People come to Kelowna for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the food. Kelowna is building a reputation for itself for having some of the best food in Canada. There are even master level nationwide cooking competitions that take place in Kelowna every year. It is no accident that Kelowna is becoming the place to visit in Canada for a great meal. The tourists are coming to Kelowna in droves and the local residents are in the market for fine dining. There are three primary reasons for Kelowna’s culinary success:
- Nature’s bounty is plentiful in Kelowna. As an agricultural capitol of Canada, Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley have an abundance of fresh produce, as well as farm fresh dairy, meats and proteins. The arid desert environment and glacial soil matched with the enormous lakes and numerous streams for irrigation in the Okanagan Valley make the conditions ideal for growing produce. One of the Okanagan’s main industries is its agricultural crops. This means that the culinary industry is supplied with the freshest ingredients possible and in great abundance.
- Kelowna’s residential population and tourists are in a higher income bracket than the average person, which undoubtedly has an effect on the quality of the cuisine. The quality of the food industry in any particular region is directly related to the income bracket of the people within it. Because Kelowna has a great deal of money, its restaurant scene caters to wealth. Kelowna also has its share of fast food chains and discount food items like any city, but the high end restaurants are the kind that are praised in food editorials and culinary journals, attracting some of the best professional chefs in Canada.
- Pairing foods with wines may not seem like a cause for a booming culinary industry, but a thriving wine industry can certainly be the impetus for a thriving food industry. Highly acclaimed wine country brings some of the most cultured tourists and residents to the region, and they will expect the food to match the wine. For this reason, Michelin star chefs have been attracted to Kelowna and have opened restaurants in the city.
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