Fork and Spoon Gala dishes up food bank larder

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Fork and Spoon Gala dishes up food bank larder

By Roslyne Buchanan

In anticipation of the cold months ahead and demand on the Central Okanagan Food Bank (COFB) supplies, the first annual Fork and Spoon Gala raised almost $20,000 to help feed Kelowna’s people in need.

Working in collaboration with COFB Executive Director Lenetta Parry and her team, and the Okanagan Chefs Association (OCA), Cody Pollard of Fermented Dining, brought together nine local chefs to present nine courses with a couple of unique twists. The participating chefs were given the challenge to use only ingredients that were currently in the COFB larder and cook the entire dinner on site at the new warehouse.

COFB staff and volunteers, chefs, OCA members, plus representatives from sponsor Canadian Restaurant Services Ltd. served the culinary creations to the well-heeled crowd. Plus, there were donations from Big White Ski Resort, wineries, breweries and cideries.

Appetizers served with CRS help. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Asked what inspired him to create such an important fundraiser, Pollard was quick to share the credit with others and added, “I thought it was a cool idea to try. It’s a pretty unique concept for the Okanagan that I was in a unique position to help pull off.”

Already in planning for next year, he urges you to save the date for the 2nd Annual Fork and Spoon Gala, October 5, 2019.

How the Magic Unfolded

As guests checked into the COFB reception, they were served a glass of Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes and invited to tour the facility amid a backdrop of music by the Orange Crush Quartet. Noshing innovative appetizers presented on platters, it was fun to witness the bustling of the chefs in preparation for the main courses.

Appetizers served with magician Leif David in background. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Emcees were popular 99.9 SUN FM hosts Brian-Mack and Karly Fiddes. Magic literally was in the air as magician Leif David roamed the tables and later performed on stage. Each chef had been given a challenge of an item commonly on the shelves of the food bank such as macaroni-and-cheese, beans, lentils, produce, frozen or fresh meat, cereal, gelatin, eggs, and wieners. The nine-course masterpiece that followed was truly enlightening on how basic food can be transformed in such capable minds and hands!

Course 1: Chef James Holmes, Salt & Brick and Jacks Pizza and Liquor, frozen meat becomes a take on cabbage roll with beet greens and plum sauce.

Course 2: Chef Kai Koroll, 50th Parallel Estate Winery / BLOCK ONE Restaurant, Asian Dumpling in a Dashi broth with citrus gel of orange and grape juices with a puff crisp.

Course 3: Chef Austin Atcheson, Liquidity Bistro at Liquidity Wines, transforms Beans on toast.

Course 4: Chef Jeremy Luypen, Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery, from Kraft Dinner, hot dogs, bacon and onion creates a Timpano pasta with heavy whipped cream sauce.

Course 5: Chef Adam Relvas, Relvas Catering and The Sandwich Company By Relvas Catering, using stuffing and sauce does a take on chicken and waffles

Course 6: Chef Rob Walker of Big White Ski Resort, Lentils and Maple-brined Pork, corn sous vide

Course 7: Chef Darren Kashin, CRAFT Beer Market Kelowna, Beef Tourtière, pea custard and gravy

Course 8: Chef Alex Lavroff, The Chase Wines + Garden Bistro, Jello and Tofu, Eggs meringue, semi-freddo

Course 9: Chef Julian Helman, KARAT chocolate Kelowna, Cereal milk Crème Brulee tempura with stewed plums

Watch for a Cook Book

The chefs had a great time collaborating to present the unique meal and loved the challenge of working with products normally on the shelves at food banks. Chef Holmes said, “You couldn’t anticipate the creativity that went into those dishes and the chefs fed off each other’s energy. At the end we were so pumped, we’d really like to put together a cookbook in support of COFB.”

Of course, the positive feedback from all in attendance didn’t hurt either! https://cofoodbank.com/

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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and blog.hellobc.com. Based above BC’s Naramata Bench in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Instagram @roslynebuchanan

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