roger knox/morning star Gumtree Catering executive chef Jason Folk (left) and Picnic Bakery & Catering owner/chef Karen Lyons are preparing for the 100 Mile Dinner, a night of food grown and sourced within the North Okanagan, paired with beverages from world renowned Okanagan Spirits.

Chefs busy growing dinner

North Okanagan businesses team up for locally sourced evening of food, drinks

The radishes and spinach are coming along fine. Their parents’ gardens have been put to use. The mushroom kits are working.

And, they vow, Karen Lyons and Kyla Macaulay will catch the trout. Promise.

Lyons, owner/chef at Vernon’s Picnic Bakery &Catering, and Macaulay, co-owner/chef at Gumtree Catering in Vernon, have teamed up with some other North Okanagan food companies to present the 100 Mile Dinner Friday, June 9, at Okanagan Spirits.

The four-course meal will feature food grown (and caught) by Lyons and Macaulay, and locally produced from within 100 miles of the North Okanagan. Each course will be paired with delicious beverages from Okanagan Spirits.

“We’re growing stuff and we’re going fishing,” smiled Macaulay.

Added Lyons: “We’re doing all the work. We are literally growing dinner.”

The evening is a collaboration of Gumtree Catering, Picnic Bakery &Catering, Vernon’s Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen and Spallumcheen’s Bellmann Specialty Produce and Wild Moon Organics.

Lyons and Macaulay will be joined by chefs Jason Folk, Jen Csati and Edwin Hayman to prepare succulent courses.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and attendees will be treated to an Okanagan Spirits cocktail with passed canapés and smoked trout bruscetta, paired with gin and aquavitus cocktail.

The first course will feature Helmut’s charcuterie (cold cooked meats) and local cheeses with cherry chutney, homemade pickles and housemade crackers, paired with blackcurrant liqueur.

Course two will feature spinach salad with local berries, tossed hazelnuts and blueberry dressing, paired with blueberry drop cocktail.

The third, main course will be a double pork chop BRBN (Okanagan Spirits’ corn whiskey) brined with wild mushroom ragu, Bellmann farm-grilled asparagus and braised radish and mascarpone polenta, paired with masala chai BRBN whisky sour.

For dessert, guests will enjoy a rhubarb galette with sour cream ice cream, drizzled with Okanagan Spirits’ rhubarb liqueur.

“This is literally a ground-breaking menu,” said Lyons. “It’s our off-season and we just want to showcase what we do. We’re (Gumtree and Picnic Bakery) both getting ready to be busy for the summer.”

Cost for the evening is $100. Tickets are available at The Bean Scene, Triumph Coffee, by phoning 250-558-7555, e-mailing, or clicking a link on the Picnic Bakery &Catering Facebook page.

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