Cooking, farming and raising a young family in the beautiful south okanagan, Chef Chris Van Hooydonk has developed Backyard Farm Chef’s Table, striving for a truly unique culinary experience in mind. A farm to table approach to eating has been a rewarding and inspiring lifestyle for Chris and his wife Mikkel since 2008.
After 23 years in the high end culinary industry, Chris’s love of his craft inspired him to pursue a long anticipated dream-a farm based intimate dining room and private cooking school, located at the end of the beautiful “Golden Mile”, just outside of Oliver, BC. Motivated by creativity, a tailored approach to cooking has been the most fulfilling component of his first business project, Artisan Culinary Concepts, a private chef service and restaurant consulting company launched in June of 2013.
In the beautiful heart of BC’s wine country, the important relationship between wine and food culture is a motivating factor behind the project. Located on a 2 acre hobby orchard property, a farmhouse turned Chef’s Table has become a dream turned reality in June of 2014. Surrounded by vineyards, old growth heritage fruit trees and garden beds, menu and culinary workshop inspiration is drawn from the seasonal bounty.If it cannot be found being tended to on the property itself, ingredients are sourced from a partnership with many other passionate and dedicated growers and producers. The idea itself is simple- sharing a passion for food in an intimate, engaging and interactive setting, tailored exclusively to each client. This approach to private dining and workshops allow the true beauty of food and farm culture to come to the forefront of the overall dining experience, along with sharing the story of the people behind the food enjoyed at the table.
The dining room and kitchen were built with interaction in mind. With the Backyard Farm kitchen in full view of the 20 seat dining room, cooking has become a significant part of each tailored event. The history of the property has been carefully and respectfully maintained from the orchard to the house itself. With more than 50 heritage variety fruit trees surrounding the property, it is certain you can enjoy the farming efforts of Chris and Mikkel on your personalized menu or in your workshop recipes. As the season progresses, early, mid, and late season tree ripened peaches can be found in addition to plums, many cherry varieties, berries, plums, nectarines apricots and grapes. A steady stream of seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers are found all around the farm, certain to be used at the peak of ripeness. As an extension of the season, “Backyard Farm” retail products and preserves can be seen on the chef’s table shelves offering the seasonal farm bounty year round for guests to enjoy at home.