The theme of our cover this issue is Legends. Three local legends, Howard Soon, Rod Butters and Jon Alcock, form the trifecta of our food, wine and farm world. All are celebrating a turning point in their extraordinary careers and have great legacies to leave behind. All three have set a benchmark for excellence in their industries and are leaders in their communities. Cheers to all of you!
Thank you to beautiful SpierHead Winery in southeast Kelowna for allowing us to photograph the cover in their vineyard. www.spierheadwinery.com
Another legend…Huge thanks to our starring photographer David McIlvride of Spatula Media and photo assistant Deon Nel for this beautiful cover image. David is celebrated for capturing our world through both photos and film. His recent documentary The River Blue has received international accolades. David’s recent print project was with friend Rod Butters in creating the new cookbook An Okanagan Table. Here he captures the raw beauty of our Okanagan bounty and the artistry of Butters’ culinary works.
Chef Rod Butters – FOOD
Rod Butters is the original farm to table chef. His entire career has been a constant celebration of our farmers and artisans through his cuisine. With three restaurants on the go: Raudz Regional Table, micro bar bites and Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ, he and partner Audrey Surrao have maintained the highest standard of food and operations since their first restaurant Fresco launched many years ago. Case in point, there are photos of his prized suppliers that line the walls of his restaurants- butchers, bakers, winemakers, fishmongers –are all on display with their names included in the menu descriptions. Butters has just released his long awaited cookbook, an embodiment of his philosophies through his recipes, all created to be simple enough for the home cook to create: An Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking.
Howard Soon – WINE
Master winemaker Howard Soon at Sandhill Wines is retiring this year after an epic 37 vintages. Howard is a beloved member of the wine community and is renowned for his teaching, mentoring and boundless support of new winemakers and wineries. A walking encyclopedia of local wine history, he in fact being a main character in our wine history, has played an historic leadership role throughout the politics and growing pains the industry has endured over the years. Also a pioneer of concepts, it was 20 years ago when Howard founded the idea to feature terroir through a series of small production single-vineyard wines at Sandhill Wines. This revolutionary idea is just now becoming a theme in our local wine industry.
Jon Alcock – FARM
Sunshine Farms is the Alcock family legacy. Pure organic farming, featuring heritage varieties and heirloom seed sales, Jon and wife Sher Alcock have built their lives around stewarding and celebrating our good earth. And their produce reflects that dedication and nourishment. With countless varieties of heirloom tomatoes, every colour of potato, rainbow carrots and much much more, the bounty harvested from their farm is a chef’s dream. No surprise that Butters and Alcock have been working together as a farm to table team for many years. Jon has stepped back from most daily operations on his farm and passed these responsibilities onto his children Russ and Mona who will continue tending the land as he taught them. We are hoping that this will give Jon the time to pick up a pen and write a book to share his amazing knowledge of seeds and growing organically.
Pictured: Howard Soon, left, Rod Butters, Center seated, and Jon Alcock far right. Photographer David McIlvride of Spatula Media