Our Food and Wine Artisans
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Schell,
‘The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker – In the Okanagan’ 2016
Growing up fishing and hunting and enjoying the spoils of the land, Doug took a rather circuitous route to become a farmer.
As he readily admits, "there's not a lot of people who would hire me at one point in my life ... so I started my own business ... if I hadn't I would probably have starved and didn't have two nickels to rub together at the time."
An honest, straight up character, Doug is a local grower of organic produce that is known throughout the Valley for their pristine nature and natural flavours.
Specializing in organic peppers and 30 varieties of microgreens, Doug can be seen hand-delivering his produce to the chef. "I'm the kind of farmer who wants to make sure that every bit of produce I deliver is fresh ... and I rather enjoy chatting up the kitchen staff. My customers have the same philosophy as I do ... keep it local ... keep it fresh."
Fester's Organics is just one of many local food artisans who supply our kitchen at OAK+CRU. Fester's has an entire row on the farm dedicated to ensuring we always have the freshest micro greens for your salads and plates.
We respect the work of local farmers like Doug and are honoured to have him as part of our culinary adventures.
Photo Courtesy of The People’s Crafthouse.
Bringing Back Traditional Soda
The People's Crafthouse
The People’s Crafthouse are committed to using whole natural ingredients to bring back traditional soda making for todays soda drinkers. Using recipes inspired by original soda and tonic makers of the 1800’s this Penticton business is using classic flavours, natural ingredients and a small batch artisinal approach to their soda recipes.
Created specifically to be less sugary, the sodas are sweetened with a minimal amount of organic cane sugar and contain no high fructose corn syrup or chemical preservatives allowing the fruit, flower, root, and herb flavors to shine through.
The People’s Crafthouse produce a full range of soda flavours under their own label and work with companies and organizations to create custom branded soda products.
Their inaugural soda, ‘Root Beer’ , was created by adapting a recipe from 1841! The ‘Root Beer’ has flavours of sarsaparilla, sassafras, molasses, licorice root, cinnamon and vanilla bean. Celebrating their Okanagan location, they also produce a ‘Seasonal Fruit Soda’ working with the available fruit, berry and botanical crops developing a Cherry-Vanilla, Peach-Basil and Okanagan Merlot Grape.
Oak + Cru is excited to carry a selection of these locally created craft sodas.
Photo Courtesy of Okanagan Spirits.
Western Canada's Oldest Craft Distillery
Located in nearby Vernon, Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery is Western Canada’s oldest craft distillery spanning over a decade in the production of award-winning B.C. spirits.
The distillery sprung from the idea of using 100% locally grown fruits and grains to make premium, world-class spirits just a tractor-ride away from the orchards and fields where the base ingredients were grown. BC’s original harvest-to-flask distillery now offers a selection of more than 25 internationally awarded spirits ranging from BC’s first Single Malt Whisky to Gins, Vodkas, Liqueurs, Fruit Brandies and even Aquavit and Absinthe.
Their state-of-the-art Copper Pot Still allows them to convert perfectly ripened Okanagan grains and apples into smooth craft vodka and gin.
You can enjoy the Okanagan Spirits Gin and Okanagan Spirits Vodka in our handcrafted cocktails or a classic dry martini in the style of James Bond.
Okanagan Spirits also has a storefront located on Bernard Avenue an easy stroll from the hotel where you can taste their products, learn about the distilling process and even tuck a bottle in your bag to take home.
Photo Courtesy of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.
The make a cheese for everyone.
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks
In January 1999, Clarke and Nancy Gourlay with their 3 boys returned from Switzerland where they had been living for several years. Inspired by the magnificent Swiss cheeses, they set out to learn and practice the ancient and noble art of cheesemaking.
The cool moist climate in the shadow of Vancouver Island’s Mt. Arrowsmith proved to be ideal for grazing cows and ripening artisan cheeses, and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks found a home. They began milking cows and making cheese in 2001 and three years later settled on beautiful Morningstar Farm in Parksville, BC.
With 13 varieties of cheese, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks have a cheese for everyone – from aged raw-milk cheeses like Mt. Moriarty, and Bleu Claire, to ‘Tipsy Jill’ with red wine marbling and squeaky cheese curds (a Canadian tradition) that arrive on your palate only hours after the milk leaves the cow!
You can enjoy Little Qualicum cheese on the share platter – ‘Meat & Dairy’ filled with cured meats and a variety of cheeses and pickled farm vegetables, or topping the popular ‘Old Grandad Soup’.
Photo Courtesy of Motherlove Kombucha, photography by Stacey Parker.
The champagne of life.
Known as the “Champagne of Life,” “Tea Fungus” and “T’Chai from the Sea,” kombucha is a foodie health trend with staying power.
Kombucha itself is a type of yeast, although it is most commonly used — and ingested — in fermented tea form. The trend has spurred DIY-fermentation classes in Brooklyn, paparazzi photographs of celebrities such as Mary-Kate Olsen and Orlando Bloom indulging in the beverage, and kombucha drinks marketed by major tea companies such as Tazo, Honest Tea and Celestial Seasonings. Kombucha enthusiasts have long touted the supposed health benefits of the tea, using it to address an array of conditions, from PMS, immune system issues and slow metabolisms to joint pain, fatigue and hair loss.
You don’t need to go with a big brand name for kombucha – you can support local and and enjoy locally brewed and handcrafted kombucha. Described as raw, organic and probiotic, Motherlove Ferments Co is located in Kelowna and brews ‘high-quality, good tasting, and gut loving’ brews.
Kombucha tea and water kefir are age old fermented drinks that are naturally carbonated and full of probiotics. They contain good bacteria that help digest food and boost your immune system while also aiding in the natural detoxification of the body. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast" (SCOBY).
You can experience Motherlove Ferments kombucha on our breakfast menu with three varieties – Holy Hibiscus, Lavender Lemonade and Sweet Honey Ginger. Our creative bar team has also incorporated this local brew into ‘Stave & Honey’ - a cocktail that also showcases our own honey.