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Penticton's culinary trail will focus on the region's innovative and growing cuisine experiences

Travel Penticton wants to develop an accessible culinary trail in the South Okanagan.
Travel Penticton wants to develop an accessible culinary trail in the South Okanagan.
Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

Travel Penticton hopes to emulate the success of the Okanagan’s wine and ale trails with the creation of new trail aimed at culinary experiences.

Travel Penticton Executive Director Thom Tischik says the idea grew following a visit from federal tourism minister Mélanie Jolie to Penticton in May.

The culinary trail will guide visitors to participating wineries, bistros and restaurants making inroads with new and innovative cuisine. Those participating will also have taken the steps necessary to make their establishments fully accessible. 

The accessibility portion of the culinary trail involves development of a universal design that will allow everyone with accessibility issues the opportunity to enjoy the region's increasing list of new and unique food experiences.

“We have created strong wine and ale trail promotion in the area, which got us thinking about the neat food culture coming into the area,” Tischik says.

He refers to such social ideas as the farm to table movement, where local foods are promoted and served at restaurants, an increasingly popular concept in the South Okanagan.

“Wineries have great bistros. We want to work off the fact these world class restaurants that are coming in here are getting media attention from food critics. It’s a great product, why not promote it?" he says.

Tischik says Travel Penticton has really just started to look at what they want to do. He says an inventory of facilities and potentially participating restaurants will likely be a part of it.

The group envisions the initial region as a triangle with Penticton in the middle and Bottleneck Drive in Summerland, the Naramata Bench and the Okanagan Falls region as borders.

The project runs until March 2021, giving the group time to build an inventory list, build routes and create support systems such as a website.

“It’s another product we can sell to tourists,” he says.

Free workshops are planned for potential participants, which include accessibility evaluations. The workshops will take place in Penticton at the Sandman Inn on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, and on Friday, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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