Okanagan cuisine hits spotlight
Cindy White - Sep 01, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: Facebook

The unique regional cuisine of the Okanagan is on display in all its fresh, vibrant glory in a new cookbook.

Okanagan Eats is the third in a series featuring authors Joanne Sasvari and Dawn Postnikoff that started with Vancouver Eats in 2018 and was followed by Island Eats in 2021.

“I’ve been writing a lot about the wine culture in the Okanagan especially for a really long time,” said Sasvari, who is the editor of three magazines and writes about food, drink and travel for Food & Wine and Destination BC, among others. “Well, the food culture is equally exciting, if not more so.”

She and Postnikoff talked to chefs across the region to capture their stories and feature some of their favourite recipes. They didn’t just tap well-known wineries.

“Everybody thinks it’s all about the wineries, and it kind of is, but it also kind of isn’t,” Sasvari said. “Obviously, we have a number of the winery restaurants in the book, and they’re awesome. But we also have quite a lot of the small, independent cafes and bakeries and little restaurants and big restaurants. So it’s a really interesting mix.”

They discovered there is definitely something different about the style of food in the Okanagan compared to other parts of the country and even other regions of B.C.

“One of the things that I think is very much Okanagan is the local produce,” she said. “The incredible bounty of stuff that grows there, which is very different from the area around Vancouver or from the Island. It’s very much the Okanagan.”

Sasvari said the Mediterranean influence is very prominent, but there’s also a more relaxed way of dining “that feels very much like you should be sitting down and having a glass of wine and grazing through this.”

Okanagan Eats goes on sale Tuesday (Sept. 5) at most major book stores as well as many of the restaurants featured in the cookbook. You can also pick up a signed copy at Mosaic Books in Kelowna after Sept. 10.

A portion of proceeds from book sales will be donated to Central Okanagan Food Bank to support the community in the wake of the wildfires.

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