Darin Paterson, Chef/Owner Bogner’s of Penticton and The Pecking Room, Red Rooster Winery

Darin Paterson, Bogner's of Penticton and The Pecking Room, Red Rooster Winery.
Darin Paterson, Bogner’s of Penticton and The Pecking Room, Red Rooster Winery.

When Darin Paterson bought Bogner’s of Penticton in 2006, he wasn’t really planning on tearing up the front lawn to grow vegetables or making a farm on the Naramata Bench. By 2009, he had done both.

“When we bought the restaurant we didn’t think about the farm and garden, but we could see the possibilities. It’s been a constant evolution.”

Why grow your own?

“I grew up in a household that gardened, and ultimately it’s so easy here. It’s all about synergy. Our staff work outside during slow times in the kitchen. Our costs are higher, but what we provide is a product we can be proud of.

“At the farm we grow Yukons, russets, reds. Purple potatoes make great chips. We are pretty much self-sufficient in potatoes, also carrots and beets, swiss chard; we had 120 eggplants. Last year we had over 2,800 lbs of tomatoes.”

That’s a lot of potatoes. Bogner’s is open year round and seats 70 inside and 40 outside on the patio overlooking the gardens.

“Our front lawn at Bogner’s is an edible garden. We’re already pulling spinach, mustard greens, parsley. In a week there will be rhubarb a good foot long, in another week, herbs.

“We’re organic, we buy ladybugs, we don’t spray. We have 60 wine barrels for square foot gardening with Jerusalem artichokes, way too many chives, sorrel, strawberries and lots of basil by the kitchen door.

“Upstairs we have 40 feet of grow lights where we grow micro greens and salad mix pretty much all year round though we have to buy romaine.

“My mum is an amazing horticulturalist and she’s keen on what we’re doing.

“We have two three course menus $25 or $35 which change at will, and run for about 10 days or until whatever is featured runs out. We have a lot of chive dressing around right now because we have a lot of chives.

“The Pecking Room at Red Rooster is a casual lunch place. I lived in Saudi Arabia for a time and we’re exploring those Arabic flavours — baba ganoush, tahini. Tahini sauce on fish with Riesling is delicious.”

Chive dressing

  • 4 T chive vinegar
  • ½ c yogurt
  • ½ c sour cream
  • ½ c mayonnaise
  • 1½ t salt (to taste)
  • 1½ t fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ c fresh chives, chopped fine

In a bowl, whisk together chive vinegar, yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and cayenne until smooth and stir in chives.