Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Supper in the Orchard

On Friday we took Christopher's parents to Supper in the Orchard, at Over the Hill Orchards, about 20 minutes out of town.  We had been before, and loved the experience, so we were really excited to go back.

For this meal, the chef was Kelsey Sheppard from Victoria's Tavern in Regina.  Each Friday and Saturday there is a different local chef who cooks at the Orchard.  They use mostly local ingredients, from the farmer's market and the orchard, to create the multi-course meal.

Since we can't predict the weather, it's difficult to know the best day to book, so we chose the date based on the chef, and then hoped for the best.  It was very windy on Friday - too windy to sit outside when we arrived, but there is always next time.  Fortunately we were seated right by the windows which overlook the valley.

The first course was a fresh cucumber salad with red onion, red peppers, green onion, beet sprouts, and carrots, with a cask 18 balsamic vinegar and butter oil dressing.

This was a simple, refreshing course, and a nice, light start to the meal. 

Next we had grilled peaches, with cream cheese mousse, beet and goat cheese terrine, parmesan "bread" crumbs, beet powder, and crispy prosciutto.

I am a huge fan of beets, and they pair so well with goat cheese, so this was a standout dish for me.  I would never have thought to combine those flavours with peaches, but it really worked, and the parmesan was a nice textural component.

After this dish, Dean (he and his wife Sylvia own and operate the orchard and winery) took everyone on a little tour of the orchard, explaining how they grow grapes, cherries, strawberries, numerous vegetables, Georgia peaches (in Saskatchewan of all places), etc.  It's an engaging and interesting tour, and also quite inspiring.  It takes an incredible amount of hard work and innovation to accomplish what they have, and I'm excited to see what else they'll come up with in the coming years. 

Once back inside, we enjoyed the main course, which was a scalloped potato cake, garlic mushrooms, carrot puree, prairie cherry sauce, lemon garlic chicken thigh, and pea shoots.

The scalloped potato cake was flavourful and perfectly cooked, and the carrot puree was simple, so it let the delicious farmer's market carrots stand out.  I love garlic, so I'm glad it was in both the mushrooms and the chicken.  There wasn't a speck of food left on any of our plates.

The final course was a cinnamon vanilla cheesecake, with black bean brownie crumble, Saskatoon berry compote, viola, Saskatoon berry coulis, and meringues.

This was a fabulous dessert!  Every element went so well together, and the little meringues added such a beautiful crunch to the softness of the cheesecake and berries.  I don't think I had ever had a cinnamon cheesecake before, but it was excellent, and of course cinnamon pairs nicely with fruit.  It sounded like this course was a favourite of manyI would order this in a restaurant, and I never order dessert.

Supper in the Orchard runs into October, and there is still time to book.  You can see the dates and chefs for each date, as well as pricing, and all other information here.  There is an optional wine pairing with each course, which is a nice touch, or you can order wine by the glass.

The sun was setting as we were leaving to head home after this lovely meal.

If the weather cooperates next time, we will sit out on this patio and take in the scenery before supper.

Check out Over the Hill Orchards on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @overthehillorchards or on their website.  Most of the proceeds from these dinners goes back to the Culinary Federation to help send members for training and competitions, which makes this not only a wonderful dining experience, but also a way to contribute to the growth and development of our local culinary scene.

1 comment:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This is so cool! I remember when you went last summer, too. It's too bad you weren't able to sit outside. Hopefully you can next time. I would love to do something like this if they could accommodate my gluten intolerance. I love supporting local farmers. I have a tiny little garden and it's a lot of work to keep it up so I can't imagine running a huge farm like they do. But that would be such fulfilling work!