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Experienced Kamloops chef days away from opening new restaurant

Jarrod Omichinski is the owner of Duck Duck Pork at 107 Yew Street in Kamloops.
Jarrod Omichinski is the owner of Duck Duck Pork at 107 Yew Street in Kamloops.

A well-known chef in Kamloops is counting the final days before opening his first restaurant.

Jarrod Omichinski is no stranger to the kitchen after spending years of cooking at the Brownstone Restaurant and the trendy Red Beard Café.

“There came a point where it was time for me to do something else,” he said. “Years ago I dreamed of starting a food truck but it never materialized when my wife and I got pregnant. This time I worked with Community Futures and got the ball rolling on a protein-themed restaurant.”

Duck Duck Pork is one of several new businesses opening at the Yew Street Food Hall this year, a collaborative space made up several upcoming restaurants and bars located at 170 Yew Street on the North Shore.

Pandemic restrictions and lockdowns slowed the development of the hall considerably, but Omichinski is confident it was worth the wait.

“Everything has taken longer than expected,” he said. “That’s been a big challenge. We were feeling the delays back in November when the highways were washed out. Everyone has had their own set of challenges for sure.

“I am excited to be in this location, and having the hall helped with start-up costs,” he said. “It was a long wait but it is worth it, and now there is not much wait left.”

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Omichinski’s menu is made up of globally inspired pork and duck dishes with a nouveau Canadian style. The menu is seasonal and will change according to what is growing in abundance locally, with some main dishes offered year round.

He said when he started the business venture, he had a hundred restaurant ideas in his head.

“I had a hard time landing on a theme because we live in a multicultural country with so many different dishes that I enjoy cooking,” he said. “We have a protein theme, primarily duck and pork. The specials will change every few days.”

Part of the ingredients will come from Omichinski’s outdoor gardens. He is sourcing the pork and beef from local farmers.

“This is a high-end fast food place,” he said. “Everything is pretty quick while also having the best quality. It is garden to table here and we'll be sourcing as local as we possibly can.”

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With an opening date of Sept. 8, Omichinski is working long days putting the final touches on the new, shiny venue and ordering in supplies.

He said he is nervous but mostly excited.

It is a long way from where he began as a teenager in Kamloops working at a McDonald's and he has gained a lot of experience along the way.

“Everyone has been asking me when I’m opening,” he said. “Well, we are getting stocked up and barrelling forward.”

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