Earlier this summer, I made my first trip ever to Osoyoos to attend a good friend’s wedding (I know – I can’t believe it either, seeing as I’ve lived in BC all my life). I’ve been to plenty of these special events this year, but I’d have to say, one of the best dinners of them all was at this one, catered by Joy Road Catering.
Cameron Smith and Dana Ewert started the company, with their theme of Cuisine du Terroir, meaning “food of the earth”. They hail from Toronto originally, and used to work at the former Avalon restaurant with chef Chris McDonald. Coming to the Okanagan, their goal was to use as many seasonal, local ingredients as possible in their menus, and pair these with the delicious wines available in the area.
I only have a few pictures of that evening (and it’s a mixture of my point and shoot camera and old blackberry), due to the fact we were at La Stella for the ceremony and reception, and it was difficult to focus after drinking up so much good wine. Alas, here I will share some of what I do remember. 🙂
Starting with drinks, there was a non-alcoholic beverage available, which to be honest I didn’t notice at all, and only found out about when I asked for the menu. Anyway, it was a freshly squeezed organic lemonade with local honey and a touch of culinary lavender. This sounds absolutely delicious, but I don’t really know if it was or not.
To start off the meal, the staff placed several baskets of home made breads with locally milled Organic Canadian wheat along the two long tables. These were served with farmhouse butter and Amelia olive oil. Seeing as we’d already been doing other wine tours earlier that day, many of us were already starving and decided that carbing up at that point would be a good idea.
After that, we had Seared trout with maldon salt, herbs and olive oil on a bed of shaved fennel, preserved lemon and green olive. I was too slow on the draw to get a taste of the rainbow trout, but the white trout was perfectly cooked and nice and light, and I kept sneaking extra olives off of my neighbour’s plate (she didn’t want them anyway).
My favourite part of the meal was the Creamy truffled orzo with morels over top. Our end of the table kept asking for more, and there were many happy expressions reflecting off the faces of all the other diners. We couldn’t keep this on our table for very long, and it felt almost like we were fighting for our food at some points, to make sure we got how much we wanted!
The Wild Apex watercress salad with organic Frazer Valley hazelnuts, lightly pickled heirloom beets, and cider vinaigrette was the last dish of the evening. I adore beets, and this fresh salad was so delicious and the dressing wasn’t overpowering. Even though I’m not a big salad person, I did take a couple of helpings of this one, and enjoyed every bite.
Finally, for dessert we had a selection of multiple options, including the Okanagan fruit galette with vanilla bean chantilly, along with a cheese board with quince paste, honeycomb, toasted nuts, and dried Okanagan fruit and assorted crisps and crackers that I ended up eating from later on in the night. The pie was filled with so much fresh, ripe fruit, and I couldn’t get enough!
There was also locally roasted coffee and fresh mint tisane, which was poured into canning jars. The tea was quite good, and helped to settle the stomach after such a large meal.
For special events and wedding catering questions, please contact Joy Road as follows: