Six British Columbia winemakers will make the trip of a lifetime today when their wines are featured at the iconic James Beard House in New York City.
Wines by five Okanagan Valley vintners — Laughing Stock Vineyards in Penticton, Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna, Nk’Mip Cellars in Osoyoos, Quails’ Gate Winery in West Kelowna and Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in Oliver — as well as Vista D’oro Farms & Winery in the Lower Mainland city of Langley — will be paired with cuisine prepared by six female chefs from Calgary, Alberta, for lunch and dinner events.
Sandra Oldfield, president and CEO of Tinhorn Creek, made the trip to pour her 2013 Gewürztraminer paired with Carrot Terrine with Smoked Trout, Alberta Premium Rye Whisky Mousseline, Ginger-Barley Crisp and Minus 8 Maple Brix Verjus by Liana Robberrecht, chef at the Calgary Petroleum Club.
Andrea Visscher, public relations manager at Tourism Calgary, said, “We are proud to showcase an acclaimed all-female lineup of Calgary chefs for an inventive and hearty feast that highlights the best local fare from across Alberta.”
VQA program turns 25 years old
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the British Columbia Vintners Quality Alliance, an initiative spearheaded by Harry McWatters. The VQA movement, sponsored by the provincial legislature, certified quality as well as a guarantee that 100 percent of the fruit came from British Columbia.
“This will be an exclusive opportunity for New Yorkers to discover what makes the wines of British Columbia so special,” Anderson said. “Our unique terroir and climate create a wine style unlike anywhere in the world, and we are excited to partner with Tourism Calgary and ACTA to showcase our exceptional wine and food pairings with distinguished media and guests.”
The main event will be held over lunch, targeting key New York trade and media, and will be followed by a consumer/Beard House member dinner that evening.
The JBF media lunch and dinner with British Columbia wines will feature a chef collaborative menu showcasing Okanagan Valley wines paired with acclaimed Canadian Agri-Foods. Highlights include braised Carmen Creek bison short rib, Saskatoon berries, Chinook Honey verrine, smoked ham hock tortellini and gremolata walleye.
Calgary-based chefs include Alison Bieber (Black Pig Bistro), Connie DeSousa (CHARCUT Roast House), Nicole Gomes (Nicole Gourmet), Wanda Ly (WinSport Canada) and Karine Moulin of Hotel Arts Group.
James Beard grew up on Oregon Coast
Portland-born James Beard, who grew up with a love for theater, moved to New York City and subsequently launched a catering business prior to World War II. He began appearing on national TV after the war and soon was coined “The Dean of American Cuisine” by Julia Child.
During the 1950s, he operated culinary schools in New York City and Seaside, Ore., and went on to sign endorsement deals with a number of prominent food products.
Beard died in 1985, and a number of his supporters purchased his Greenwich Village home. They turned it into the James Beard House and established the non-profit James Beard Foundation. Its stated mission is “to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.”
Today, however, that mission should be broadened to read “North America’s diverse culinary heritage.”