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The 2015 workshop wouldn't exist without the support of the following partners.

We thank our main partner in the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop, Tourism Kelowna.

Visit Tourism Kelowna's website. Follow @Tourism_Kelowna on Twitter. Like Tourism Kelowna on Facebook.


Guided, narrated and custom tours in the Okanagan.

Visit Distinctly Kelowna's Website. Follow @KelownaWineTour on Twitter. Like Distinctly Kelowna Tours on Facebook.


Visit BC Tree Fruit's Website. Follow @bctreefruits on Twitter. Like BC Tree Fruits on Facebook.


Visit Knifewear online. Follow @KelownaKnife @Knifenerd @KnifewearYOW and @KnifewearYEG on Twitter.


Visit Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas' Website. "Like" Manteo on Facebook. Follow Manteo on Twitter.



Visit Hotel Eldorado's Website. "Like" Hotel Eldorado on Facebook. Follow Hotel Eldorado on Twitter.

Our other event-based partners are recognized in our schedule notes.


"Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015" Short List Announcement


Food Bloggers of Canada and the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers' Workshop teamed up this year to create a food writing contest. It's been fun to read about some of the great Canadian tastemakers and discover writers who bring these stories to life on their blogs.

It's a win-win-win, as writing talent is celebrated, food stories are told, and a large amount of excitement over the possibility of winning airfare from a major Canadian airport to and from Kelowna, workshop registration fees and accommodations is generated.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the shortlist and unveil the short-listed bloggers' names and their fantastic food blogs. The winner will be announced on May 1, 2015.

First, FBC and Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop need to thank the jury of food media professionals who contributed generously of their time, expertise and talent. They all have busy schedules, and yet this contest could not have taken place without the participation of these lovely individuals. They are:


We thank Tourism Kelowna for its significant contribution as our contest sponsor and workshop supporter.

Thanks also to the support by the BC Wine Institute.

Thanks to all writers who submitted their work to this contest. Prior to distributing the entries to the jury, Ethan Adeland of Food Bloggers of Canada removed author names and URLs to anonymize the submissions. The jury only now sees the short list with writers' names attached.

The five short-listed entries are below in alphabetical order. We have attached the blogger names and their URLs to the short list.  

A Visit to Sober Island Oysters by Lia Rinaldo
Brewing New Life into an Old Pear by Tiffany Mayer
Getting to Know: Chef Rob Bragagnolo by Annie Chu
On Returning Home by Aimée Wimbush
Searching for Saskatoons by Renée Kohlman

Congratulations to all the short-listed writers. Our jury discussings have been lively and animated as we carefully considered each entry that made it onto this list.
MAY 1, 2015, we announce the Top Three entries and our Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015 winning writer. We'll be carrying on discussions about today's Short List announcement on our Facebook sites at and on Twitter @foodwinewriters using hashtag #TasteTop5.


(DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written up in the wee hours of the day from Reykjavik, Iceland. I'm returning home from an extraordinary professional development experience at the Iceland Writers Retreat. Typos are due to jet lag, extreme weather, a brain overflowing with rich experiences, lots of learning, meeting some of my writing heros, and dealing with a language with 14 vowel sounds in it. Please excuse any typos and awkward grammar.)



$100 off per couple on Okanagan Wine Tour by Aligra Wines & Spirits

Workshop alumni from 2014, Alison and Grant Philips, own Aligra Wines & Spirits in Edmonton and offer the largest selection of BC Wines in Alberta. They've put together a Okanagan Wine Tour called "Ready for a little Therapy?" There's a $100 per couple discount offered if booked and paid in full by March 31st, extended to April 15, 2015.

The broad strokes are 4 days/3 nights at Therapy Guesthouse, breakfasts, 2 dinners, 2 lunches, 2 full day private wine tours, unlimited fun and wine in the Okanagan!

All for $749.00 pp sharing a double room.  ($325.00 for a single sup)

Contact Alison at Aligra Spirits for the full details and to sign up now.




A huge win for Okanagan Spirits at the 2015 World Spirits Awards in Denmark

From a Media Release via Okanagan Spirits today (March 19, 2015):

Peter von Hahn, senior distiller, Okanagan Spirits at World Spirits Awards in Denmark 2015

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has won "Distillery of the Year" and "Spirit of the Year" along with retaining its "World Class Distillery" designation at the 2015 World Spirits Awards held this week in Denmark. This is the second time in a row that Okanagan Spirits has entered the renowned, international competition and been awarded its highest honour, Distillery of the Year, beating out distilleries from countries from across Europe, Australia, the US, and beyond.

The hardest distinction to earn, a Double Gold was awarded not once but three times to senior distiller Peter von Hahn who represented the craft distillery in Koje, Denmark with eight spirits this year, all of which received medals.

Blackcurrant Liqueur achieved 'Spirit of the Year' with an outstanding 96 points and a Double Gold medal (Okanagan Spirits Blackcurrant won this designation in 2013 as well). Also to achieve Double Gold were first-time entrant Haskap Liqueur and Danish style Aquavitus.

“Double Gold status for Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery's Aquavit, being awarded here in Scandinavia -- the birth place of Aquavit -- was very exciting.  Imagine, a small Canadian distillery in British Columbia producing some of the best Aquavit in the world!” said von Hahn.

Gold medals were also awarded to the Raspberry liqueur, Genuine Taboo Absinthe and  highly coveted, lottery-only Laird of Fintry Whisky (2014).

“We had high hopes for our Laird of Fintry single malt whisky, the exceptional quality of the whisky, hinted at by long waiting lists and a lottery draw, has now been further validated by the award of a gold medal,” said von Hahn.

The Laird is Canada's first craft Single Malt Whisky to win Gold at the World Spirits Awards.

Also in the whisky category a limited edition ‘Final Proof Master Distiller Series: Peppered Pete (yet to be released) won silver and the Gina bronze. 

“My thanks are not just to the hard-working team at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery but also the enthusiastic supplying of high quality B.C. grown grains, fruit and berries by many growers, orchardists and fruit packing plants,” said von Hahn.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery CEO and President of the Craft Distillers Guild of B.C. Tyler Dyck spoke of the importance of the awards not only to B.C. but also to Canada.

"This is huge not only for distilling in B.C., but also for establishing Canadian Craft Distilleries as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage," he said. In all, 65 distilleries from 25 different countries entered this year's awards.

This year sees the distillery open the doors to a new $3m venture - a 16,000 sq ft distillery in Vernon. It will give the Okanagan the title of tallest copper still in North America and also host several exciting features such as a  27 ft  ‘moon shiners shack’ themed tasting bar and a prohibition-era whisky lounge.

The Grand Opening is set for the end of April 2015.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, with a portfolio over 25 different types of alcohol made from 100% BC fruit and grain, has over 50 World Spirits awards to their name, and is now Canada's only Master Class Distillery, North America's only World Class Distillery, and this years World Spirits Awards Distillery of the Year.

List of 2015 Awards:

Classification: World-Class Distillery 2015
Double-Gold: Black Currant Liqueur (96), Haskap Liqueur (95.3), Aquavit(95.7)
Gold: Taboo Absinthe  (92.3), Raspberry Liqueur (94.7), Laird of Fintry (90)
Silver: Peppered Pete Whisky (83)
Bronze: Gin (74)


Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015 - Longlist Reveal

Media Contact: Jennifer Cockrall-King

tel: 780-242-3663 /        Images and interviews available upon request

Food Blog Longlist Revealed for
“Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015” Contest

KELOWNA, BC: March 1, 2015 –  The call for submissions for an 800-word post about a Canadian tastemaker or quintessentially Canadian culinary product went out to bloggers recently and stories from across Canada came in. A panel of food writing and cookbook publishing industry experts sifted through the entries, and now it’s time to reveal the submissions that made the Longlist for the “Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015” food writing competition, hosted by both Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop and Food Bloggers of Canada .

“We were looking for a well-told culinary travel story, in an authentic voice that addresses the question of why the subject – person or ingredient – is important in the Canadian culinary scene,” says Jennifer Cockrall-King, founder of the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop and one of the five judges. “And through this contest, we sampled the country with submissions about great food stories from Nova Scotia to the West Coast.”

The blogs posts that have made it through the first round of judging are, alphabetically:

A Visit to Sober Island Oysters

As Fresh As You Can Get – Grow Calgary at Market

Brewing new life into an old pear

Celebrate today…with Bella Wines!

Family Meals - An interview with Chef Michael Smith

Getting to Know: Chef Rob Bragagnolo

Just a little Farm  - Growing Produce the Natural Way

On returning home {Apple & Fennel Stuffed Salmon with Cider Sauce}

Searching For Saskatoons

Top 10 Tips for Icewine Lovers

Blogger’s names and URLs are being withheld until the Shortlist is announced. The Shortlist of the five top blogs will be revealed April 15. Blogger names and websites will be revealed at this point as well. The winning blogger will be announced May 1. This writer wins return airfare from a major airport in Canada to Kelowna, workshop fees and accommodations courtesy of Tourism Kelowna and Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop.

Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop gratefully acknowledges the efforts of its judging panel of Anita Stewart, author and founder of Food Day Canada; Dianne Jacob, author, editor and food writing coach; Robert McCullough, publisher, Appetite by Random House; Melissa Hartfiel, co-founder Food Bloggers of Canada; and logistical support by Ethan Adeland, co-founder Food Bloggers of Canada. The contest is also supported by the BC Wine Institute, and especially Tourism Kelowna.

Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop also extends its thanks to its 2015 partners at Tourism Kelowna, Distinctly Kelowna Tours, Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas, Hotel Eldorado, BC Tree Fruits and Knifewear.


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Taste Canada announces Food Blog Award category for 2015 - Call for Submissions

From Press Release received February 27, 2015:

New Food Blog Writing Award

For the first time, excellence in food blog writing to be honoured by Taste CanadaThe Food Writing Awards

Toronto, February 24, 2015--Taste Canada–The Food Writing Awards (, presenting the highest honour for food writing in the countryhas announced a new award category celebrating the very best in writing for a food blog.
In partnership with Food Bloggers of Canada, which represents over 1,700 Canadian food bloggers from coast to coast, the new award, 2015 Food Blog Category: Best Post will honour the best independent food-related blog post written by a Canadian writer (or writers) (one in English and one in French). This adds to four existing book award categories: General Cookbooks, Single-Subject Cookbooks, Regional/Cultural Cookbooks, and Culinary Narratives (English and French). Taste Canada also presents an annual Hall of Fame Award, bestowed upon an individual who has made a significant contribution to Canada’s culinary literature.
“Since 1998, Taste Canada has been recognizing and celebrating superior culinary writing and publishing in Canada,” says Donna Dooher, Taste Canada’s National Chairchef, cookbook author, restaurateur and industry champion. “The new Food Blog Category recognizes that some of Canada’s best food writers are publishing brilliant material that celebrates food in wonderful and unique ways – using an online platform, instead of paper.”
Well-read blogs incorporate additional elements unique to the blogging platform, for example, how best to integrate writing for a digital medium with beautiful photography. The new award, the first of its kind in Canada, whose criteria were carefully constructed by Taste Canada and Food Bloggers of Canada, also acknowledges that food bloggers often wear many hats: writer, editor, publisher, recipe tester, photographer, social media manager, web designer and technical support.
“Canadian food bloggers are multi-talented in and out of the kitchen and they each bring their unique ability to share their stories about food with their readers,” says Ethan Adeland, co-founder and managing director, Food Bloggers of Canada. “Their blogs are written as a labour of love and outcome of Canada’s culinary and cultural diversity.”
Ethan adds, “Over the last few years, book publishers have been tapping into the rich talent pool of many of the best food bloggers and giving them book deals. The online and
printed worlds are overlapping, so the partnership with Taste Canada is an evolution of that.”
The Food Blog Category: Best Post may be general, or it may be focused on specific Canadian topics or regions, and/or target a very specific audience, such as an ethnic group (in terms of race, nationality, or religious heritage) in Canada or around the world. This category may also explore culinary history, politics, or social awareness.
More details on the submission process, eligibility and criteria are available at The submission deadline for blog entries is March 20, 2015. The shortlist will be announced in July 2015. 2015 winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony and Gala Reception in Toronto, with additional details to be announced soon.
About Taste Canada–The Food Writing Awards
Taste Canada—The Food Writing Awards is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 that recognizes and celebrates superior writing and publishing throughout Canada’s culinary world, both English and French. The Taste Canada Awards are the highest honour for food writing in the country. Presented in Toronto each fall, these awards are a unique cultural, social and gastronomic highlight. Taste Canada also hosts ‘Taste Canada Cooks the Books,’ a competition that invites culinary students from across the country to make a dish from a Canadian cookbook—with the author on stage. Their goal: to impress the panel of judges and create a dish worthy of earning them the title of Canada’s Best New Student Chef.Please visit for details.
About Food Bloggers of Canada
Food Bloggers of Canada (FBC) represents over 1,700 Canadian food bloggers from coast to coast to coast. FBC works to promote and showcase the incredible work by Canadian food bloggers in their own respective space while also providing resources to improve their blogs and social media influence. FBC also organizes and hosts Canada’s only National Food Blogger conference. FBC2015 will be in Montreal at Le Westin from Oct. 23-25, 2015.

Media Contact:
Saskia Brussaard, Crave Public Relations