Schell: Food & Wine Trails: Tinhorn engages chef from Vancouver

Tinhorn Creek executive chef Jeff Van Geest at the winery’s Miradoro Restaurant deck with its incredible 360 degree golden view. - Contributed
Tinhorn Creek executive chef Jeff Van Geest at the winery’s Miradoro Restaurant deck with its incredible 360 degree golden view.
— image credit: Contributed

With many of our wineries now offering exquisite eateries, our local food and wine scene is slowly growing into an elegant, world-class gastronomic destination.

With all so close to home, these easy trips, featuring a lunch or dinner, are sure to thrill. So heck, why not throw in an overnight bag too—many now offer accommodations.

There are so many delicious wine country experiences right here in our Valley just waiting for you. Make your summer road trip plans now and find out for yourself what all the buzz is about. Oliver offers so many luscious choices for food and wine lovers. I would suggest booking a sleepover in order to get a couple of wine touring days in.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is a regular pit stop for wine lovers.  And now, with the highly anticipated opening of their on-site restaurant Miradoro, they have become a destination for foodies as well.

Tinhorn’s owners, Kenn and Sandra Oldfield, paired up with famed Vancouver Restaurateur, Manuel Ferreira to bring us Miradoro Restaurant, which perfectly translates to “golden view” in Portuguese.

With executive chef Jeff Van Geest installed at the kitchen helm it is no surprise that Miradoro has been receiving raves from day one. I was a fan of Van Geest’s food back in Vancouver when he owned Aurora Bistro on Main Street. An Okanagan girl at heart, we loved the fact that he offered a B.C. only wine list.

Always an advocate of seasonal cooking and supporting local farmers and artisans, Van Geest continues the theme at Miradoro. The “market cuisine” menu has a Mediterranean influence, with offerings varying from the sophisticated to simple, with rustic choices like their fabulous wood fire oven pizzas.

Van Geest is enjoying his new life in wine country and is excited to be able to essentially be working next door to the farmers who supply him the local ingredients on the menu. The day I met with him, he had just returned from an early morning trout fishing expedition with a friend at a nearby lake.

Dedicated to his craft, in preparation for his transition into wine country, Van Geest even joined the winery team at Black Hills to work for a harvest and crush.

He describes life inside the Tinhorn Creek winery as “similar to being in a kitchen” and that he “felt at home.”

These two passions are evident in his menu creations and how he pairs his food to the wine. This summer he will also be creating box lunches to go, available for sale at the wine store for visitors who don’t have time to sit down and dine.

Welcome to wine country, chef.

Go to for more information on the winery, restaurant and their summer outdoor concert series.


This weekend make time to celebrate the National Day of the Honey Bee. This day has been internationally proclaimed to create global awareness of the problems facing the honey bee globally.

On Saturday there are two celebrations. Between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. stop in to the Kelowna Farmers Market and give a ‘hive five’ to the worker bees at the Meadow Vista Honey Wines booth and enjoy a taste of their incredible honey wine. Later, the swarm will be buzzing back to the Meadow Vista Honey Wines Palace at 1352 Industrial Rd. in Westbank to “pollinate” wine glasses and continue the celebrations with an art show and other excitement.

On Sunday, head to Arlo’s Honey Farm, at 4329 Bedford Lane in Kelowna, for an open house and learn more about our precious honey bees and how important they are to our future. Learn how Arlo’s is contributing to their future through their sustainable farming practice.

Fun, tours, treats, tastings and entertainment all on May 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jennifer Schell is editor of B.C. Wine Trails Magazine.

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