The GOODS from the Similkameen Wineries Association
Keremeos, BC | Saturday marked the night of the 5th hosted by the Similkameen Wineries Association at the historic Grist Mill & Gardens in Keremeos. Chef Lee Humphries from Local in Summerland was crowned the 2014 Similkameen BBQ King after winning “Best Wine and Food Pairing” of the night with Cawston’s Seven Stones Winery. It was a double victory for Local and Seven Stones Winery as they received both the media’s choice award and the people’s choice award for “Best Wine and Food Pairing” of the night.
Chef Lee’s winning dish was cherry BBQ pulled pork tacos with sorrel chimichurri, marinated shaved carrots, pickled zucchini, pork sausage, piggy puffs and cherry hot sauce. The pork was marinated overnight with Seven Stones Pinot Noir, which was also the paired wine. Chef Lee was assisted by Chef Damien Mischkinis.
Chef Lee, who spent two days preparing, marinating and then slow cooking the pork on the grill said, “All in all, it was a very long, hot, rewarding day surrounded by amazing talent, exceptional wine and great people.” George Hanson, owner and winemaker at Seven Stones Winery was equally thrilled, “It was such an honour to be partnered with Chef Lee and the team from Local. Their dish paired perfectly with our Pinot Noir!”
The runner up for the people’s choice award was the Similkameen’s own Chef Natasha Schooten from the Grist Mill paired with Sage Bush Winery. The runner up for the media’s choice award was Shayna Merritt and Josh Shulman from Shayna & Shulman Culinary Adventures paired with Orofino Winery.
This truly unique Similkameen wine and food experience is a competition where 9 featured chefs compete for the coveted title of Similkameen BBQ King or Queen. Kim Lawton, Marketing Director of the Similkameen Wineries Association explained the competition. “We had 9 competing chefs who were each given a black box of the identical ingredients”.
Each chef received:
• A 65 pound hog from Two Rivers Specialty Meats
• 20 bunches of certified organic rainbow carrots from Similkameen River Organics
• 20 pounds of certified organic zucchini from Harker’s Organics and Belly Achers
• 20 pounds of certified organic lambert cherries from Crockett Farms annual Similkameen BBQ King event
• 2 pounds of certified organic mixed sorrel from Harker’s Organics
• 1 x 100 gram shaker of Country Pepper from Canadianna Spicery in Keremeos
Lawton continued, “The sold out event was a huge success. More than 400 people had the opportunity to taste the amazing creations from each chef, to enjoy the fantastic wines from the wineries of the Similkameen Wineries Association and to explore the gorgeous Grist Mill and Gardens. Before the main competition began, guests were treated to appetizers from local restaurants including Benja Thai, Branding Iron and Tree to Me. We were also so pleased to have some of Canada’s top wine media at the event to judge the pairings, lead by the Similkameen’s own wine judge, educator and writer, Rhys Pender.”
The other competing chefs were:
• Chris Boehm from Burger 55 paired with Forbidden Fruit Winery
• Jason Hartl from the Delta Grand Okanagan paired with Clos du Soleil Winery
• Brent Pillon from Hillside Winery & Bistro paired with VineGlass Winery
• Jeff Van Geest from Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek paired with Eau Vivre Winery
• Justin Paakkunainen from Walnut Beach Resort paired with Robin Ridge Winery
• Adair Scott from Watermark Beach Resort paired with Rustic Roots Winery
Guests were entertained by Jonnie Bridgman and the Ajna Jazz Trio and they were also able to shop for amazing items at the silent auction, which was a partial fundraiser for the Grist Mill. A beautiful sunny day, 9 amazing chefs, award-winning wines from the 9 wineries of the Similkameen Wineries Association, live entertainment, a gorgeous venue and a silent auction with fantastic prizes. It was a night to remember.
The Similkameen is one of the hot spots for grape and fruit wine in British Columbia, Canada. It was named by enRoute Magazine as one of the world’s 5 Best Wine Regions You’ve Never Heard Of! The Similkameen Wineries Association is a collective of 9 wineries located in Cawston and Keremeos in the Similkameen Valley including Clos du Soleil, EauVivre, Forbidden Fruit, Orofino, Robin Ridge, Rustic Roots, Sage Bush, Seven Stones and VineGlass. For more information on the Similkameen Wineries Association or any of its fine award-winning wineries and wines, visit www.SimilkameenWine.com, call 250.488.0878 or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Photos & Video
Nine of the Similkameen wineries have joined together to form the Similkameen Wineries Association (SWA) to help put the spotlight on the exciting developments in this region. Clos du Soleil, Eau Vivre, Forbidden Fruit, Orofino, Robin Ridge, Rustic Roots, Sage Bush, Seven Stones and VineGlass are working together to welcome everyone to the beautiful Similkameen Valley!
About the Similkameen Wine Region
Soak up the sunshine and dare to dream while meandering through the vineyards of the family-run boutique wineries of the Similkameen. Sip award-winning wines with the winemakers while learning about their love of the land in one of the hot spots for grape and fruit wine in British Columbia. Discover for yourself why this special little wine region was named by enRoute Magazine as “one of the world’s 5 best wine regions you’ve never heard of!” This little patch of vineyards and orchards in the hot, dry and sunny Similkameen Valley is turning out some stunning grape and fruit wines.
There are currently over 600 acres of vineyards in the Similkameen and a large number of orchards. In fact, the region is considered to be the organic farming capital of Canada with an estimated 42% of all crops grown organically. This is due to the ideal conditions of dry heat, long hours of sunlight and the famous wind that whips through the valley keeping out pests and diseases.
The Similkameen Valley has been growing fruit and grapes for many years, but it is only recently that there has been a rapid expansion in the number of wineries. Prior to this, many of the grapes were sold to Okanagan wineries and contributed to a number of award winning wines. Now the awards are piling up for wineries in the Similkameen! Hundreds of medals have been awarded to Similkameen wineries over the past few years.
On the second Saturday each July, we join together for a very special event called the Similkameen BBQ King. Guests enjoy an extraordinary summer evening savouring the award-winning wines from nine of the Similkameen wineries and nine distinguished chefs who are vying for the title of Similkameen BBQ King. Passion and expertise rule the competition as some of the most sought after Chefs from BC prepare a plate of locally grown food for each guest. This award-winning event is held in the lovely outdoor gardens at the historic Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos. The Similkameen is becoming one of Canada’s premier wine destinations.
Located 3.5 hours east of Vancouver along beautiful highway 3, and just 30 minutes from Penticton and Osoyoos, the location makes the Similkameen the perfect weekend adventure or the perfect first stop on your Okanagan wine getaway! Kick back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine while you discover the hidden gem called the Similkameen Valley.