With its panoramic views of the valley combined with food prepared by award winning Executive Chef Jeff Van Geest using locally sourced ingredients, it’s little wonder Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is a five-time winner of the gold medal for Best Winery/Vineyard Dining by Vancouver Magazine.
It’s both elegant and rustic, and the culinary team focuses on seasonal products with a commitment to sustainable practices embraced at the winery for more than a decade.
The Guide to Dining Out in the Okanagan asked Van Geest to share some insight on this successful culinary vision.
Question: What kind of experience can visitors expect when they come to dine at Miradoro?
Chef Van Geest: Miradoro diners can expect well executed food, great wines and friendly, professional service served in a sharp, yet casual environment overlooking the winery and valley below. The staff is knowledgeable about the food and wine of our establishment and the surrounding area and is happy to engage with the customers on these topics.
Question: What would you say is Miradoro’s signature or theme and which dishes point to that?
Chef Van Geest: Miradoro serves modern, Mediterranean inspired wine country cuisine using the best local ingredients from our farm’s fields and forests and from the waters of our west coast. The dish that we are serving right now that points to that is the pan roasted halibut with bull kelp ranch dressing, braised local romaine, wild nettle gnudi and chicken fried morel mushrooms.
Question: Which wine and food combinations do you consider to be a match made in heaven?
Chef Van Geest: Grilled fennel sausage and rosé.
Question: What advantages are there to having a restaurant in a winery? What are the disadvantages?
Chef Van Geest: The advantage of having a restaurant at a winery (besides the wine) is that where grapes grow, great produce grows! Hard to think of any disadvantages besides the seasonality.
Question: What advice do you have for consumers when it comes to food and wine pairing?
Chef Van Geest: My advice for food and wine pairing is, first of all, keep an open mind. Don’t worry too much, just relax and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to pair red wine with fish. Think about things like acid and sugar and try not to overwhelm the wine or the food with either.
Question: What do you envision for the wine and food scene in the Okanagan 10 years from now?
Chef Van Geest: In my dream world, I envision the Okanagan being a year round destination where we can keep staff employed year round as well instead of seasonally. That’s when we will really start to come into our own and grow out of the infant phase we are in now.
by Julianna Hayes