Schell: Mitchell takes the reins at Rotten Grape

Chef Darren Mitchell has taken over the kitchen helm at The Rotten Grape in downtown Kelowna.

Chef Darren Mitchell has taken over the kitchen helm at The Rotten Grape downtown, much to the delight of his many fans (including me).

The combination of his food and the urban oasis and wine haven that owner Rita Myers has built, seems to be a perfect pairing. I have been hearing raves about the incredibly priced holiday menu—both for the amazing value and delicious food.

Available until Dec. 20, for $20 you will receive a fabulous three-course prix fix menu—add wine pairings for $15 more.

Welcome Darren.

Call 250-717-8466 to make reservations or visit

Holiday Menu

Chefs Daily Inspiration Soup


Curried Dahl with Za’atar spiced Pita Chips


Roasted Duck Breast, Okanagan Cherry Gastric


Karma Bowl (chickpeas, vegetables, coconut curry)


Organic Beef Short ribs, Moroccan Glaze


Mocha Pot de Crème, Biscotti


Roasted Banana Cheese Cake (vegan & gluten free)

Again, all for just $20. Wow.


Picnicking is not just a summer activity, doesn’t a winter picnic sound romantic and fun?

Basket Case Picnics is still open and available to pack you a fabulous picnic to take cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating or Christmas tree hunting with the kids—or maybe for a romantic date in front of the fire.

For the holidays, they are also offering a perfect gift idea. A Christmas Gift Tote that includes a picnic blanket, two bottles of wine and a gift certificate for a four-course gourmet picnic for two. It’s the perfect gift for a client or anyone on your list.

For more details visit Kelsey Galt and her team online at or call 778-214-EATZ.


I have some great ideas for the foodie, wine lover and the wanna be mixologist in your life! Give the gift of learning by purchasing them a certificate to attend a fabulous class—or an entire series.

Think carefully about this. Not only will they benefit by going, you will benefit by having them mix YOU cocktails, make YOU pastry and be able to pick out really good wine for YOU to drink. These are the gifts that keep on giving (to YOU)!


Kelowna’s delicious chocolatier and baker extraordinaire, Sandrine, has her new Pastry Class schedule up for 2012. What a thrill to learn this delicious craft from a Parisian born and trained chef. 250-860-1202.

While you are there, do stock up with chocolate stocking stuffers, delicious desserts, patés and great dinner options like quiches or meat pies to thrill your holiday guests.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I love RauDZ Regional Table’s Liquid Sunday Cocktail Classes with Gerry Jobe. So incredibly fun, delicious as well as informative. I plan to sign up for these again this year. The new curriculum includes:

January 29 Prohibition: Come learn about the history of Speakeasies, bathtub gin, moon shining and rum-running during this dark chapter in bartending history. Cocktails from this era will be the focus of the night.

February 5 Tiki: Donn Beach vs. Trader Vic. Two amazing bartenders with a new exotic, avant-garde style of bartending. Who created tiki? Who truly created the Mai-Tai? Come explore the intense rivalry between these two barmen, Polynesian cocktails and judge whose cocktails are truly superior. 250-868-8805


Sign up the wine lover on your list for wine school. The Wine & Spirits Education Trust is an internationally recognized and acclaimed school that is being taught here through WinePlus+, the Okanagan’s wine school and consulting company. Taught by our local master of wine, Rhys Pender, these classes are amazing and the program is offered in three levels starting with a one-day course that is perfect for the wine enthusiast.

Classes are offered in Penticton and Kelowna. Check out the complete schedule with descriptions at: Cheers!



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


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