We leave Nelson, but stop first at Au Soleil Levant, a French Canadian bakery in the alley off Baker Street behind the BMO. They’ve been in Nelson for 10 years and word has it that they make the best challah (only available on Fridays). I buy a brioche with cranberries, raisins and walnuts and a rye bread fougasse (think baked rustic tart) filled with smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese and spouts.: both just out of their ovens. With lattes to go, this is a fabulous send off. If you get to Nelson, get to this bakery!
On to Osoyoos, just three hours west, through mountain passes with long slow climbs and winding descents. The VW van has great torque but limited power and we assemble long lines of followers as we snake through the two lane mountain roads. Up to a dozen vehicles pass us as we stick to the `Slower vehicles use right lane` sections of the highway. From the heights above Osoyoos we can spot the lake and the Watermark Beach Resort at the south end of main street. This hotel is our home base for my upcoming culinary tour of the South Okanagan September 16 to 18, 2011. I want to connect with Ingrid Jarrett, the Regional General Manager and Chef Natasha Schooten. I’m in luck, Ingrid is in town for a fundraiser and we have a glass of 8th Generation Rosé from Summerland Winery and some snacks: Roasted Assorted Olives and White Bean & Squash Dip with homemade crackers. Both are fabulous. Jon and I decide to settle in for dinner and enjoy a Baked Casserole of Braised Beef Short Rib and Pasta tossed in a creamy cheese and seed Dijon sauce and Hearty Meatloaf (a scrumptious blend of pork, sirloin and fresh herbs) on a bed of Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes served with housemade ketchup. Both dishes pair well with bartender Jennifer’s recommendation of Sandhill’s Cabernet Franc.