Chef Michael Allemeier Leaving Mission Hill
Mission Hill Family Estate has announced that chef Michael Allemeier (interview) will be departing the winery this summer on August 1st. He will be replaced as Winery Chef by Matt Batey, who is promoted from the position of Terrace Chef to lead all of the winery’s culinary programs.
I have been lucky enough to experience Allemeier’s cooking on many occassions at the winery and it is fair to say that he has been a significant part of advancing the standard of food in the Okanagan Valley. From lavish wine dinners to cooking classes, he has helped to add a dash of class to the local culinary scene. One of the greatest contributions Allemeier made to Okanagan food was his passion and stubbornness to seek out and use only the best local ingredients. This helped to put a focus on some of the amazing bounty that the Okanagan and Similkameen Valley produce.
Allemeier will be moving his family back to Calgary where he will be an instructor at the SAIT Polytechnic School of Hospitality, specifically in their Professional Cooking program. While we will miss his flare at the stove, I have no doubt that Batey will continue on from where Michael left off. He has an impressive resume listing stints at the Fairmont’s Empress Hotel in Victoria, Catch in Calgary, La Belle Auberge and Bacchus Restaurant in Vancouver, so experience is a test he doesn’t need to take.
I’m sure Allemeier will churn out many great chefs as a teacher and mentor to ensure that we in the West eat well for generations to come.
Rhys Pender is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Visit his company Wine Plus+ online at www.wineplus.ca.