“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to Kelowna
Leaving Vancouver, driving Highway 1 East towards Hope, we then took the Coquihalla, Hwy 5 North towards Merritt and then 97C East towards Lake Okanagan, the drive was just over 4 hours.
Arrived to the beautiful Delta Okanagan Resort & Spa in downtown Kelowna, situated overlooking the Lake Okanagan, this waterfront resort features OAK+CRU Social Kitchen & Wine Bar, their regionally-inspired restaurant, and resort amenities including a spa, a fitness center, indoor pool, plus an activity centre that offers bikes, kayaks and paddle boats.
Headed over to West Kelowna for a visit to Mission Hill Winery along with a tour and tasting of some of their wines paired with cheeses. Our tour guide Julia was most informative explaining the history and operations behind this notable winery.
Then had dinner at the beautiful Terrace Restaurant that features all outdoor seating, covered with heat lamps for cooler nights. Executive Chef Patrick Gayler oversees the kitchen as well as the on-site farm which provides produce and herbs for the dishes. My friend Lawrence and I enjoyed Impeccable service, beautiful plates, along with some Mission Hill wines.
To start our dining adventure we enjoyed the sparkling Wine along with some of their house-made Fife bread with butter and fruit vinegar dip.
We enjoyed a couple of wine flights during our meal, tasting the various wines with the dishes.
The Scallop Crudo was stunning with sea buckthorn, ponzu and lemon verbena; as was the Organic Golden Beets & Fresh Made Cheese with sour apricot chamomile oil,, estate peach jam, plum, toasted flax; we also loved the Rosemary & Thyme Roasted Cauliflower with smoked crème, espellette pepper, green onion.
For our main dishes, I had the outstanding Natural Cache Creek Beef Babette with glazed wild mushrooms, new potatoes, aged Gouda fondue Paired with 2012 Compendium (incredible pairing) while Lawrence had the Dry Aged Yarrow Meadows Duck with fois grais sprouted Rye, smoked hispi cabbage, cassis, blueberries
We then shared a couple of desserts, our favourite Chèvre Cheesecake & apricots with lake harvest wine and estate honey, toasted pistachios; along with the Lapin Cherry & Almond Tart with whipped mascarpone, brown sugar crumble, sorbet.
The next day we enjoyed breakfast in the Club Lounge followed by a walk around the resort and then a bicycle ride around the lake, the heritage district and downtown and beyond with complimentary bikes we borrowed from the activity centre.
It was then time for lunch at Oak & Cru where Executive Chef Daniel Craig oversees the resort’s food operations as well as the restaurant. Here we enjoyed some delicious dishes, share plates and Okanagan wines.
After a Welcome cocktail made by their bartender, we enjoyed the beautiful Strawberry Tomato Salad, paired with local winery Hester Creek Rose.
Next was the delcious Lamb Meatballs and housemade sourdough along wth the Crispy Yellowfin Tuna
I loved the Nighthawk Vineyards Gewurtzrammer (Okanagan Falls) which was paired with the Wood fired Selva Prawns with Lemon; and Chicken Satays with cantaloupe slaw; along with the Smoked Salmon Firedeck Pizza with locally grown vegetables and herbs.
We then shared a couple of desserts, the Lemon Curd Bar with Merengue and my favourite the Okanagan Cherry Cheesecake.
After a restful afternoon we drove about 35 minutes North to Lake Country to visit 50th Parallel Estate Winery where we had a tasting of their wines along with a tour of the property. We than had dinner at the winery’s Block One Restaurant which is overseen by Executive Chef Kai Koroll and his Executive Sous chef Christian Scott, here we enjoyed delicious dishes paired with some of there 50th Parallel Estate Wines.
We were served an Amuse Buche with celeriac, nasturtiums, leek ash Paired with the 2017 Pinot Gris to start off our dinner adventure.
Next it was beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes from the garden with burata, brioche, micro basil, aged balsamic, Parmesan; followed by the Seasonal Flatbread with local peaches, Fior de latte, serrano; both appetizers paired with the divine rose.
The Pan Seared Wild Salmon with corn + leek ravioli, basil pistou, fried & braised leeks was outstanding as was the wine pairing with the Riesling.
The Peace Country Rack of Lamb with leek ash, charred shallot, romanesco, barley, wild mushrooms, carrot purée, Port & shallot jus was another outstanding dish and pairing with the Unparalleled Red wine.
We finished with my favourite of the two desserts, the outstanding Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with mascarpone mousse, dark chocolate glaze, espresso gelato, amaretti, gold flakes; and the Meyer Lemon & caramelized White chocolate tart with Meyer lemon curd meringue, tarragon & White chocolate ice cream, local raspberries.
It was a nice couple of days visiting the Kelowna area before heading back to Vancouver.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: The Delta Okanagan Resort and Spa provided us with complimentary accommodation, and meals. Mission Hill Winery and The Terrace provided complimentary tour, tasting and dinner and 50th Parallel Estate Winery provided complimentary tasting and dinner. All opinions and the photos are my own.