As written by Mia Stainsby for Vancouver Sun, July 15, 2021
Food and restaurant writer Mia Stainsby’s first instalment in a three-part series on where to eat in the Okanagan.
The late, legendary foodie James Barber once dubbed the Cowichan Valley “Canada’s Provence,” a title oft repeated by writers such as myself. But frankly, that southern France billing may better fit the Okanagan Valley, with its aromatic garrigue landscape softened by carpets of lush vineyards, delicious wines and hot, dry summers.
Add the exciting and ever-growing terroir-based food experiences, and my annual pilgrimages there (barring 2020) are like a trip through Provence — almost. And with the crisis of Vancouver’s unaffordable housing, it keeps getting better as West Coast big-deal chefs find their bliss in the Okanagan.
Since we’re now unleashed to travel B.C., here’s the first of my three-part series on where to eat in the Okanagan which, by the way, will in no way tell the whole story. First is a roundup of places I’ve visited in the past, have been around for some time, as well as a couple of newish ones. Next week, Penticton’s new hot spots! Travel safely!
The Bear, The Fish, The Root and The Berry
Spirit Ridge Resort
1200 Rancher Creek Rd., Osoyoos.
The restaurant (with a lovely patio) is on the traditional land of the Syilx people of the Okanagan Nation and the food’s described as “modern vineyard cuisine inspired by Indigenous roots.” The restaurant name refers to the four food chiefs from the Syilx creation story. Restaurant chef Murray McDonald (opening chef at the famed Fogo Island Resort in Newfoundland) weaves traditional foods like salmon, clams, bison, venison, seaweed, chestnut flour and berries into the dishes.