On God’s Mountain Estate, out in a vineyard overlooking a shimmering lake, chef-caterers Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart cook and serve simple, beautiful wine dinners using ingredients from the land around them—the lush Okanagan Valley, in British Columbia. Although they have no restaurant, their naturally elegant, intensely flavorful cooking is helping shape a regional cuisine in a place that’s never been known for great food.
Since their food isn’t fussy, and because most of it can be made ahead (they have to lug it up a mountain, after all), Smith and Ewart’s recipes are perfect for home cooks like us too. What follows are excerpts from one of their terrific summer menus, with suggestions for wines from the western United States as well as the hard-to-find Okanagan ones. For more information on the God’s Mountain Estate wine dinners, visit joyroadcatering.com.
Thomas J. Story
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Thomas J. Story
Heirloom Tomato Soup
Ewart and Smith sometimes dollop this soup with pesto.
Sparkling. Serve before dinner, with nuts, olives, cheeses, and charcuterie.
Okanagan: Blue Mountain Brut Gold Label. “Delicious, yeasty, and balanced, and their principles marry with what we do—they’re part of a land conservancy,” say the chefs.
California: Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut. Creamy and toasty, with vibrant acidity.
Red. For the soup and/or the main course.
Okanagan: Pentage Gamay. “It’s lightly smoky, very savory, and has a hint of anise. For a summer red, it’s light, bright, and cleansing.”
California: Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant, a spicy, juicy blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, and Carignane.
White. For the main course.
Okanagan: Wild Goose God’s Mountain Riesling. “These are some of the oldest Riesling vines in the valley; their age and the steepness of slope they are grown on yield an incredibly aromatic bouquet with lovely minerality.”
Washington: Kung Fu Girl Riesling. Sassy, with citrus and stone-fruit flavors.