Chef Inna Turchin at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grill

Chef Inna Turchin at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grill

Taste of summer on the menu

Bourbon Street Bar and Grill preps for second annual Savour the Okanagan event in support of local health care

It’s a spoonful of goodness.

Laid upon one of those white wonton soup spoons is a mini lobster Cobb salad topped with crispy prosciutto.

Prepared by Inna Turchin, the co-owner and executive chef at Bourbon Street Bar and Grill, it is a sample of one of many appetizers Bourbon Street will prepare for its second annual Savour the Okanagan event.

The wine and culinary experience, a fundraiser for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s Tower of Care Phase Two campaign, takes place at the restaurant in Vernon’s Prestige Hotel July 25.

“This is another example of the community locally and far and wide coming together for a great cause to support VJH and raise money for the top two floors of Polson Tower,” said Dr. Chris Cunningham, campaign co-chairperson with Richard Finn.

With 100 tickets sold last year, organizers, including Bourbon Street co-owner Rick Reichelt,  hope to sell 180 tickets this year.

“Some winery events can get so packed; here people can talk to each of the wineries,” he said.

“It is a happy and relaxed event, where people can walk around and stop at the cocktail tables,” added Lisa Grant, Vernon Prestige Hotel convention and sales manager.

Not only will guests be able to taste a variety of wines from 23 different Okanagan wineries,  there will also be a variety of beers from Okanagan Spring Brewery, spirits from Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, and ciders from the BX Press.

Turchin has many savoury appetizers planned, some of which include Cajun seared tuna and house smoked pork belly club sandwiches, oysters on the half shell, and a marble slab of charcuterie with local cheeses and smoked meats that, she says, will pair nicely with the wines and other libation.

“We have so many different wineries with so many different wines,” she said. “There will be many different textures and flavours, cold and hot appetizers, and people can be the sommelier and pick the wines to go with them.”

Vernon’s Olive Us! is also part of the event and Turchin will be using their olive oils and vinegars to create some of her hors d’oeuvres.

“All our meat is exclusively from Helmut’s Sausage and the cheeses come from Happy Days Goat Farm in the Shuswap, Village Cheese in Armstrong and the Naramata Bench,” said Turchin.

With entertainment supplied by musician Steve Todd,  the event will also feature a silent auction of goods donated by wineries and other businesses.

All proceeds from the auction and ticket sales are going to the VJH Tower of Care Phase Two campaign.

“This may be the last fundraiser for this particular campaign,” said Sue Beaudry, with the VJH Foundation, adding the $2.5 million campaign is close to reaching its goal of adding 60 new state-of-the-art inpatient care beds and vital medical equipment to the hospital.

“Reflecting on this campaign the past couple of years, we want to thank the Vernon, North Okanagan and Shuswap communities who have supported us all around,” added Cunningham.

Early bird tickets for Savour the Okanagan are on sale now  and cost $45 until June 26. Tickets are $50 thereafter. Get them at Bourbon Street or at the VJH Foundation office (250-558-1362).