Naramata Inn Loves Local
Reading the seasonal menu at the Naramata Inn in the Village of Naramata is a love letter to local. In fact, the Naramata Hospitality Partnership that formed to purchase and reimagine the community’s iconic heritage mission-style inn describes the cuisine as “a next-level, hyper-local dining experience”.
The partnership is comprised of Paul Hollands, Maria Wiesner, Kate Colley and Ned Bell.
Partner/Chef Ned calls it “French Naramatian”. Naramatian is the term for a local here so he explains everything possible is Naramata ingredients and French cooking technique is the approach in the kitchen.
Penticton-born, he is delighted to be back in the Okanagan where the abundance of fine and fresh ingredients are so readily available. Of course, the producers and suppliers are pretty delighted to see this evolution at Naramata Inn. At its back kitchen door, you can witness much of the deliveries are by the farmers and producers themselves.
There are a few crops that aren’t grown locally such as chocolate, coffee, olive oil and citrus, however, the team has been innovative in addressing that challenge substituting with sumac, verjus and vinegars, herbs and lavender. While the coffee beans aren’t grown in the region, coffee is sourced from Tug 6 Craft Coffee Roasters, Kelowna.
Delivery Day at the Kitchen Door
Given the menu is seasonal, you’ll find a nod to the farmers and producers represented on any given day. Listed here is a sample of community partners, which shifts along with the growing calendar.
Seafood: Given Ned’s long-time commitment to Ocean Wise, it’s no surprise Kelowna’s Codfathers Seafood is a partner and fish is sourced from Oliver’s Road 17 Arctic Char and the Osoyoos Nation Salmon.
Produce: Puzzlegrass Farms, Naramata; Plot Twist Farms, Penticton; Medley Organics, and Localmotive, Summerland; and Unearth Farm, Kelowna.
Foraged: Kelowna Forager for mushrooms and wild plants.
Dairy: D Dutchmen Dairy of Sicamous; Tanto Latte Cheese, Salmon Arm; Jerseyland Organics, Grand Forks
Meats and Poultry: Bella Homestead, Naramata; Rosebank Farms, Armstrong; Two River Specialty Meats, North Vancouver, representing farms such as Yarrow Meadow Farms, Chilliwack; and Gelderman Farms, Abbotsford.
Lavender: Parterre Premium Culinary Herbs & Lavender, Naramata.
Whet Your Whistle with Local
The beverage list, too, is jampacked with local suppliers such as breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries. Similarly, to the food menu, it shifts in rhythm with the seasons and new releases. As a destination dining magnet, the bar stocks International favourites as well.
Craft Beer: Cannery Brewing, Neighbourhood Brewing, Bad Tattoo Brewing, and Slackwater Brewing, Penticton; Dageraad Brewing, Burnaby; Four Winds Brewing, Delta; Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody; and Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co., Pitt Meadows.
Spirits: Legend Distilling, Naramata; Odd Society Spirits, Vancouver; Okanagan Spirits, Kelowna/Vernon; Sheringham Distillery, Sooke; Devine Distillery & Winery, Saanichton; Arbutus Distillery, Nanaimo; Esquimalt Wine Company, Victoria; and Woods Spirits Co., North Vancouver.
Wine: Did you know the Naramata Bench has around 50 wineries itself? To ensure a well-curated list highlighting the depth and breadth of British Columbia’s award-winning wines and beyond, acclaimed sommelier and wine director Emily Walker guides the rotating selections. You’ll always have the opportunity to try a local gem.
Other non-alcoholic beverages: Phillips Soda Works, Victoria; Partake Brewing, Calgary; Lumette!, Sooke; and good old Canadian A&W Root Beer – as a nod to partner Paul’s over 35 years at A&W.
Local Beyond Dining
Respect for local permeates decisions beyond the menu. In her design elements, Maria held the principle of community dear. Diane Jensen, neighbour, seamstress and designer of Shades of Linen just up Robinson Avenue, Naramata, was engaged in the creation of restaurant linens, aprons, staff shirts and masks. Penticton clothing shop, Elliot Row handled staff uniforms.
Collaborating with local designer Marnie McLean, a mural on the main dining room wall of stylized peacock feathers gives homage to the local peacocks.
In yet another kind gesture, a neighbour donated a collection of vintage dinner plates accenting the heritage tones of the refurbished setting.
Additional collaborations are in place with the Naramata Centre – for which Ned will oversee the kitchen, Bench d’Or Naramata and Penticton’s Joy Road Catering.
While the partners know and love the region well, they acknowledge there’s still lots to explore. They are residents and are committed to continuously adapting to offer guests at the Naramata Inn the best of the region.