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BACKGROUNDER WHISTLER CHEFS – Extraordinary backgrounds inspire exceptional cuisine Owner Mario Enero and Executive Chef R.D. Stewart, La Rua Restaurante Owner Mario Enero, a former Spanish bullfighter with a passion for hospitality and fine cuisine, has been at the forefront of British Columbia‟s elite dining scene for 36 years. His global sensibilities and enduring style inspire a distinctive brand of culinary fusion starring seafood, steak and game. Mario‟s Executive Chef, R.D. Stewart, moved to Whistler after graduating from the George Brown Hospitality College in Toronto in 1991. After five years at Umberto Menghi‟s Whistler restaurants, he was invited to join La Rua‟s kitchen brigade in 1997. R.D. was voted best Whistler Chef in 2007 by Pique Newsmagazine and in 2008 and 2009 by Whistler Chamber of Commerce‟s spirit program. Chef Stewart‟s contemporary Canadian cuisine revolves around using local and regional ingredients as the seasons change. OceanWise-certified seafood is featured as part of his commitment to using sustainable food products. Chef Tokyo Tom, KA-ZE Tokyo Tom first came to Canada in the late 1960s and established his reputation as a professional freestyle skier. KA-ZE is the culmination of his passion for Whistler, skiing and sushi. Sourcing only the finest ingredients, Tom and his staff craft exclusive choices from the signature Kamikaze Roll, to exotic Blue Fin Tuna sashimi, to Matsusaka Beef in your choice of Sukiyaki, Shabu Shabu or stone grill barbeque “Ishiyaki”. Executive Chef Chris Shiner, Edgewater Lodge & Restaurant Originally from Halifax, Chris began his cooking career while still in high school at a YMCA summer camp for kids. After finishing school, he moved west to follow his other true passion: skiing. Chris continued his cooking career by apprenticing at the Mike Wiegele Heli-skiing Resort. He spent the next three years cooking and logging over one million vertical feet of heli-skiing. With chef papers in hand, Chef Chris' next move was to the Chateau Lake Louise, where he spent several years before coming to Whistler in 1998. He began to work with the Canadian Women's Alpine Team for their Whistler training camps, and that relationship continued up to and through the 2010 Winter Games. For the last couple of years, Chef Chris has been working his culinary magic at the Edgewater Lodge & Restaurant turning his creative ideas into fresh, interesting dishes using the best local ingredients this area has to offer. Chef Ernesto Egido, Sushi Village “May we sit in front of Nestor at the sushi counter?” That may be the most sought-after dining spot in Whistler. Year after year, sushi lovers return for a coveted spot at the Sushi Village sushi bar to be entertained by Chef Nestor‟s enthusiasm, laughter and amazing skills. After arriving in Whistler from the Philippines 19 years ago, Nestor honed his skills and knowledge and quickly become one of Whistler‟s favorite chefs, known and loved by locals and international guests alike. Using the finest local and West Coast ingredients, Nestor has developed his own unique sushi style while staying true to the classic Japanese recipes. A trip to Sushi Village always means a great dining experience, and always features a wave and a smile from this long-admired Chef, making the dining experience more personal, more fun, and much more memorable. BACKGROUNDER Executive Chef James Walt, Araxi Restaurant & Bar Recognized by Canada‟s Globe and Mail newspaper as “one of the top seven chefs in the country shaping the nation,” Executive Chef James Walt continues to inspire guests and contemporaries with innovative regional cuisine at Araxi Restaurant & Bar in Whistler. His impressive career has included stints at some of BC‟s leading restaurants and prominent appointments including Executive Chef to the Canadian Embassy in Rome. Now living in the heart of nearby Pemberton‟s farming community, Chef Walt works closely with North Arm Farm owner (and mayor of Pemberton) Jordan Sturdy to grow produce that he can feature at the restaurant. Together they also host Outstanding in the Field in July – a unique dining event where 70 guests gather around a table, in a field at the foot of magnificent Mount Currie, along with the farmer, the chef, and the winemakers whose combined efforts have brought the meal together. Chef Walt was the first and only chef in Whistler to receive an invitation to cook at the celebrated James Beard House in New York City – not once, but three times. Both restaurant and chef have also received high-profile exposure in the past year on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay‟s hit reality show „Hell‟s Kitchen‟ – and the cookbook Chef Walt and Araxi launched in 2009 was recently honoured when nominated for a prestigious James Beard Foundation Book Award. Co-owner and Chef Rolf Gunther, Rim Rock Café Co-owner and Chef Rolf Gunther is a long-time Whistlerite with formal training that includes Hotel and Restaurant Management in Heidelberg, Germany as well as culinary training in Germany's Black Forest region. His experience has taken him from Switzerland and Holland to various leading establishments in Canada from Montreal, Banff, Kelowna and Lake Louise to Vancouver. Since 1987, the Rim Rock has been consistently regarded as locals‟ favorite for atmosphere, service and a sublime eating experience. Known for fish and game, the Rim Rock delivers innovative, fresh cuisine, artfully prepared by Rolf‟s team with inventiveness and flair. Executive Chef Vincent Stufano, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler After working his way though some of the finest kitchens in Canada, Vincent Stufano became Executive Chef of The Fairmont Chateau Whistler in 1997. Canadian-born and originally from Montreal, Vincent was lured into the culinary world when his passion for the restaurant industry and for food was recognized at an early age. He studied culinary arts at the British Columbia Institute of Technology where he developed his own unique style and flair. Vincent‟s career continued at exclusive restaurants and hotels such as Chez Danielle, La Belle Auberge, as well as The Pan Pacific and The Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Over the years, he worked under influential leaders of the Canadian culinary profession who helped shape his style and knowledge. Vincent was appointed Executive Sous Chef of The Fairmont Chateau Whistler in 2003. Vincent balances his culinary career with enjoying every spare moment with his children. Executive Chef Melissa Craig, Bearfoot Bistro In a profession traditionally dominated by men, Melissa Craig is a rarity. A graduate from the Culinary Arts Program of Malaspina University College in British Columbia, she was the first Canadian female to win the National Apprentice Competition, after completing her apprenticeship at the renowned Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island at age 20. Now 31, Melissa is Executive Chef at the renowned Bearfoot Bistro, commanding a team of 20 in the open show kitchen. Her menu is best described as Modern Canadian Cuisine, using a blend of West Coast and international ingredients with her immaculate presentation and simple yet passionate artistry. Most recently, Melissa won gold at the 2008 Gold Medal BACKGROUNDER Plates‟ Canadian Culinary Championships – arguably the most prestigious culinary event in Canada. She has also guided the Bearfoot Bistro to being named Whistler‟s Best Restaurant in the 2009 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, and to a three-star rating in Where to Eat in Canada. However, Melissa‟s poise and skill were put to the ultimate test during the 17 days of the 2010 Winter Games, when she orchestrated a nightly sold-out dining room as thousands of Olympic enthusiasts, dignitaries, athletes, and top international media came to Whistler. A Red Seal Certified Chef, this young culinary phenomenon has already achieved more in her 30 years than many of her peers twice her age. Now also leading Bearfoot Bistro‟s new Catering Division, Melissa Craig shows no signs of slowing down. Executive Chef Greg Garland, Trattoria di Umberto With an award-winning career spanning over 27 years, Executive Chef Greg Garland delivers the high standards of Umberto Menghi‟s Tuscan cuisine, as he guides his creative culinary team through the nightly performance that is open kitchen dining. He likes to refer to it as „Italian fine dining with a floorshow.‟ Come into The Trattoria di Umberto and experience this unique dining environment. Executive Chef Jon Campbell, Players Chophouse Executive Chef Jon Campbell leads the culinary team at Players Chophouse. A fanatical snowboarder and music aficionado, he is also a top graduate from the Vancouver Community College Culinary School. Whistler‟s „Heavy Metal Chef‟ earned his gastronomic chops and Red Seal certification while working at the esteemed Four Seasons Resort Whistler. He is a zealous foodie and has ventured to all points of the globe to broaden both his cultural and culinary knowledge. Experiences in Japan, Russia and Italy have helped to craft a personal style that pays homage to the classics while „rocking out‟ fresh and delicious twists. His menus emphasize Green Table and Slow Food principles: simplicity in design but a focus on flavors. A regular at the Whistler Chef‟s Challenge, a pilot for the Food Network and the driving force behind two restaurants during the 2010 Winter Games, makes Campbell one of the most visible and highly publicized chefs in town. Chef Ratanak Chudaudon, Bavaria Restaurant Some of Chef Ratanak‟s earliest and fondest memories from childhood are of inheriting the fundamentals of Thai cooking in his mother‟s kitchen. Upon arriving in Whistler, ostensibly to skate and shred, he soon recognized the opportunities to build a career doing what he loves. His chef‟s life has been shaped by two mentors. Mike Whitnall taught him how to be a kitchen leader and culinary professional. A season in Eric Vernice‟s kitchen further enhanced his palate. At Bavaria, Chef Ratanak and his team strive to deliver the robust offerings of the old country with a flair of the new. Chef de Cuisine Edison Mays, Sidecut Ask Edison Mays if he always wanted to be a chef and he‟ll admit the profession was not initially in the cards. He originally went to school to become a physician‟s assistant, was inspired by Eastern medicine philosophies and abandoned his plans for a career in medicine and enrolled in culinary school – intent upon finding the cure for common food. His culinary style was also influenced by his pursuit of Kempo, a Japanese martial art, and the teachings of a wise sensei who touted the benefits of keeping the body physically strong through exercise and the right diet. Edison graduated from the Art Institute of California in LA and became a line cook at the much-lauded Campanile Restaurant in Westwood, Calif. From there, Mays moved to the Regent Beverly Wilshire‟s BLVD after his mentor, internationally famed chef Mario Martineli, made a few introductions. He then took a position as chef at Mango – the Four Seasons‟ newly BACKGROUNDER opened Nevis property. When Hurricane Omar hit and the Resort was forced to close its doors temporarily, Scott Thomas Dolbee – executive chef at Four Seasons Resort Whistler – invited Mays to Whistler in December 2008. Mays thrives on the availability of local ingredients and his freedom to create new dishes. A favorite part of his job, creating new dishes became particularly important in early 2010 as Mays and Dolbee set about to completely revamp the Resort‟s restaurant menu. Breaking away from the stereotype of a “hotel restaurant,” the duo gave a sophisticated spin to the finest Canadian prime beef and fresh local seafood, complete with home-made rubs and sauces to complement each entrée. Executive chef Scott Thomas Dolbee, Four Seasons Resort Whistler Chef Dolbee is „a cook's chef.' He never studied at a cooking school. Instead, at 18, he joined a hotel restaurant in his hometown of Los Angeles and began learning the art from fellow line cooks. What he didn‟t learn in class, he learned in hands-on experience. Appointed to Four Seasons Resort Whistler in early 2008, Dolbee has brought California cool and boundless possibility to the Four Seasons' Fifty-Two 80 Bistro. Rather than transplant California cuisine to the Coast Mountains, Dolbee draws influences from around the world and from his own backyard. Executive chef Tim Cuff, Aura After working his way through some of the finest kitchens in Canada, Executive Chef Tim Cuff made the move to Whistler in 2010 as Executive Chef of Aura at Nita Lake Lodge. A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Cuff's career choice was a product of his environment. Growing up in a small farm town, the Cuff family sourced much of their food directly from the nearby farmers and this instilled a natural passion for food and a fine appreciation for the hard work and dedication of small-scale farmers and producers. After studying culinary arts at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Cuff worked in some of Canada's most reputable restaurants including Teatro Restaurant in Calgary, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino and West Restaurant and Bar in Vancouver. In 2006 Cuff received the prestigious Chef de Cuisine certification by the Canadian Culinary Federation. For Cuff, it's about respect. Respect for classic cooking techniques (he‟s a master of sous vide), for food, and for the myriad of local supplies that he works so closely with. He insists that there is a difference, a richness and depth of flavour and freshness that comes from their passion and attention to detail. Chef Erik Mauke, the Mix by Ric’s This story of excellence begins with the son of a German baker developing a very early passion for great cuisine. Erik Mauke was an executive chef at several reputable eateries in Southern Ontario before making the move to Whistler, drawn here by his love for the outdoors. Erik took the chef position at the mix by Ric‟s five years ago. He is constantly sculpting the menu to incorporate fresh, local flavors with a globally inspired flare. Driven to explore his roots, Erik has also travelled to Germany to expand and perfect his skills by training alongside German Master Chefs. His ability to absorb different cooking techniques is only one of many skills that combine to create the culinary marvel that he is. His resume of accomplishments is an extensive and inspiring journey of achievement, including the distinction of being the youngest Canadian in history to have attained Canadian Chef du Cuisine status at age 26. A visit to the mix lets you experience Erik‟s finesse and philosophy: to create honest, local, fresh cuisine. BACKGROUNDER Tourism Whistler media contact information: Destination Media Relations T: +1.604.935.3358 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Consumer Website: www.whistler.com | Media Website: www.whistler.com/media Visit whistler.com or call 1-800-WHISTLER for everything you need to research and book a trip to Whistler, including accommodations, package deals, activities, transportation, weather, maps and more. Media can go to Tourism Whistler‟s media room at whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, and access to images and b-roll. In September 2009 this site was named best online travel media centre in Canada by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). Whistler is Canada‟s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination and is consistently rated as the top ski resort in North America. Located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Whistler is the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, hosting more than half of the Olympic events and over 90 per cent of the Paralympic events. Tourism Whistler is the marketing and sales organization for Whistler, representing 7,000 members and operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre and Coast Mountain Reservations (whistler.com).
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