Okanagan cookbook author signs with Random House

Jennifer Schell will release a hard-cover cookbook that focuses on winery families and traditions

If you have an interest in Okanagan food or wine, you’ve likely heard of Jennifer Schell.

Born and raised in a Kelowna farming family, Schell was always tuned in to the agricultural offerings of the valley. When she focused her attention and camera lens on the creative men and women who work behind the scenes at local restaurants and wineries, she cooked up something special.

Schell is the author of the Butcher, Baker, Wine and Cheese Maker series of cookbooks. They’ve won international awards and the kudos of just about every high profile foodie in B.C.

Now she’s on to something new and has the backing of Random House, the biggest publisher in the world.

“I’ve completed the writing and have a couple more photos to do, but I’m excited,” she said. “I’ve been sent the table of contents, and we’re calling it the BC Wine Lovers’ Cookbook. It’s cute. I’m really excited about this angle.”

Schell explained that this time around she’s not doing a chef-centric cookbook, she’s taking a closer look at the cultural ties that bind this valley’s winemakers together.

READ MORE: GARIGISTE WINE MAKERS BROUGHT TOGETHER

“I’ve used recipes from people, reflecting culture and food. It paints a unique portrait of the industry in B.C. and there’s a huge range of (cultural influence,)” she said. “It’s such a Canadian story… We have recipes from Israel, Spain, Italy France. Everyone has shared family-friendly recipes and some came on photographed recipe cards, with grandma writing — I love it. It’s a celebration of these men and women who shared these recipes.”

As such, some of the recipes are named in the honour of the family member who originally passed down the recipe.

She’s also asked the participants in this most recent book to offer some insight

“ I’ve asked people what’s the story behind the recipe,” she said, adding that some are embedded in the traditions of harvest while others are family classics.

“I love the idea that these dishes are traditions … I am excited to present a deeper picture of the people and their stories and their. It’s such a wonderful, passion-filled group of people.”

The cookbook will be a hardcover and available next spring.

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