By Greg Amos
Special to the Pioneer
Whether one takes the opportunity to enjoy local food on valley time or pursue a three-hour all-you-can-eat extravaganza, the Pig Out 2014 event at Edible Acres is a worthy late August outing in Windermere.
The event, which offers a taste of the Columbia Valley through local produce prepared by more than 10 local chefs, and two bands to provide the mood, happens just once every two years. Since the first Pig Out in 2010, the popular event has kept to a maximum of 200 tickets to encourage a relaxed feeling.
Its really nice because you walk around the fields, and there are hay bales you can sit down on, said Lin Egan, manager of Edible Acres and Winderberry Nursery. We try to encourage people to enjoy the afternoon and enjoy the food, not just eat really fast.
The Edible Acres grounds will be set up with large tents housing several high-profile chefs offering delectable appetizers. Arrowhead Brewing will be on site, offering a Winderberry crabapple micro-brew cask made just for this event. Wine will be available, and Smarty Pants and The OSullivan family band will keep diners entertained as they browse.
We try to use as much produce from our farm as possible, as much local meat as possible, added Lin.
Using a vegetable availability list sent out recently by Winderberry based on whats now in season, talented chefs will work their magic. Highlights will include Craig McGowan (Knig Meat and Sausage) preparing special sausages, and other innovations created by From Scratch: A Mountain Kitchen, Martin Collis (Fairmont Hot Springs Resort), and Sarah Adamson (Fuze), Tim Goldie (Peppis), among many others.
This years event takes place on Sunday, August 24th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and as in past years, there will be a pig roast. While previous events have featured a pig roasted over a valley-built spit, this years version will likely be an Albertan porker slowly smoked underground over several hours.
But for those not craving swine, or meat for that matter, there will be several concoctions involving Winderberry produce such as summer squash, rainbow carrots (with orange, purple, yellow, and white colourings), cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and possibly eggplant.
A lot of people dont eat meat, so we try to let them know theres a lot of vegetarian options, said Lin. The event will also feature Creston dairy products including Kootenay Alpine Cheese and Kootenay Meadows milk and cream.
In addition to highlighting local food and culinary talent, this years Pig Out event will support Slow Food Columbia Valley in sending two members (Bill Swan and Spring Hawes) to the Terra Madre slow food conference in Italy.
The Young Agrarians, a B.C. group (with a new Kootenay chapter) that supports the endeavours of younger farmers across the province, will also be sharing their message at the event.
Many event tickets, ranging from $55 for adults to free for kids under 7, are still available through the Edible Acres booth at the Radium and Invermere farmers markets, at Winderberry Nursery and at Circle Health Food. For more information, call Edible Acres at 250-342-7606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.