The summer season has officially come to a close with the Equinox passing a few days ago, and I am happily looking in to the fall ahead anticipating several "off-season" events that I am sure many locals will say really make it the true "on-season" for us who get to take in the valley now at a more reflective and indulgent pace. The first of these local benefits on my mind is Chef Jeff Van Geest's "Tuesday Table" dinners. Dining at Miradoro Restaurant for $30, one of the valley's foremost dining experiences known for Van Geest's stunning use of hyper local ingredients built soundly on a mediterranean philosophy, is a value no Okanaganer should miss. The dinners start October 15. Watch for their themed dinner announcements weekly at http://www.tinhorn.com/Restaurant, or watch for The Field Guide posts which will no doubt announce them. Reservations are required.
Last week I headed down south to Oliver to catch up with Chef Jeff (... and the Fresh Princess of Miradoro, Courtney... Jeff loves his 90's Rap. Though I think his preference may be a little more gangsta, I'll add this hip hop reference just for him) so I can start to plan my fall joys accordingly.
First up, Van Geest and the culinary team at Miradoro are hosting a special evening during the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival. Titled "Chef vs. Chef", Van Geest and Guest Chef Adam Pegg of La Quercia in Vancouver, will be together in the kitchen on the fine evening of October 4. "It's not an Iron Chef", said Chef JVG first thing. "The entire menu is a collaboration". I have included this utterly local yet classically mediterranean collaborative menu at the foot of this paragraph. First, I would like to share a story on the energy and inspiration for this team's uniting. The connection that the two mediterranean influenced chefs have has it's pivotal moment rooted in a night in Vancouver, when Chef Jeff visited La Quercia. Chef Adam offered Jeff a beer and - "It turned in to one of the best meals of my life, all standing in the kitchen, where I am most comfortable anyways" said JVG.
Maybe a great reason Jeff was compelled to visit La Quercia that night in Vancouver, was because Jeff's Sous Chef at Miradoro, Courtney Welter, who has been doing magic in the Miradoro kitchen, used to work at La Quercia, manning Chef Adams prized pasta station on his days off (no small responsibility). I'd guess that meal on foot in the kitchen gave Jeff a further insight in to Courtney's talents.
The good vibes around this kitchen will make for some unforgettable feasting on October 4th. Read about the event on the Miradoro site, and book your tickets right away. See you there :) and as promised...
Check out the "Chef vs. Chef" (that's not an iron chef) Menu below:
Heirloom tomato & buratta, mosto cotto, basil, basil seeds
Tortellini in brodo
Whole roasted suckling pig with veg and potatoes cooked over the fire
Tiger blue cheese with grape must, walnut crackers
Olive oil hazelnut cake with pine mushroom gelato
Chefs JVG and Courtney - Tongues out... beef tongue
Coming up this Friday, September 27, Executive Chef Jeff is hosting one of the signature events put on by the joint project of Visa Infinite, The British Columbia Wine Institute, and Wine Country Ontario - The Visa Infinite Wine Country Experiences. This event brings together Gold Medal Plates Culinary Champions Chefs Marc St. Jacques and Marc Lepine at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards' Miradoro Restaurant. It's an event exclusively for Visa Infinite card holders, so if you hold one, get booking. You can read more about it HERE.
Also of tasty note: Chef JVG has a pig roast planned for the 500+ Tinhorn Creek Crush Club members. You will have to SIGN UP for the club quickly to reap these delicious pork infused benefits.
Offsite from his home winery at Tinhorn, this past weekend JVG participated in Culmina Winery's 5 Chef All Star Friends and Family Launch event, where I had a chance to taste his Suckling Pig Ciabatta with some kind of amazing pickled watermelon rind relish which I am still trying to track him down about. The sandwich was a perfect pairing with Culmina's very limited Saignee Rose.
Now that you have some anchors to build your fall eating and drinking schedule around, fall hasn't come soon enough, right? We will see you "there" :)
Tarynn Liv Parker