There is much to yearn for in the Okanagan Valley, but it is not always about wine.
We miss our late-day, post-filming stops at the Front Street Brasserie in downtown Penticton. The striped awning and streetside seating are like an oasis in a desert for food and wine lovers who want it all without the complication. Running a brasserie in Canadian wine country could be considered blasphemous by some, but for all the French have to offer, it’s only the atmosphere and the passion for food and wine that is imported, the rest is all BC. It's why we selected the brasserie as a way to connect local winery Laughing Stock Vineyards to local food and savoir-faire. Many thanks to chef John Burke and his partner and wife, Ms. Hospitality, better known as Lisa Baxter-Burke, for allowing us to shoot a few moments of joy in this tiny perfect place. Burke created a menu to match several wines I selected, offering his reasons for his choices. He's also sent one of the recipes featured in the video, and we've included it below, with the wine it was paired within the video. Hopefully, it will hold you over until we are allowed to hit the road once again, so you can include a stop under the awning in person.
Pan roasted mushrooms with black truffle butter and fresh chèvre
Chef John Burke, Front Street Brasserie
-Mushrooms , cultivated and/or wild about a pound for two people,
cleaned and cut uniformly into larger than bite sized pieces (ideally a mix of varieties for different flavours and textures) such as:
Buttons, oyster, crimini, chanterelle, king oyster, shimeji
-Good quality unsalted butter - approximately 1/4 cup, cut into cubes and chilled
-Fresh herbs such as Italian parsley, chives
-Finely minced garlic - 1 large or 2 smaller cloves
-White onion chopped very fine/ brunoise - half of one large onion
- Dry white wine - 2 tablespoons
- Chicken stock - 1/4 cup
- Chopped black truffle - 1 tablespoon (source at your favourite gourmet shop)
- Canola oil - 2 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper
- Baguette - cut into long bias slices and toasted just before serving
Place large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer with heat, place the mushrooms into pan, making sure not to crowd them.You will work in two batches. Flip and turn mushrooms as they become caramelized, aiming for a rich deep golden colour, seasoning slightly at this point with salt. Once the first batch of mushrooms have been caramelized, move to the outer edges of pan and continue with the second batch of the mushrooms.Once all mushrooms have been nicely cooked, add in onions and cook for about 1 minute. Then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more or until the garlic and onions are translucent. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and allow the juice to reduce until it's almost gone. Add the chicken stock and allow it to come to a simmer, reduce it slightly.
Add the cubes of cold butter and lower the heat, swirl or stir to emulsify the butter. Once the butter has been fully incorporated, add the black truffle. Check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Transfer the mushrooms and truffle butter sauce to your serving dish and finish by crumbling the fresh chèvre over the top, sprinkling finely chopped fresh herbs and a little fleur de sel for presentation.Pair with: Laughing Stock Pinot Noir