Kelowna chef and sommelier Mark Filatow is modest, but proud about his restaurant’s award as tops in Canada for its wine-paired local menu to celebrate Cuisine Canada’s Food Day 2010.
Although his Waterfront Restaurant on Sunset Drive beat out some of the top restaurants in the country, Filatow admits he’s not that good about blowing his own horn, even when there’s good reason to do so.
“It’s almost overwhelming,” he said.
The goal of Canada Food Day is to involve the whole country in the idea of using local ingredients to create uniquely Canadian cuisine paired with Canadian wines.
The consensus was that Filatow and his team did that better than restaurants like Montreal’s DNA, Toronto’s Scaramouche, Sooke Harbour House and Chef Rod Butters’ RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna.
For that, he won the Southbrook Canadian Wine Award in a contest that was open to all restaurants that participated in Canada Food Day last July.
Filatow feels the inclusion of morel mushrooms he and local chef Geoffrey Couper, who is president of the Okanagan Chefs’ Association, picked on Terrace Mountain after the 2009 wildfire, were an incredible local addition to the menu, which also included Sezmu beef ribeye.
Each course was matched with local wines, and in one case with two vintages of the Nichol Vineyards Syrah. “We are thrilled that our quaint little restaurant in Kelowna has received such an amazing accolade from our industry peers,” remarked Filatow.
Having such a diversity of fresh produce, herbs, meat and fish, as well as wines available locally is quite an opportunity, noted Filatow. “It’s part of the everyday experience here in the Okanagan. It’s a lot of fun to have all these options; an awesome experience.”
Canada Food Day was founded by Anita Stewart of Cuisine Canada as an opportunity to encourage development of a rich culinary Canadian heritage.