A Chefs’ Untimely Journey to “Parts Unknown”

I feel compelled to post a heartfelt and personal tribute to a well known chef, distant mentor, and advocate for honesty and integrity in the world of food culture. Anthony Bourdain was an inspiration to me, like so many others. Most certainly it is true that our industry asks a lot of us. We are required to sacrifice one of the most important attributes of life. Time. We sacrifice time with our family, many hours, months,  weeks, and years giving much of ourselves to people we don’t really know. We, as passion driven cooks,  do so with woe-full abandon in the hopes to nurture the commonality of the need to eat. Many of us discover that what we are asked to do is set aside the “normalcy” of a 9-5 “job”, consistent days off, birthdays, holidays, weekends, working late nights and not really having vacation time(especially during the much anticipated summer in our beautiful region). We deal with stress, unforeseen circumstances out of our control, staffing woes and fatigue. The industry has been plagued with lower than average wages for a career, making the reality of family stability, home ownership, and general sanity a bit more challenging than it should be. When I signed up for this ride 21 years ago, I was fortunate to have many inspired mentors share their knowledge, time and patience to help me on my path to becoming the cook I thought I wanted to be. My goals have changed many times, as have the places I have lived, as well as the people I worked with and for. The only thing that has...

Spring Things….

After a bit longer than anticipated spring, it appears that it has arrived in our beautiful region. Truly anticipated, as the grey skies turn to sunshine, and the trees come out of dormancy, bringing blossoms and fruit set. This upcoming week, we will be planting the large array of Backyard Farm produce, which inevitably will find its’ way onto future menus for our clients. Very exciting times, and much anticipated after a bit longer of a winter hiatus than usual for our growing family and business-and for good reason! On March 18th, Mikkel, Ainsley and I welcomed a beautiful, healthy(and organic) baby girl. Our new little addition has already added to our inspired approach in growing more food, living our farm to table lifestyle, while striving for balance in life, business and building a bright, sustainable future for our family. In making priority of family time this year, we have decided to be closed for orchard work and family time Mondays and Tuesdays, with the ability to make exceptions when possible dependent on our ability to book a “day in lieu”. Following our pursuit of a more self sufficient means of life and business, we built another 5 large raised beds. In addition, I repurposed an old tent trailer, and built a “Chickshaw”. This will be found moving about the orchard all summer long, so our Rare Heritage breed laying chickens can contribute to a natural means of pest control, fertilizing and eating the culls that are inevitable when you pick tree ripened fruit. To be honest, their entertainment value is a large part of locating them closer to...

Recent “Country Guide” Article Inclusion

At the end of last season, I was interviewed by the writer, Benita Berg, whom I had the opportunity to meet a few years ago, when I was providing the 2 day per week Healthy Lunch program at Tuc el Nuit Elementary in Oliver. I was given the opportunity to share my love of cooking, farming and encouraging discussion regarding the future our food system. This article is a great read, and we are honoured for the opportunity to contribute some of our philosophy about the evolution of our food system, and the nature of farming culture. Check out the link for the article here:https://www.country-guide.ca/2018/01/12/whats-for-dinner-canada/52376/      ...

Montecristo Magazine Article, February 2018.

As we commence our fifth season since launch, I am really excited to share this newly published article in Montecristo Magazine. The last month has allowed for some much needed rest and family time as we anticipate our newest little arrival to the farm, in addition to some inspiring opportunities to reflect on the development of Backyard Farm thus far. We have been so fortunate to have a wealth of support, from our family and friends, industry alliances,  winery clients and partners, to our high percentage of return guests and corporate clients.  Furthermore, we are so grateful for the media guests who have helped us to broaden our reach, by eloquently sharing their experience with their readers and social media followers. As I read this article, I was prompted to express my gratitude for all of those whom have helped us turn a simple dream into a reality.  Truthfully, our success can be attributed to many variables, but likely  “word of mouth” has been the most effective means , whether by prior guests speaking of their experience, or writers such as James Dolan, for Montecristo Magazine, writing of his authentic experience with us. Humbling to say the least, but most importantly it is yet another reason to be inspired to continue evolving, growing and sharing what it means to raise a family, live, work, and play in this beautiful place I call home.  What an amazing way to start the 2018 season!...

2018 Season Employment Opportunities

Priority Service and Hospitality Supervisor We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and represent many high profile wineries, and appreciative clients  in our region,  with our quality driven food and service philosophies. Our intimate team is searching for a priority service and hospitality team member for this season, and the future at Backyard Farm Chef’s Table as well as Artisan Culinary Concepts private chef services and catering. This position is available for an experienced candidate, with an interest in high end, quality driven culinary services and celebrating food and wine culture in our beautiful region. The successful candidate will be scheduled with priority for the majority of our bookings and events, and can expect to work 3-5 days per week, evenings and weekends during peak season, with occasional afternoon events. This position is suitable for applicants with serving experience, and all applicants must possess “Serving it Right” Certification. We are happy to train to our standards, as attitude and demeanor are much more important than high end service experience. “Foodsafe” level 1 is an asset, as well as wine education training , and tasting room experience, however genuine interest in what our beautiful wine region has to offer is a must. Contrary to many seasonal hospitality positions, you will be working in a minimal stress environment, within a very respectful, supportive,educational, and professional workplace culture, with direct supervision.  We understand and appreciate the importance of every role within our business, and base our incentives accordingly. Hourly wage compensation is based on experience, and includes gratuities, as well as on-shift menu pairings. This seasonal position is...