We have this idea for a new reality TV show, starring 19 Okanagan Owner Neil Martens and Chef Scotty Powell. We’d have a theme song and t-shirts and all the promotional goodies. We would call it Neil and Scotty’s Day Off (with apologies to Ferris Bueller).
The theme song would go something like this
It’s a day off for Neil and Scotty
It’s a day off but they can’t be too naughty
It’s a day offfffff, and where do they go
Someplace to eat, now on with the show
It’s a tough life
The story line for each and every episode will be the same. We’ll change names and locations to protect our friends and co-workers.
Neil and Scotty wake up (not together, they live in different houses). They agree to meet at 10 AM but somehow that doesn’t happen until nearly 11:30. They climb into the cab of Neil’s pick-up and off they go. Neil figures there might be enough gas in the tank but isn’t sure. Scotty wears a hat and sunglasses (so cool!). The air conditioning doesn’t quite work and it’s hot.
Today’s destination is a farm in the hills between Vernon and Armstrong and the boys are hungry.
Bellmann Specialty Produce is owned by an old friend of Neil’s from the restaurant business (not 19 Okanagan, another one). Brad and Jen Bellmann grow vegetables and 19 Okanagan is a good customer. Neil and Scotty believe in supporting BC farms, orchards and wineries so buying local is a mission.
But isn’t this show about eating
Yes it is. This day off is organized by Sysco Kelowna, a company dedicated to finding the very best products for their restaurant customers. Today, Chef Tom Braidwood and his Sysco kitchen team will prepare all the dishes in the back of a truck (great chefs create great food no matter what facility they have to use). The vegetables all come from Bellmann Specialty Produce and the meat comes from Double R Ranch and Snake River Farms. We consider Double R Ranch to be local. The massive acreage calls Loomis Washington home but the ranch skirts the border and is still in the Okanagan Valley.
Neil and Scotty aren’t the only ones at the table
Sysco Kelowna invited a number of their restaurant clients to enjoy a day off and eat, starting with bites.
After chowing down and sampling the wines of Ex Nihilo from Lake Country, Neil and Scotty join the rest of the guests at a big long table for the main course.
These photos in no way give you any idea of how good the steak tastes (you’ll just have to try it). We highly recommend Double R Ranch products.
And then they serve dessert. Chef Tom outdoes himself on this creation.
And more wine.
The Ex Nihilo Pinto Noir is excellent and a recent major award winner.
Thanks to Brad and Jen Bellmann, Chef Tom Braidwood and the Sysco team and Jeff Harder form Ex Nihilo.
Now you know what a restaurant owner and a chef do on their day off. Stay tuned for another excellent adventure.