“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.” Alice Waters
Every Sunday evening in the summer at God’s Mountain Estate, set in a vineyard above shimmering Skaha Lake, the chefs of Joy Road Catering create a culinary adventure.
The menu is inspired by the season, local wine, and the best of what growers, foragers and farmers present. When Joy Road and Upper Bench Winery & Creamery are riffing off each other some Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Okanagan Sun cheese, U&Brie, Gold cheese, Grey Baby and King Cole blue music is made. A fantastic evening turned into a magical one for the lucky 47 to score spots at the long table when a late May day decided to be a mid-July one bathing everyone in warmth and casting a rosy glow over the evening.
“It’s around the table and in the preparation of food that we learn about ourselves and about the world.” Alice Walters.
First to arrive, U&Brie gougere with Joy Road’s own 2-year house-cured prosciutto with a Brie, heirloom radishes & herb salad, paired with chilled Upper Bench Riesling.
Chardonay was served with a Tartiflette cooked in a wood oven featuring Okanagan Sun cheese and farmer Yuri’s potatoes, leeks, lemon thyme and house-cured bacon.
Award-winning wine, artisan cheese and the Valley’s most sought-after caterer combine to create a night to remember. Upper Bench Winemaker Gavin Miller’s passion for the vineyard and the terroir is expressed through his signature, hands-off, minimalist approach to winemaking. He is known in the industry for his big Bordeaux-style reds and has a distinct way of showcasing a wine’s varietal character.
The winery and creamery’s Cheesemaker Shana Miller has steeped herself in the art of artisanal cheesemaking and has been creating her own line of Upper Bench Blue, Brie, and washed-rind cheeses since 2011.
Joy Road is famous for its cuisine du terroir with its lovely food with a strong sense of place. They use local ingredients for the simple reason that fresh tastes better. The caterers believe wholeheartedly in socially-responsible food sourcing allowing its customers to enjoy the Okanagan bounty at the height of ripeness while also sustaining the farmers and artisans who represent the agricultural heritage of this region.
The main course was a rack of pork rubbed with fennel and chili, overnight braised shoulder and jus with Swiss chard and kale paired with a stunning Pinot Noir.
One of Joy Road’s most labour intensive dishes was this amazing house-ground flint corn polenta with wild white chanterelle mushrooms and Upper Bench Gold cheese served with Similkameen asparagus with Grey Baby Mornay sauce, chives and chive blossoms.
Farmer Jordan’s spring-tender greens were perfect.
For the final act, guests were treated to fairly lights, a stunning sunset and red wine poach pears with a King Cole blue and Similkameen apiary honey and vanilla bean caramel.
God’s Mountain Estates is a unique 115-acre oasis featuring a Mediterranean-style villa, built by an eccentric pioneer couple and their family. The spectacular views of the lake and vineyards, the serenity and grandeur of the mountain and the eclectic ambiance of the home, make this a story-book venue for a long table dinner.