Eat local, drink local at restaurants in the Central Okanagan
Chef Kevin Negoro emerges from the kitchen with a hyper-local noodle dish.
“I actually made the noodles with locally-grown zucchini and organic carrots sourced from Mike’s Produce and cooked them in garlic and white wine and topped it with red onion, arugula, tomato and grated parmesan cheese,” said Negoro, who plies his trade at FSH restaurant in downtown Kelowna.
“I call it Nude Noodles. Obviously, it’s vegetarian, but it can be a vegan option without the parmesan.”
The chef is doing promotion for Buy BC’s Eat Drink Local restaurant campaign, which runs through the month of May.
FSH tries as much as possible to to use local and serve local, from meat, cheese and vegetables to fruit, wine, beer and spirits.
In season, co-owner Heath Martin grows a lot of the herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers the restaurant uses in garden beds at his house. So the East Drink Local blitz isn't a stretch for the eatery.
However, what the campaign does is formalize the effort and gives FSH a chance to put Eat Drink Local signs on the door and decals on the menu and develop fresh sheets reflecting the freshest of B.C. ingredients.
“Even our ever-popular warm seafood salad is considered local because the seafood comes from the B.C. coast and the produce from the Okanagan,” said Negoro.
“It's easy to source local when you’re in B.C.”
B.C. Restaurant & Foodservices Association CEO Ian Tostenson came in from Vancouver for the Kelowna event.
“The Buy BC program was first introduced in the 1990s to encourage consumers to buy local,” he said.
“Now that Buy BC has been reintroduced, this Eat Drink Local component was developed because restaurants are a significant contributor to Buy BC and restaurants can educate the public on just how good and available local ingredients are.”
Tostenson stressed the association didn’t ask restaurants to do anything complicated. “It’s simple,” he said. “Restaurants serve up local food, wine, beer and spirits and earmark it on their menus. They also get highlighted on the EatDrinkLocal.ca website.”
So far, 60 Okanagan restaurants and wineries have joined the campaign.
In the South Okanagan, The Villa Rosa, Dirty Laundry Winery, Nomad Cider, Pentage Winery, Waterfront Beach Resort, Quinta Ferreira Winery, Squeezed Wines, La Casa Bianca Winery, Meyer Family Vineyard and Intersection Winery.
They include Waterfront Wines, Train Station Pub, Moxie’s, Bohemian Cafe, Hotel Eldorado, Sunset Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery, La Lupita, Raudz Regional Table, West Coast Grill at the Beach House Hotel, The Table at Codfathers Seafood Market, The Sandwich Company, Salted Brick and Xchange, all in Kelowna.
From West Kelowna there are Bonfire restaurant at The Cove Resort, Red Fox Club at Indigenous Winery and 19 Okanagan Grill at Two Eagles Golf Course.
In Lake Country, Block One restaurant at 50th Parallel Winery, Ricardo’s and Garden Bistro at The Chase Winery are taking part.
Tostenson is also happy that chain restaurants such as Earls, Moxie’s, Browns Socialhouse, White Spot and Joey are taking part.
“The Cactus Club is about to sign on and even McDonalds uses local ingredients and is interested in taking part,” he said.
“The campaign may start May 1 and officially last for only a month, but we want Buy BC and Eat Drink Local to be a yearround initiative for both consumers and restaurants.”
At the Eat Drink Local promotion Thursday at FSH restaurant in downtown Kelowna are co-owner Heath Martin, left, chef Kevin Negoro, B.C. Restaurant & Foodservices Association CEO Ian Tostenson and co-owner Amanda Steadman. At the Eat Drink Local...