The Fall Brings Many Things...

Ok, so it's the start of fall: a new season turbo-charged with fresh ideas that compel a modish enthusiasm for a new spectrum of preference.  Our inclinations shift to warmer, more romantically-fueled sentiments and among the falling leaves, changing colours and assortment of smoky smells, we find ourselves in the grip of a melodrama that precedes the hollow of winter.  But that doesn't mean pack up your party boots and find reclusive solace beneathe those bulky sweaters!  In fact, the changing of the seasons ushers in a whole range of activities and events that trumpet seasonal diversities that you and your family can dive right into! The party starts tonight, while we all chorus: thank God its Friday!

As the week rolls into a luxurious weekend full of warm weather and sunshine, we're celebrating the close of "Bike to Work Week" with a BBQ wrap-up party at the Barking Parrot, from 5:30-7:30 pm.  Enjoy live music by Penticton's favourite band, One 2 Many, indulge in some tasty burgers and take in the breathtaking views of the South Okanagan from one of the best lakeside patios in the valley.  With all proceeds going to the Bike to Work Foundation, it's a great excuse to get out and support a fantastic cause.

Library Voices follows suit, this Tuesday, September 27,  taking center stage, once again at the Barking Parrot.   Let us bring what's hot, new and hip in the Canadian music scene to you this fall, with a night chock full of cutting-edge sound that heralds the exciting future of pop music.  An iconic Canadian indie ten-piece band, Library Voices generates a buzz wherever they go, with notable reviews and showpieces by The New Yorker and Spin magazines and the alternative newsweekly Now. It's a music experience not to be missed!

Of course, we couldn't use the terms "iconic" and "music" in the same reference without giving a grand ol' nod, bow and curtsey to real pop royalty.  ABBA, a truly iconic phenomenan and legendary band who marshaled a whole new era of dance music, popular culture and fashion furors that reverberate into the trends of today, are back!  ABRA Cadabra, a renowned tribute band having performed for large audiences to rave reviews all across North America, is coming to the Penticton Lakeside Resort, Oct 1.  Tickets are $50.00 + tax, which includes the fabulous Lakeside Market Buffet, and can be purchased at the front desk. For more information call: 250-493-8221.

-Elizabeth Cucnik


Q & A With Chef Remington, Former BC Iron Chef and Contender For Title In Citytv Master Chef Competition!

Chris Remington, noted Head Chef at the Penticton Lakeside Resort, can add yet another badge of honour to his placard of prestigious culinary achievements and credentials. Upon winning the coveted Covert Farms chef competition at the infamous Festival of the Tomato this past August, Remington now embarks on the next level of competitive cooking, at the ninth annual Citytv Master Chef Competition, hosted by the BC Chefs Association at EAT! Fraser Valley on September 16-18th. Remington is no stranger to the arduous challenge of a black box cooking competition, having previously won the esteemed title of BC Iron Chef for two consecutive years, he enters the culinary arena with a firm grip and biting teeth. The critically acclaimed Citytv Master Chef Competition is executed in typical "Iron Chef" fashion, where 17 top chefs from around British Columbia, compete for the ultimate title in a fierce, head-to-head competition before a panel of professional culinary judges, a live audience and a national broadcast on Citytv and the Food Network Canada. The competition itself is a nod to the popular fan-crazed Iron Chef and Top Chef phenomena, which have recharged the nation with a newfound sensation for the entire experience of food and cooking. From the culinary artistry, to the technical mastery, to the breakdown of new age molecular gastronomy, the world seems to be fascinated by everything "food", therefore it comes as no surprise that the Citytv Master Chef Competition generates a large following of its own. So if you've been hiding under a rock these last few years and aren't familiar with the black box format, here is a quick refresher: this style of competition is renowned for being the toughest and most grueling of culinary challenges. While each competitor is unaware of the ingredients until the very moment the competition commences, the chefs must then devise an impromptu main course within the allotted 35 minutes, judged on composition, creativity, correct preparations, service practicality, taste, utilization of ingredients, presentation and consistency. The parameters of the competition set the stage for a feverish escapade of cooking madness, showcasing true culinary talent, passion and skill. So if you're one of those typical foodies who likes to throw around classical French cooking terms as if you were Eric Ripert, then tune into the competition and excercise your inner food critic by cheering on our very own Chef Remington!

-Elizabeth Cucnik

Q & A With Chef Remington

Congratulations on your coveted Covert Farm chef competition win! Now that you're off to Vancouver to compete in the Citytv Master Chef Competition, how does it compare to other competitions you've done?
The competition is a little different in the sense that there will be 16 other chefs and each stage is a knock out round so you are trying to stay in to go on and compete in the next round

What does food mean to you?
Experimenting. Different cultures mean different tastes, textures and smells that are intriguing and open up many new doors

What made you want to be a chef?
Both parents are great cooks (not professionally) but they were always cooking and I always seemed to be there, hands in, enjoying it. After high school it was just a job that turned into a passion

How would you describe the creative aspect of competitive cooking?
I have traveled and worked in many restaurants, in many different countries and I try to draw from all of those to create my own style of cooking

What are your strengths?
Having worked in many different places and for 17 years I have seen many different items done many different ways, so using that diversity in a black box competition really helps

How would you describe your cooking style?
Clean and simple. Don't confuse the flavors

How do you come up with your dishes? Is it all impromptu and instinct or do you go into the competition with some preconceived ideas?
Honestly it is fly by the seat of your pants - see what they give you and create as you go

What do you find the most difficult aspect of competitive cooking?
Trying to do something completely different than you competitor

What ingredients are you most comfortable with?

What are the strangest, most exotic ingredients you've had to cook with in the past?
Pigs brain was a strange one at first and a lot of the fruit and vegetables in Asia

Best of luck in the competition! It's so great to have you representing the Penticton Lakeside Resort! We'll be cheering for you all the way!

A Few Of Our Favourite Things...

What is it about the crispness of an early fall that is so sweet?  It stirs the senses and awakens a lively, festive spirit that makes us want to toast our full glasses, listen to our most quiet introspective thoughts, and draw in a deep breath of sensational feeling.  Harvests and holiday bring forth new found intimacies with family and friends and throw us into a luxurious exploration through scandalous foods and drinks.  As new winds blow through the valley, trumpeting the arrival of fresh tastes, affinities, instincts and desires - a symphony of fall flavours envelope us in a world of changing faces and shifting colours.  One can actually begin to taste the air full of spices - cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves... the bitter sweet aroma of fresh brewing coffee and stewing teas...  Yes, these long-awaited Indian summer days and nights give way to a tantalizing vision of a vibrant autumn scene: apple and pumpkin pies, crackling fires, the smell of burning leaves, the sound of rain, the first frost upon the grasses, cozy knitted fabrics, roasts and hearty stews, chili and corn bread smothered in honey, the glow of lamps through windows, scrabble and popcorn...

There are many autumn events to partake in right here in the South Okanagan, that simply frame the indulgences of the season.  The incredibly popular Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, satisfies a more refined pallet during the first two weeks of October, as it remains the only festival in North America to celebrate during the heart of the harvest.  With such a diverse program featuring 165 events happening around the valley, from culinary seminars, to vineyard tours, outdoor lunches and dinners, music, and more, it is ten extraordinary days of cultural decadence.  For those of us whose interests amuse a sportier agenda, the Vancouver Canucks are set to host the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton for the second consecutive year. A round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets from September 11th through to the 15th.
Whether you love the quiet reserve of a fall day, or the festive events it brings, there is so much to linger in and enjoy this season!

-Elizabeth Cucnik