Weathered farm house

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.

Pear ripening on the tree

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.

Young boy sitting on a bale of straw in the shade

Rainbow trout from Ted’s Trout Farm

Two trout on ice

Codfathers amazing Smoked Trout Fillets on Pumpernickel. Sooooooo good!

Ted's Trout Farm Smoked Trout Fillets on Pumpernickel

Gorgeous Okanagan fruit

Stone Fruit arranged on a plate

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).

Poplar Grove Tiger Blue-stuffed Apricots

Each mouth-watering creation was paired with a local wine, beer or spirit.

a bunch of green grapes and a wine cork

Focaccia Bread drizzled with Balsamic Glaze from Bread on Wheels.

Squares of Foccicia Bread drizzled with Balsamic Glaze

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.

Sign asking "What's Your Footprint?"

Local, farm fresh produce

Farm Fresh Veggies

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

Macarons displayed like a Christmas tree

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.

Tray of blackberry, apricot, raspberry and lime-basil macarons

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.

Pears ripening in the orchard

The shuttle bus to the designated off-site parking area.

Yellow school bus

Now that’s what I call a gourmet picnic!

metal sculpture of a pear

Mark your calendars.  Next year’s Okanagan Feast of Fields is Sunday, August 18, 2013.


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Okanagan Feast of Fields 2012

by The Culinary Travel Guide time to read: 2 min