A highlight of the year for folks who enjoy supporting local farmers, producers, chefs and shops when they sit down for their meals each day, is the annual Okanagan Feast of Fields, and this year it’s being held in Kelowna for the first time.
It’s Sun., Aug. 18 at Little Church Organics on Gordon Drive, from 1-5 p.m. and this is the fifth event in the Okanagan, although it’s been going on at the coast for 20 years.
Participating are some of the top chefs in the valley, including chefs Grant deMontreuil of The Bonfire at The Cove, Stu Klassen of the Delta Grand Okanagan, Willi Franz of the Grapevine at Gray Monk, Matt Batey of The Terrace at Mission Hill, Roger Sleiman of Old Vines at Quails’ Gate, Rod Butters of RauDZ Regional Table, Jesse Croy of Summerhill and a host of other excellent chefs, restaurants and shops, plus an array of the valley’s best wineries, cideries, distilleries and breweries.
It’s described as a four-hour roving harvest festival, showcasing some of the best food the region and the province offer.
It’s a travelling feast that pops up in different farm fields, against a backdrop of fruit trees, grapes, corn and squash, with the aim of reminding people where their food comes from—or introducing them to its origin.
It’s also a celebration honouring those who grow and create the food that graces our tables.
Put on by FarmFolk CityFolk, proceeds from the event go toward local agriculture-based projects such as B.C. Seeds, Community Farms, Meet Your Maker Okanagan and Young Agrarians.
Tickets are available at Choices Markets in Kelowna or online at farmfolkcityfolk.ca
One of this year’s participating chefs is Stu Klassen, executive chef at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and president of the very active and community-minded Okanagan Chefs’ Association, and he has shared with us the treat he plans to make for you at this year’s event. I tried it and it’s simply scrumptious.
Every year since the first one was held here in the valley, we have volunteered our time to help set up for the event, as we will again this year, and we look forward to seeing you there.
However, you’ll have to get your ticket soon or there simply won’t be any left, and they are limited. I’ve seen people pull up in limousines from out of town to attend the feast, so the competition for tickets is fierce.
You can enjoy lots of recipes inspired by what’s fresh, local and in season in my book, Jude’s Kitchen, available at bookstores and wine boutiques, and I’ll personalize your copy at the event, if you like.
Frozen Stone Fruit Lolly with Crispy Pork, Stu’s Garden Basil Sugar and Double Cross Cider Syrup
Delta Grand Okanagan Resort executive chef Stuart Klassen’s vibrant combination of fresh flavours will wow those attending this year’s Okanagan Feast of Fields. Chef Klassen is a strong proponent of the eat local movement, and most of the ingredients in his dish can be sourced locally and are currently in season. In fact, the basil he uses is from his own garden, and the Double Cross Pink Lady Ice Cider is available at the Cross family’s Function Junction fruit stand and Double Cross Cidery tasting room, just north of Kelowna on Highway 33. They also have perfect fresh sweet corn and all sorts of other fresh fruits and vegetables, most grown right there on the farm.
1/2 c. (125 ml) sugar
1 large sprig fresh basil
6 oz. (150 ml) Double Cross Pink Lady Iced Cider
3.5 oz. (100 g) pulled pork
Frozen fruit lolly:
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
To make the frozen stone fruit lolly, dice all fruits and toss with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar. Roast in the oven until fruit just starts to char.
Cool fruit, then roll it in cling film very tightly, tying the ends off to resemble a large sausage.
Freeze until almost frozen, about two or three hours, then make a small incision in the cling film and insert a popsicle stick every half-inch.
Return to the freezer to completely freeze.
When ready to serve, use a sharp serrated knife and cut between the sticks. Peel off the plastic film and lay flat for the presentation.
To prepare the basil sugar, add almost a quarter cup of the sugar and the fresh basil to a food processor and blitz until the basil is powdered like the sugar. It may be a bit wet, so lay it flat on a pan to air dry.
To make the pulled pork, braise a pork shoulder until very tender. (Or you may purchase prepared pulled pork).
Pull the pork apart in long, narrow strings and fry them in hot oil. Add a pinch of salt and a generous amount of the basil sugar, cool and put on or under the frozen lolly.
Double Cross Syrup
To prepare the Double Cross syrup, pour nearly a quarter cup of the sugar into a pot on medium heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Add the Double Cross Pink Lady Iced Cider, available at Function Junction on Highway 33, stir and reduce until it is the consistency of syrup.
Drizzle the syrup around the frozen lolly and serve.