Picture yourself holding a wine glass in one hand and a linen napkin in the other, enjoying a nibble of this and a sip of that as you stroll through a scenic orchard on a hot summer afternoon. This was the setting at yesterday’s 4th Annual Okanagan Feast of Fields; a wandering harvest festival that showcased the very best local ingredients the valley has to offer.
Claremont Ranch Organics in Lake Country, B.C. hosted this year’s Feast; a historic farm oozing with charm. They produce up to 35 types of organic apples, pears, peaches, apricots and plums.
With temperatures soaring to 34 °C, shade-seeking was the third most popular activity of the day (right after eating and drinking). It was so hot that I secretly wished someone would turn on the orchard sprinklers and soak us all down.
Rainbow trout from Ted’s Trout Farm
Codfathers amazing Smoked Trout Fillets on Pumpernickel. Sooooooo good!
Gorgeous Okanagan fruit
Waterfront Restaurant offered up Poplar Grove Cheese Tiger Blue-stuffed Apricots from Claremont Ranch Organics – perfectly ripe tiny sweet apricots, dotted with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, then grilled. This just might be the most glorious one-bite-wonder I’ve ever eaten (and one I’m reasonably confident I can recreate at home, without a recipe).
Each mouth-watering creation was paired with a local wine, beer or spirit.
Focaccia Bread drizzled with Balsamic Glaze from Bread on Wheels.
The Feast of Fields is Farm Folk City Folk‘s Annual Fundraiser. Proceeds from the event fund year-round projects that help cultivate a sustainable food system for B.C.
Local, farm fresh produce
Since you can’t have a feast without dessert Chef Ann Kirsebom’s Gourmet Sauces/BBQ Ltd served a sublime Cherry Marnier Callebaut Chocolate Local Cherry Mousse with Agassiz Hazelnut Crisps. Lake Country Coffee House handed out adorable little carrot cake mini-muffins, and Vanilla Pod presented a heavenly Chocolate Torte with Cherry and Plum Compote. But my favourite came from Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate…
Sandrine displayed a beautiful assortment of macarons, madeline, and mini fruit tartes. Macaron flavours included blackberry, apricot, raspberry and lime-basil. I picked a deep violet-coloured cookie that was soft, chewy and bursting with the flavour of summer blackberries. As I write this, I’m already craving another one.
The food presented by Codfathers, Waterfront Restaurant, and Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate were my personal favourites, but with over 50 restaurants and wineries participating there were more than enough delicious choices to please every palate.
The shuttle bus to the designated off-site parking area.
Now that’s what I call a gourmet picnic!
Mark your calendars. Next year’s Okanagan Feast of Fields is Sunday, August 18, 2013.