A Change of Culinary Seasons

A Change of Culinary Seasons; something special happens in the Coast Mountains, a transformation of sorts, a step back in time but the calendar says we are moving forward.

It's a spiritual time of year, we hold onto the last glimmers of summers warmth while the telling signs in our deep valley say that something else is coming. As the snow creeps down on our towering peaks the Black Cottonwood & Maples turn that fiery blaze, our being turns to a simpler time.

For myself as a Chef it is the most moving of times. An instinct like desire to get into the hills in search of what the rains have brought… Chanterelles, Hedgehogs, and Pines.

Pemberton Potatoes Kuurne Farm
Pemberton potatoes from Kuurne Farms

A cool mist clings to Sun God, while her lower slopes yield the fruit of a hot dry summer, the biggest and most amazing wild berries at their peak of flavor… chances are a few furry four legged foragers will be working on their seasonal ritual. The first smells of wood smoke in the air bring on a need to stoke the culinary fire… there’s not doubt that the lonely high country Chilcotin Cowboys are thinking about moving their herds to lower pasture. Summer's bounty is in from the Farmers fields with an heirloom assortment of root vegetables, potatoes, and squashes tucked away in cool dark places, a chore being done like a generational ritual for some.

The crisp air has the Winemaker's senses on edge, it's time to get those grapes in to produce this years vintage; that will grace the tables and cellars for years to come.  For me it's time to slow things down and pay tribute to the bounty created from this past growing season; a great range fed offering of natural beef, sweet carrots & potatoes from the surrounding fields, a back pack full of buttery white chanterelles fresh from a pine forest, a splash of Merlot to help along that slow braise, with a handful of hearty late season woody herbs to pull together the essence of Fall in a single heavy bottom pot. Part recipe, part emotion, fall is a simpler time of culinary magic celebrating an old world return and appreciation to those who craft our great bounty of products.

-- Randy Jones

Posted Thursday, October 30, 2014