Film-Loving Foodies: Devour Osoyoos is the Festival for You

This mash-up event pairs Canada's top chefs with amazing short films for a weekend of food and cinema.

March 9, 2018

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Devour Osoyoos

I’ve always been a purist when it comes to movie snacks: popcorn, as far as my cinematic experience is concerned, is the only acceptable option. When friends make a detour to the frozen yogurt counter or nacho station after we’ve bought our tickets, I try to find seats as far away as possible from them in the theatre.

But at Devour Osoyoos—a satellite edition of Nova Scotia’s world-famous Devour Festival, founded by Chef Michael Howell—I had a change of heart. The food-and-film event taught me that maybe it is possible to actually enhance a cinematic experience with the dish in front of you…and that maybe that dish doesn’t always have to be coated in butter or eaten out of a paper bag.

The meals at Devour’s main Saturday night screening gala and multi-course dinner, of course, are a far cry from standard movie-theatre fare. Chefs fly in from all over Canada to craft dishes that pair with short, food-themed film selections: sometimes they may be inspired by the explicit ingredients in the movie; other times, by the prominent culture or mood—beef short rib seco from Ancora chef Ricardo Valverde, for example, was served up to accompany a moving Italian film about memory called Loss of Taste. Over multiple dishes, I found delight on the screen (documentaries about Atlantic Ocean fisherman; a comedic farce about shopping for cheese), and on my plate (Okanagan salmon on stinging nettle purée with birch bark syrup and rosti potato). Popcorn and Captain America, this was not.

It’s surprising that I even had room to feed both eyes and stomach after the weekend of other festival events. There was the chowder competition down by the waterfront (featuring pairings with local cideries and breweries because what’s a beachside chowder without a cold beverage?); the wine seminars that had me sipping and swirling with the fine people of the Similkameen’s best wineries; and the long-table brunch where multiple mimosa stations were a particularly welcome way to get a little hair-of-the-dog.

This year, Devour Osoyoos runs June 15 to 17 and packages (which include accomodation at the Watermark Beach Resort and a pass to all the festival events) start at $369. A little pricier than a bag of popcorn, sure—but a banger of a deal for a blockbuster weekend away. For more information about the festival, and to purchase tickets, visit

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