Okanagan chefs pair food and film

Event celebrates the Okanagan’s culinary and wine-making expertise

Devour! The food and film festival returns to Osoyoos, bringing an ensemble of celebrated chefs from around the country, who will be cooking up delicious, film-inspired plates over an action-packed three-day celebration.

Taking place from June 15 to 17, the third annual event will be hosted by founding partner Watermark Beach Resort in collaboration with Similkameen Independent Winegrowers and Devour! Wolfville.

“We are absolutely thrilled to see Devour! return to the beautiful South Okanagan for the third year running,” said general manager and vice-president of business development at Watermark Beach Resort, Ingrid Jarrett. “As founding partner of Devour! Osoyoos, we are so proud to continue hosting the festival, which enables us to celebrate our beloved region and the outstanding culinary and wine that is produced here every year.”

Devour! claims to be the world’s largest culinary film festival and was founded in Nova Scotia in 2009 by the acclaimed Chef Michael Howell as a tribute to all things cinema, food and wine. In 2016 the event made its cross-country debut at the serene lakeside setting of Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, and since then, has become a yearly tradition for the South Okanagan community, dedicated to embracing the region’s bountiful natural ingredients and world-class wineries.

This year, Devour! Osoyoos offers a wide variety of fun-filled events perfectly suited to food and film fanatics. Friday, June 15 will kick off the festivities with a welcome barbecue reception featuring Watermark’s very own Chef Adair Scott and Jeff Van Geist of the local Tinhorn Creek Miradoro restaurant, followed by an after-party at local favourite, Jojo’s; the Osoyoos hotspot for handcrafted pastries, live music and comradery.

Saturday brings some of Canada’s top chefs to the spotlight, including chef Roy Johnson of Watermark Beach Resort, chef Joanne Muirhead, of Jojo’s Café, Devour! founder chef Michael Howell, chef Paul Cecconi, of Penticton based Brodo, The Table at Codfathers’ executive chef and owner, Ross Derek, Similkameen Valley based chef Janice Uebelhardt, and executive culinary chef instructor at Vancouver’s Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Darren Clay, as they duke it out in the fiercely competitive Chowder Smackdown. A portion of ticket sales from the event will be donated to the Lower Similkameen Community Fund, an affiliated fund of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen and the official charity of Devour! Osoyoos, which is a permanent endowment fund that supports all charitable endeavours in the Similkameen Valley, providing lasting support for local community needs. The event will be followed by a curated series of wine education seminars hosted by Similkameen Valley wine and cider producers, touching on topics ranging from the best varietals of the area to cider production.

Saturday evening will be marked by an exclusive gala dinner in which participating chefs will showcase their creative, screen-inspired dishes along with expertly paired wines with the Similkameen Independent Winegrowers. Chefs Clay and Corcelettes Estate Winery’s Charlie Baessler, will kick off the five-course feast and wine pairings followed by Big White Ski Resort’s executive chef, Rob Walker, who will be working alongside Clos du Soleil’s Winemaker, Mike Clark. Together with George Hanson, of Seven Stones, chef Adair Scott will lend his culinary talents to create the third course while executive chef of Heritage Asian Eatery, and recent contender on Top Chef Canada, Felix Zhou, will invent an inspired entrée that will be expertly paired with, Orofino Winemaker, John Weber’s choice of varietal. Alongside Bruce Ewert, of L’Acadie Vineyards, Michael Howell will satiate sugar cravings with the final dessert course. Sunday morning will conclude the weekend in comfort and style with a Long Table Breakfast in Watermark Beach Resort’s lakefront restaurant.

“We are excited to be part of this unique festival and share the rare terroir of the Similkameen Wine region. Pairing our wines with food created by chefs inspired by film, elevates the overall sensory experience that’s always a hit with our guests,” said Baessler, who is also the president of the Similkameen Independent Winegrowers.

Watermark Beach Resort is offering exclusive rates and packages for stays during Devour!, including the VIP All Access Pass that provides admission to the Friday reception and after-party, Saturday Chowder Smackdown, Saturday Evening Gala and Sunday Long Table Breakfast ($210 plus tax, no occupancy). Guests can also upgrade to the Complete Weekend Package, adding on two-nights accommodation (rates starting from $369 plus tax); or can opt for the Room Only Special, starting from $179 plus tax and based on double occupancy.

To book a Devour! Osoyoos 2018 weekend package at Watermark Beach Resort visit www.watermarkbeachresort.com or call 1-888-755.3480.

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