I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine,” wrote poet Pablo Neruda. He would have loved a visit to Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, where wine made with great care and thought is accompanied by stunning vineyard views and farm-fresh dishes served in the Sonora Room Restaurant.

Restaurant manager Lynn Coulthard, a recent transplant from the Lower Mainland, carries an eye-opening resume that includes management positions with Vancouver’s Top Table restaurants (Cin Cin among them) and Liberty Wine Merchants. For the last decade she taught Wine & Spirit Education Trust classes at UBC for James Cluer, never thinking at all about leaving the city.
But a trip to Vernon to visit her brother last year changed all that. They visited Burrowing Owl and walked into the Sonora Room, where she recognized restaurant operator Dave Keeler. Not long afterward she found herself giving six months notice to Cluer and preparing for a new adventure in the Okanagan.

“I was drawn to Burrowing Owl because of the restaurant and the wine quality,” she says. “It’s a magical combination.”
She says an added bonus is the opportunity to work with executive Chef Brock Bowes, a homegrown talent who honed his skills at the side of legendary Chef Bernard Casavant.

Chef Brock says he is thrilled to head up the Sonora Room kitchen, and excited by its close proximity to local suppliers. He has made an arrangement with Le Petit Clos a market garden only five minutes away to grow produce exclusively for him.
When local produce ripens, a weekly (or even more frequent) Fresh Sheet will complement a menu that includes favorites like Seafood Cioppino and Duck Confit.

Brock enjoys pairing food and wine, saying “I love pushing the limits of pairing.” Expect the unexpected, he adds. Unexpected, but always intelligent.


~Lorne Eckersley