from Jude’s Kitchen: Earth Wind and Fire

Fine food and wine will be a feature of the June 1 fund-raiser for the Nature Trust of B.C. at the Delta Grand, Earth Wind and Fire.

Chef Willi's Qualicum Scallops on Risotto Cakes

Fire is used by chefs to create masterpieces of culinary extravagance from the produce of the earth and the sea, and the annual Earth, Wind and Fire fund-raiser for the Nature Trust of B.C. takes funds raised by that gala to help conserve wild and natural bits of our earth so the wind will still have a place to tease wildflowers.

So, if you appreciate nature—and fine foods and wines—this is a ‘must go’ event for you.

Funds from last year’s event went towards the successful purchase this spring of a 2,000-acre grassland and riparian habitat at Twin Lakes, just east of Penticton.

Such projects are essential to maintain not just habitat, but connectivity for wild species to be able to move about as part of their seasonal migrations or in a quest for food, and work by organizations such as the Nature Trust of B.C. is essential to protect wild areas from development by humans.

The evening opens with a sparkling reception with appetizers at the Delta Grand, and continues with live entertainment from jazz artist Anna Jacyszyn and Wheelhouse, with EZ Rock’s Andy and TJ as MCs for the evening.

Many of Kelowna’s top chefs will present plates during the evening, along with members of Culinary Team B.C. and it will be paired with wines and beer from some of the top wineries in the province.

There will be both silent and live auctions during the evening including what has become a tradition at the event: the Great Wall of B.C. Wine assembled by Tom Kennedy and his team.

A flight and picnic lunch for you and your friends, a fishing adventure and a desert stay are some of the other items.

There’ll even be a basket with a bottle of fine icewine for the cook, a copy of Jude’s Kitchen and some other kitchen essentials on auction!

You can also pick up a copy of my book at local bookstores and many local wineries and wine shops.



Willi’s Seared Qualicum Scallops and Risotto Cake, Asparagus Mousseline, Carrot & White Meritage Foam and Calamondin Balsam Vinegar-tossed Micro Greens



Chef Willi Franz of the Grapevine Restaurant at Gray Monk Estate Winery was named Canadian Chef of the Year by the Canadian Culinary Association last year, and he will be one of the chefs preparing dishes for this year’s Earth, Wind and Fire.

He recommends pairing this dish with the Gray Monk 2011 Odyssey White Meritage

Risotto Cakes

Crisp outside and creamy inside, these make the perfect base for a tasty scallop.

8 oz. (226 g) cooked risotto

1 oz. (30 g) butter

1 oz. (30 g) parmigianno cheese

1 c. (250 ml) Panko bread crumbs

Cook rissotto, stirring in butter and grated parmigianno cheese to finish it.

Pour it into a pan large enough so it is one inch thick, cover and chill. When risotto is cold, cut into whatever shapes you wish. A round cake slightly larger than the scallops works well for this dish.

Press the shapes into Panko bread crumbs to coat them on all sides.

Fry the cakes until lightly browned and keep warm.


Carrot and White Meritage Foam

Sweet and tart, creamy and light, this lightens the richness of the scallop meat and risotto cake.

1/2 c. (125 ml) carrot juice

1/8 c. (30 ml) white meritage wine

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cold butter

1 tbsp. (15 ml) milk

Combine carrot juice and wine in a small pot and reduce over medium heat to a quarter cup of liquid.

Whisk in the butter and milk and create a foam mixture with a hand blender.


Asparagus Mousseline

Seasonal asparagus, with the zest of citrus, is a creamy accompaniment to fish.

6 stalks asparagus

3 tbsp. (45 ml) whipping cream

1 tsp. (5 ml) lemon juice

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) sugar

salt and pepper, to taste

Blanch the asparagus in salted water until tender and heat the cream in another pot.

Use a blender to blend the hot cream, drained asparagus, lemon juice, sugar and seasonings.


Seared Scallops

Sweet and rich-tasting, meaty scallops are a seafood lovers dream.

4 large scallops

salt and pepper, to taste

drizzle of oil

Season the scallops with salt and pepper.

Heat a frypan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add a drizzle of oil. Sear the scallops on one side until well-browned. Turn each over and brown the second side until medium. This will take about two minutes a side.

Arrange on the plates as shown in the photo.

Serves 4.