Freedom to Forage

With the anticipation of Summer Solstice, Fernie Catering Co. has planned a solstice celebration dinner for you. In fact, we will be providing summer inspired BBQ menus for the next four months for you to enjoy with friends and family, complete with a refreshing cocktail to sip.

Each month we will be focusing on something forgeable, fermented or a specific cooking method for you to try out at home, “Fernie Catering Co. Fundamentals” if you will.

The luxury of living in the valley as we do provides an abundance of plants and berries to harvest. We have the freedom of being able to walk out our door and forage food from the forest floor or in this case, alleyways. We start with the humble beginnings of our own Annex Alley Rhubarb Chutney. It is paired with sticky grilled pork ribs and a delightfully refreshing Montana Gold Ice Tea shaken with Local Fernie Distillers, Fernie Fog Liqueur.

Warm wet spring months start the growth of the annual Annex Alley Rhubarb. By June this herbaceous perennial (Polygonaceae Family) is abundant in the valley and should be rendering beautiful crisp ruby red stalks, which in turn will lend its vibrant red coloured pigment to our stunningly delicious Rhubarb Chutney.

To harvest the rhubarb, work from the outside by simply pulling the desired stalk from the base of the plant. Stalks should come out nice and easy with a firm tug, pull straight, not on an angle. Once cleaned follow our recipe for a sweet and spiced blush coloured chutney. This sweet yet slightly acidic chutney will deliciously cut the fat from our spicy, sticky grilled pork ribs. Eating with your hands and finger licking are highly recommended and encouraged methods for this dish. Wash it all down with our Montana Gold Iced Tea laced with Fernie Fog Liqueur. We’d Love to see your BBQ and cocktail reposts on Instagram with these menus, please. #FernieCateringCoBBQ.

Grilled Pork Ribs


  • 4 sparerib racks
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Chicken stock
  • Dry Rub
  • BBQ Sauce

For barbecue sauce we recommend Sidekick Peach and Bourbon BBQ Sauce which you can find at the Fernie Farmers Market.

Dry Rub


  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius

Slice the onions and scatter half in a large roasting pan. Pat ribs dry with paper towel and proceed to massage the ribs with a generous amount of Dry Rub. Rest the ribs on the onions and scatter the remaining onions on top. Pour ¾ of a cup of water or stock into the pan. Cover tightly with foil, and put into oven for 1 to 2 hours or until tender. When cooked, brush with BBQ Sauce and grill.

Rhubarb chutney


  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • ¾ cup red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp ginger freshly grated
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 6 prunes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spice

In a large pot sauté onions and ginger in olive oil until translucent, add spices, and stir for 5 mins. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves completely. Reduce heat, keep uncovered, simmer gently until Chutney thickens and darkens in colour. Stir every few minutes to keep from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot, about 20-30min.Pour hot into clean sterilized jars.

Golden Summer Sweet tea


  • 1oz Fernie Fog from Fernie Distillers
  • ½ oz Jameson Whiskey
  • ½ Lemon Juice
  • 4oz Montana gold brewed tea

Brew a concentrated batch of Montana gold tea from Montana Tea and Spice Trading Co. or another spiced black tea, let cool in fridge for a few hours. In a shaker with ice combine all ingredients and shake. Pour into a glass, for added flare and aromatics flame and squeeze a piece of orange peel around the rim of the glass.

by Lacey Wilson, Recipes by Barrie Elliott