Keremeos winery, eatery take first place at Grist Mill Barbeque King

Similkameen businesses shine at increasingly popular wine and food event

Keremeos restauranteur Karl Schorb of The Branding Iron Bar and Grill spent the last half of the past weekend savouring his first place finish at the 2013 Barbeque King, which took place at the Grist Mill on July 13.

Karl, (assisted by  his son Jeremy), was voted best tasting by popular vote at the wine and food competition, beating eight other chefs from up and down the Okanagan valley.

In the “iron chef” style of competition, each chef received an identical box of locally sourced organic ingredients. Each chef was then paired with one of the member wineries of the Similkameen Wineries Association, to be judged by each guest in attendance.

Karl’s winning entry included a brine chicken glazed in black garlic maple glaze, fresh smoked apricot and peach with blueberry basil, a German style slaw braised in Forbidden Fruit Savignon Blanc, garlic scaped salt chicken jus and Orchard Blossom honey sauteed rainbow chard topped with Harkers Organics micro greens, paired with Forbidden Fruit peach wine.

“We got through with the support of locals,” said Jeremy Schorb, who assisted Karl with the event.

“For Keremeos to hold an event like this is really incredible,” Jeremy added. “There were 110 guests from Kelowna alone – it was a really awesome event.”

Media judges also cast a second vote for the best food and wine pairing of the night. The winner was Ross Derrick from the Delta Grand Okanagan, paired with the Similkameen’s Sage Bush Winery’s 2012 rose.

“This is definitely a big thrill for us,” declared Sage Bush Manager Nav Lasser. “This was our first competition, and our first award.” The winery is owned by Sonny Lasser.

The sold out event attracted people from as far away as Edmonton. Four shuttle buses brought many of the 300 guests from Kelowna south to Osoyoos.

The Similkameen Barbeque King continues to grow in popularity after being named as the second best wine and food event in the Okanagan – Similkameen for two years in a row.