The art of food and wine at Hester Creek

Hester plates

Take a class at Hester Creek

Looking for an “iconic” experience that leaves an indelible impression on your taste buds? Around the South Okanagan, we have many to choose from, from meeting Elvis on the street, to harvesting cherries in an orchard, to finishing a triathlon. For the “foodie”, a cooking class paired with BC wine, in the heart of BC wine country, is perhaps the ultimate in the expression of our terroir. Enter: Hester Creek Estate Winery.

The Oliver winery has the perfect space for an intimate dinner for about a dozen hungry guests. Nestled in the back corner of tasting room is an oval shaped kitchen worthy of a Food Network show.
Throughout the wine season Chef Roger Gillespie, the winery’s director of hospitality, with a host of guest chefs, will prepare a multi-course meal in front of your eyes to tempt your taste buds. Bonus: no cooking, unless you pop up to help. And there’s wine.
The first one of the first of the season was held recently with future events already filling up quickly. And it was a barrel full of deliciousness.
A first course of sablefish with a brush of Okanagan quince jelly started off dinner, which sparked a conversation about the best fishing in Newfoundland with several tablemates.
A duo of sausage over a creamy bed of polenta paired with Hester Creek’s Cabernet Franc Rosé was divine, only to be outdone by beef tenderloin that rested on a parsnip puree that was so tasty (the secret ingredients: loads of heavy cream and butter), it was tempting to lick your plate.
The final course was basically a bowl of homemade caramel sauce with some other stuff. Really, all you need to know is that caramel sauce should be a staple at every meal.
But what made the experience? Think of the characteristics of the best kitchen parties. Good wine, good food, no dishes to clean up, and meeting new people who are there to raise a glass with you.
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Story and photos by Allison Markin.