Tag Archives: Chef Victor Bongo

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.

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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.

The Naramata Inn Welcomes Ambrosia Restaurant and Lounge by Chef Victor Bongo

Chef Victor Bongo to Take on The Food Program at The Naramata Inn

It may not be wine touring season quite yet, but it’s just around the corner, and each year there’s a few more spots to both wine taste and dine at.  For one, we’ve just heard there’s going to be a new face behind the fires at the Naramata Inn, Chef Victor Bongo. Knowing Chef Bongo, he’ll be sure to add some of his international flair to the region.

I first met Chef Bongo at the Canadian Chefs Congress in Duncan in 2010, where he was representing the Yukon Territory, and I’ve had the pleasure of sampling his cuisine many times. Once again at Kitsilano’s Establishment, and many times while attending a variety of events he was cooking at, including the launch of his latest cookbook.

naramata inn

Bongo has recently been cooking at a pop up at Rooftop in Vancouver, but he’s packing his knives and heading to Naramata to open Ambrosia Restaurant & Lounge come spring. Bongo describes the restaurants style as “Unique signature global fusion cuisine; plates packed with flavor and whimsy presented beautifully in a casual/semi-formal and welcoming environment.”

There will be three spaces and themes at the Inn and here’s a bit of information from the release:

Ambrosia Restaurant is located on the main floor in the classic and dining rooming seating 91 guests with a patio that seats 17 for a total experience of 108 seats. The semi-formal dining room has two seating’s at 6pm and 8:30pm. You’ll see plated meals consisting of appetizers ($16 – $22), Mains ($26 – $40) and Desserts ($8 – $12) along with a small classic cocktail list and a healthy wine list with unique wine library of local producers expertly matched.

Ambrosia Lounge will is housed on the lower floor and will showcase west-coast décor and a nouveau prohibition style wine lounge that serves up Chef’s signature global fusion tapas. Ambrosia Lounge seats 68 guests and will operate from 4pm to 12am daily with Happy Hour running 4pm to 6pm. The menu is designed for sharing, and will include medium tapas ($8 – $15), large tapas ($16 – $30) and desserts ($8 – $10) along with a unique artisan cocktail program, uniquely appointed wine list and craft beers program.

Ambrosia Patio seats 60 and operate  from 11am to 7pm. When the lounge opens at 4pm the entire happy hour and lounge menu is available to guests on the patio. The Ambrosia Patio offers a unique BBQ Pit with Chef’s signature marinades and rubs at a cost of $25 per person and includes 1 portion of local artisan proteins from and unlimited gourmet sides.

Victor Bongo

Before the New Year I was invited to a menu sampling while the photographer did a photo shoot for the new menu. I did my best to capture some of what’s coming your way should you stop in at the Inn for a formal meal.  This year’s resolutions involve working on my photography (again) so it was great to watch a pro and take note of some tips for the future.

Victor Bongo

Chilled White Asparagus and Truffle Bisque with black truffle, crab and avocado remoulade and golden sturgeon caviar.

Victor Bongo

Chipotle Braised Lamb Cheek Tortellacci with Scallops, roasted chanterelle mushrroms, Frangelico sauce, sweet pea and roasted jalapeno puree, summer truffle

Victor Bongo

Arctic Char and Golden Caviar Tartar with Avocado wasabi mousse, mango habanero sauce, toasted sesame seeds, miso and squid ink sauce and crispy nori

Victor Bongo

Pan Roasted Arctic Char with sweet pea mint risotto, lemongrass and ginger creme fraiche and candied lemon maple butternut squashVictor Bongo

Moroccan Pistachio Crusted Lamb with plantain and habanero pepper puree, butter and red wine braised asparagus, Gruyere potato pave and lamb jus

We’ll be looking forward to stopping in at the Inn this season. Maybe we’ll have to spend a night there before our wedding. Pre-wedding honeymoons are a thing, aren’t’ they? Well they should be. It’s really a darling place to stay with its heritage-style rooms and amazing lake views. I’ve had the pleasure once at Christmas a few years back and always meant to return. We’re wishing Bongo luck on the opening and we’ll see him and his crew very soon. Victor Bongo

Chef Victor Bongo’s Seared Scallops with Cornbread Cakes Mango Salsa, Avocado Mousse and Chipotle Aioli

Another great Avocados From Mexico recipe from our friend Chef Victor Bongo! Look forward to more chef’s recipes in our Avocados From Mexico chef’s series. AND look forward to Chef Bongo’s new cookbook, Born to Cook, out soon!
Latin-Style Seared Scallops with Cornbread Cakes Mango Salsa, Avocado Mousse and Chipotle Aioli

Ingredients:
3 T Extra virgin olive oil
16 10/20 Scallops, thawed, cleaned and muscles removed.
TT Salt and black pepper
1 t Ground morita pepper
4 Cornbread cakes
3 T Mango salsa
6-8 T Chipotle aioli
1 cups Avocado mousse

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 400⁰F.
• Make sure the cornbread, avocado mouse, chipotle and mango salsa is made and ready. Than heat large frying pan on medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. While oil is heating up, pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, and season with salt, black pepper and morita pepper.
• Pan-sear scallops for 15 seconds on one side until golden brown, only do four at a time to keep the pan hot. Once finished, transfer scallops onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, bake for an additional 3 minutes in the oven. Set aside.

Plating: Place 4 plates and ½ teaspoon dots of avocado mousse on the plate and a piece of cornbread cake on top. Place ½ teaspoon of chipotle aioli on top of the cornbread, and top each with a seared scallop. Place ½ teaspoon of mango salsa on top of each scallop, garnish with some micro greens.

Avocado Mousse

Ingredients:
2 Avocados, ripened
½ cup Sour cream
1 T Heavy whipping cream
1 t Lime juice, freshly squeezed
TT Salt and black pepper
Yield:250ml

Directions:
• Cut both avocados in half, peel and remove piths.
• Place processed avocados into food processor. Add sour cream, whipping cream, lime juice, and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and store in fridge.

Cornmeal Cake
Ingredients:
1 ½ cup Cornmeal
1 t Salt
½ cup Milk, 2%
2 Eggs, large
1 t Baking soda
½ cup Vegetable oil
½ cup Sugar, white
½ cup Frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
• Mix all the ingredients and pour into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish, glass preferred. Bake until golden on top, test with a paring knife or tooth pick inserted into the center, approximately 20 minutes. It should come out clean, if it doesn’t, keep checking every 5-7 minutes. Once done, pull out of oven and let cool.
• Cut into round pieces using a 3-4 inch cookie cutter.
Yield:1lb

Chipotle Aioli
Ingredients:
½ cup Mayonnaise
2 t Chipotle pepper, chopped
TT Black peppercorn, ground
In a small bowl mix 2 ingredients together and season with ground black pepper to taste.

Yield:125ml

Mango Salsa
¼ cup Red onion, diced fine
¼ cup Red bell pepper, diced fine
¼ cup Yellow bell pepper, diced fine
¼ cup Roma tomato, diced fine
1 Ripe mango, diced fine
1 t Sambal Oelek
1 T Fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T Extra virgin olive oil
1 t Fresh lime juice
TT Salt and black pepper

In a medium sized bowl mix all ingredients in and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yield:500ml
Yield: Serves 4

Chef Bongo Latin Scallops

Pairing: Dry, medium bodied BC Pinot Gris. Loads of ripe stone fruits like peaches and apricots, along with a great natural acidity.

 

Victor Bongo

ABOUT CHEF VICTOR BONGO

Chef Victor Bongo gained his respectable reputation by challenging all culinary standards.  Chef Bongo’s culinary creations and expertise have landed him many awards.  From “Chef of the Year” four years in a row, Gold Medal as the Youngest accomplished Chef, by CCFC to an outstanding award of excellence from Chef’s Congress as one of The Top Ten Chefs in Canada.

Chef Bongo mentor is Chef Edmund Liew, a 3 star Michelin Chef is who Chef Bongo credits the foundation of his career.  His first book, “The Excellence of Chef Victor Bongo” provides readers a glimpse into the journey and path that became the creation of Chef Victor Bongo.

Chef Bongo has been recognized for his extraordinary work with children and the community.  He is dedicated to providing positive changes in the community and his home, Africa.  He is known for his work with Dr. Greg Chang of Super Chefs of the Universe, his devotion of prevention of childhood obesity and educating young children on the importance of nutrition.

 

 

CONTEST CLOSED#Giveaway #Cookbook Vancouver Diversity Health Fair

bongoCongrats to @toothfairycyber hope you enjoyed the fair

The 9th Annual Vancouver Diversity Health Fair is coming this spring on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Croatian Cultural Centre. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Chronic Disease Prevention‘.

Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Location: Croatian Cultural Centre | 3250 Commercial Drive | Vancouver, BC | V5N 4E4

To celebrate we are giving away a signed copy of The Excellence of Chef Victor Bongo, the Executive Chef at Establishment and working with Super Chefs of the Universe. The cookbook is available for the winner to pick up at the Fair on March 9th. $50 Value.  MUST PICK UP THERE!

To win do ALL THREE!

1) Follow @goodlifevan on Twitter

2) RT  – #contest #cookbook @goodlifevan RT and go to http://ow.ly/iaYfi AND COMMENT THERE to #win

3) Comment on this post with the name of computer game that kids can play to learn about healthy eating

The Vancouver Diversity Health Fair is the largest event of its kind in Canada and has evolved into one of the most exciting and dynamic multicultural events in the Lower Mainland. Last year, over 3500 people attended the fair.

This free, family-friendly event features over 50 health and wellness related exhibitors, interactive culinary demonstrations, health screenings and onsite tests, spectacular multicultural entertainment and children’s activities. The Fair aims to provide newcomers, immigrants and ethno-cultural communities with access to a wide range of health and wellness resources, presented in a number of languages including Cantonese, French, Korean, Mandarin, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Our Healthy Cooking Stage features talented local chefs including Chef Victor Bongo of Super Chefs of the Universe (computer game for kids). Move It! Joe Ink, Estilo Cubano, Zumba Vancouver will get your hearts pumping and feet moving with interactive multicultural performances and Gymnastics BC and More Sports will keep the kids active and entertained!
New to the Fair this year is our Food Truck Cafe – an assortment of local food vendors offering up a tasty array of ethnic eats!
Join us March 9th from 10am – 3pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre located at 3250 Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

 

2013 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair

Diversity Health Fair 2012 (26 of 291)The 9th Annual Vancouver Diversity Health Fair is coming this spring on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Croatian Cultural Centre. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Chronic Disease Prevention‘.

Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Location: Croatian Cultural Centre | 3250 Commercial Drive | Vancouver, BC | V5N 4E4

Click to view the Area/Parking Map

Event Overview

The Vancouver Diversity Health Fair is the largest event of its kind in Canada and has evolved into one of the most exciting and dynamic multicultural events in the Lower Mainland. Last year, over 3500 people attended the fair.
This free, family-friendly event features over 50 health and wellness related exhibitors, interactive culinary demonstrations, health screenings and onsite tests, spectacular multicultural entertainment and children’s activities. The Fair aims to provide newcomers, immigrants and ethno-cultural communities with access to a wide range of health and wellness resources, presented in a number of languages including Cantonese, French, Korean, Mandarin, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Our Healthy Cooking Stage features talented local chefs including Chef Victor Bongo of Super Chefs of the Universe. Move It! Joe Ink, Estilo Cubano, Zumba Vancouver will get your hearts pumping and feet moving with interactive multicultural performances and Gymnastics BC and More Sports will keep the kids active and entertained!
New to the Fair this year is our Food Truck Cafe – an assortment of local food vendors offering up a tasty array of ethnic eats!
Join us March 9th from 10am – 3pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre located at 3250 Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

Establishment

West Broadway seems to be constantly changing tenants. Initially the center of Greek culture in the city, and to some extent still so (it is the location of Vancouver’s Greek Days after all), now the restaurant’s themes span the globe, offering everything from Chinese to Southern Barbeque. In the spot that once housed Fiction and thereafter the New Bohemian, Establishment Lounge is now, well, established.  It’s menu that tours the world, with stops in Italy, Asia and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, sometimes even on the same plate.

Establishment’s chef, Victor Bongo, has recently revamped the menu, and it’s worth a stop in to try some of the new dishes.  I first met Bongo at the Canadian Chefs Congress in Duncan, when he was representing the Yukon Territory, and he has cooked around Vancouver before at Seasons in the Park and the Wedgewood Hotel.  He’s no stranger to the local food scene.

Owner Clayton Mickey, Cactus Club alumni, renovated the place in the fall of 2011 after taking over the spot that spring.  The restaurant does have a patio for warmer summer nights, but this place really gets its groove on after dark and as it’s rather dimly lit, and seems to be more popular in the later hours, when the bar is hopping.  Bar Manager Sathi Rajan has designed the cocktail list to include a variety of classics and some new twists.  Relax with sangria, a negroni or sazerac or sip one of the many scotches on the list.

The menu is divided into soups and salads, thin crust pizzas and tapas plates, all great for sharing.  The Establishment palm salad is a must, packed full of flavour.

Establishment Palm Salad with Avocado Chickpea, Mango and Roast Peanut Vinaigrette

It’s a blend of mango, cabbage slaw, bell peppers, avocado, chickpeas, basil, and mint and is topped with a peanut vinaigrette.  He’s also known for his signature African chicken peanut soup, a dish from his heritage.

Goat Cheese Souffle

Also enjoyable is a goat cheese souffle which served atop colourful beet carpaccio.  In fact Chef Bongo creates all his dishes in a colourful and visually appealing manner.  This souffle is denser version than the usual, more like a light cheesecake.

Duck Salad Rolls with Mango - Peanut Truffle Sauce

Duck and mango rice paper rolls are served along with a truffle peanut sauce.  Peanut and truffle is a couple that really should never have met, but the cilantro plum sauce that is also a side, works well as would the peanut sauce sans the truffle oil.

Scallops atop Polenta Cakes with Avocado Mouse and Mango Salsa

Shrimp and Crab Cakes with Miso, Chipotle and Jerk Mayo

Buffalo Skewers

Latin pan-seared scallops are nicely done and appropriately adorned with avocado mousee, chipotle aioli and mango pico de gallo as are the shrimp and lobster cakes with a trio of sauces.  The Morocan bison lollipops were a disappointment.  They were a bit tough, but we discussed this with chef Bongo and he indicated he was in the process of switching the meat supplier for the bison.  That may do the trick.

Kahulua Chocolate no bake cheesecake

For dessert the trio of crème brulee, marscapone cheesecake or chocolate mousse cake are offered and there’s a late night menu with a few less offers than the regular, but one that should satisfy evening cravings.