Writer Jennifer Cockrall-King (centre) gets a lesson in gourmet doughnut making from Jalayne Jones (left) and Alyssa Hinds Friday morning at Ratio Coffee and Pastry.

Writer Jennifer Cockrall-King (centre) gets a lesson in gourmet doughnut making from Jalayne Jones (left) and Alyssa Hinds Friday morning at Ratio Coffee and Pastry.

Baking spree lures visitors to Vernon

Vernon Tourism hopes writers will bring visitors to the region

It was doughnut making 101.

Writer Jennifer Cockrall-King left her pen and note pad behind and donned an apron for Doughnut  Friday at Ratio Coffee and Pastry.

“It’s harder than it looks,” said Cockrall-King as she tried to infuse a doughnut with filling.

“I have experience with eating doughnuts.”

The author of Food Artisans of the Okanagan was at Ratio as part of a familiarization tour hosted by Tourism Vernon.

“It’s all about creating awareness about Vernon and the North Okanagan and our partners and their passion for what they do,” said Ange Chew, the City of Vernon’s tourism manager.

And that passion was front and centre in Ratio’s kitchen as the staff showed Cockrall-King the ropes.

Food and emotions are closely linked and that was the case for Cockrall-King, who splits her time between Edmonton and the Okanagan.

“Growing up in Alberta on Sundays, it was church and doughnuts. I am on a quest to find my childhood doughnut,” she said.

Also getting behind the scenes was Roslyne Buchanan, a freelancer and Destination B.C. blogger, who assisted distiller Peter Von Hahn at Okanagan Spirits.

“I love all things culinary and I love local,” said the Penticton resident. “Craft distilling captures the imagination.”

Cockrall-King was impressed with what she saw at Ratio.

“The world needs more of this. I’m into food that takes time and tastes great. I’m thrilled that people are willing to do the hard work and I’m even more thrilled that people are willing to support it.”

In 2015, 103 writers, bloggers and broadcasters came to Vernon and their articles resulted in a story value of $2.6 million.

“It helps us reach into markets I can’t afford. Last year we were in Germany, China and the U.S.,” said Chew.

About 37 million people were potentially reached about Vernon as a holiday destination.