis Saturday July 8! He will be joined by ‘God of Indian violin’ – L.Subramaniam!

For those looking to combine arts, culture…and sun-bathing! – This Sunday, acclaimed indigenous artist Bhajju Shyamwill set up his easel & carpet (he works seated on the floor) at Spanish Banks! He paints on top of iconic Vancouver cityscapes – infusing them with the forests and supernatural beings from his own storytelling tradition

For those looking for a bargain (…aka all Vancouverites!) – Get2 for 1 events for $35 – entrance to the world-renowned 5×15 speaker seriesand star-studded musical finale Constellations, with a lineup including rock star Bif Naked and legendary Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh!

 

Tripping To Okanagan Wine Country With Apple D’Or

Okanagan Wine Country – Naramata and a Bit Beyond

Thanks to the ever-charming Chef Victor Bongo, the ever-ready to travel Tess G. and I got an invite to the Naramata Bench for the launch of the chefs new menu and the wines Bongo created in conjunction with Serendipity Winery. We live in delicious times I tell you! You can check out the full story on the launch right here. While we were there we managed to sneak a little bit more into this Okanagan Wine Country visit.

Honda Canada CRV

The Honda CRV was perfect for cruising up from Vancouver with a ton of room for our wine purchases.  More on that ride soon!

Okanagan Wine Country

We checked into the Apple d’Or Bed and Breakfast, an absolutely stunning property overlooking the lake. They’ve spent a great deal of time created this gem, it looks like a large, luxurious log cabin from the outside, and is equally impressive once you open the door. There’s a special feeling at Apple d’Or, and each detail has been well thought out. The hosts are readily available should you need anything, but you’d hardly know they, or any other guests, are there as the rooms are spaced out, walls well insulated and privacy never was an issue.

The beds are super comfortable, I should know as I had to spend far too long there the night I first arrived as I was super-ill with some sort of insane food poisoning I picked up in Vancouver.

apple d'or

A stroll around the property reveals well-attended yards, unique sculptures and the spacious swimming pool which is now open for the summer.

apple d'or

Tea and coffee are available in the common area; they use a local tea company and there’s freshly roasted coffee, with real cream and milk of course.

apple d'or

Breakfast is served each morning and as we were there two days we were treated to something different each day I particularly enjoyed the smoked salmon, perfectly poached eggs, and the caramelized grapefruit.

apple d'or

The rooms are decked out with air conditioning, a music system, heated bathroom floor, small kitchen, flat screen TV, DVD player, telephone, high speed internet and individual private patios adjacent to the garden with a barbecue. Not a place we were eager to check out of at all! Highly recommend, especially for a romantic escape.

After my hellish night being deathly ill, I somehow made it out of bed that morning and was eager to get up to some fun. Total #fomo as I’d missed out on dinner the night before at Hillside Winery. Tess had really enjoyed it and I’ll have to get there next time.

Penticton Farmers Market

A delicious breakfast was enjoyed and we headed out to the farmers market where I purchased a much needed sun-hat. Then we were on to Victor Bongo’s Serendipity wine launch. The kids pictured were eating the craziest item and strongly suggested we indulge, but I don’t think my stomach will ever be ready for this insane combo.

Check out this post for details on the wine launch and luncheon, and here’s a few shots to give you a hint of what you might expect if you dined at the Naramata Inn under Chef Bongo’s watch; delish!

Legend Distilling

There was time to check out Legend Distilling between lunch and dinner, so of course we had to sample a few cocktails made with the local gin and vodka.

Serendipity Wine

That night dinner at the Inn was a delight, Bongo and his team of chefs created an exceptional meal, paired with great Serendipity Wines and the service was spot on. After a bit of entertainment we called it a night.

The next morning another great breakfast appeared from Apple D’Or and we then packed our bags and got ready to slowly head back to Vancouver, thinking a few stops were in order along the way.

Chef Victor Bongo

Back to the Inn, Chef Bongo had prepared a lovely buffet brunch; the frittata was delightful.

Urban Bench Winery

We almost cleaned out the cheese display at Urban Bench Winery. Shana Miller’s artisan cheeses are my favourite local cheese, each and every one of them. The winery’s Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are exceptional and I grabbed a couple bottles of Chard for another night or day. They’ve just installed a pizza oven, and from what I’ve observed from photos posted, the breads look delightful; we’ve added it to the to do list for next time.

8th Generation Vineyards

Tess had just had the 8th Generation Vineyards bubble at Chef Meets Grape, and was eager to repeat the experience so we stopped in to do a tasting and grab a few in Summerland. Their Rieslings are also exceptional.

Fitzpatrick

Ideally we would have had time for lunch at Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards,  but, one can only eat so much

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards

The building is stunning, and they are making some excellent bubble as well as aromatic whites, Chardonnay and Rose and the food looked amazing. This gem will certainly elevate the profile of Okanagan Wine Country, and you may have remembered its previous incarnation as Greata Ranch.

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards

The name Fitzpatrick’s refers to the well-known family that owned Cedarcreek Winery until the recent sale. They’ve been making stellar wine in the valley for decades. Take some time to visit this one and plan to stay a while in Okanagan Wine Country.

Chef Victor Bongo Moves East to The Okanagan

Chef Victor Bongo Launches New Menu at The Naramata Inn and Releases Enchanté by Bongo Wines

A few months back we joined Chef Victor Bongo in Vancouver to sample items for his new menu (details here), and now that he’s fully installed in Naramata he kindly asked us to join him for a Bongo-style weekend. Bongo likes to celebrate and does everything with flare, so it was no surprise the weekend was rather special.

img 20170526 174844280 hdr

Tess and I drove up and checked into the Apple d’Or Bed and Breakfast (more on that soon), a spectacular boutique accommodation on the Naramata Inn that we highly recommend. I unfortunately had food poisoning from something I ate in Vancouver, so I spent the first night in bed feeling like I might die. Tess went off to have a meal at Hillside Winery Bistro and she raved about it , fortunately much later on as I was not in the mood to hear of any food when she came home! Don’t feel like she abandoned me, the last thing I would have wanted was company at this point. THE WORST! And she did what she could for me.

Serendipity Wine

Fortunately I bounced back the next morning and was able to enjoy the superb breakfast provided and even had coffee; yes, I’m a trooper. AND then it was off for some wine tasting at the launch of Victor Bongo’s wines at Serendipity Winery.

Serendipity Winery

Tess and I went through the wines at Serendipity first, we’d enjoyed the Pinot Gris last year at our YVR Hobby Chefs dinner we hosted and this vintage is also very good.

Serendipity Winery

Codfathers

Venturing upstairs Bongo had arranged for Codfather’s to shuck oysters, while he sabered a couple bottles of Serendipity Bubble to kick off the event, and then into the wine cellar we went for a long table luncheon. img 1489

chef victor bongo

Okanagan Goat Cheese & Fig Soufflé with Enchanté Viognier 2016

chef victor bongo

Scallops & Berkshire Pork belly with celeriac puree Serendipity Rosé

chef victor bongo

Dried Wild Mushroom crusted Venison with black truffles with  Enchanté Victoire 2012

chef victor bongo

Superb luncheon and we wondered how we’d ever eat again! After a stop at Legend Distilling for a little liquor and cocktail sampling we rested up back at Apple d’Oro and prepared for what would be an even more decadent evening. We knew that Chef Victor Bongo would have many tricks up his sleeve.

chef victor bongo

Passed Appies

chef victor bongo

Caribbean Spiced Tomato Buffalo Caprese Salad Paired with Serendipity Sauvignon Blanc

chef victor bongo

Honey Truffle Chicken Stuffed with Foie Gras Paired with Serendipity Pinot Noir

chef victor bongo

Miso Black Cod Paired with Enchanté Viognier 2016

chef victor bongo

Cache Creek Angus Beef Striploin Paired with Enchanté Victoire 2012

chef victor bongo

Duet of Dessert: Dolce de Leche Crème Brûlée & Wildflower Honey unbaked cheese cake Paired with Elephant Island Cherry Wine

Chef Victor Bongo

Amazing meal with superb wines. After a little entertainment we were exhausted and satiated and ready for sleep.

chef victor bongo

Congrats Chef Bongo and all the best of luck in the Okanagan. The Naramata Inn is certainly a destination worth seeking out for those looking for a special meal.