a farm-to-table dinner featuring whistler’s bounty
posted: July 21, 2014
In an episode of Portlandia, funny guy Fred Armisen’s character asks his restaurant server for detailed information about how ‘Colin’ the dinner chicken was raised, “Who are these people raising Colin?”
This tongue-in-cheek scenario actually reflects today’s reality. People are craving transparency from food systems, not only to ensure ethical farming practices, but because buying local, with scrutiny, yields delicious.
Many restaurants today are mindful and connected. They’re shouting the ‘eat local’ mantra from the hilltops. Heard within this chorus are home-based Whistler chefs and suppliers for Wanderlust Whistler’s upcoming farm-to-table dinner (at the Roundhouse lodge, August 2).
Whistler Blackcomb Chef Wolfgang Sterr truly values where his food originates. “Our local farmers put their hands into the dirt, put their sweat and blood and tears into their farms. They’re integrated into our ecosystems. If we lose them, we lose touch.”
Wanderlust diners can look forward to savouring a meal prepared by a chef who creates his fare according to the season’s offerings. As Wolfgang would say, “that’s how it should be.”
Paula Lamming, co-owner of Whistler’s beloved Purebread Bakery, is a supplier for the feast who is equally passionate about supporting the local economy, even if it means creating new recipes on the fly. “My staff hates me because I’ll buy a bin full of local cherries, which they’ll have to pit. Then we have to find a quick recipe for them.”
The Whistler area’s local fare is expanding thanks to the support residents have shown for their growers and producers.
“The three big farms up here are getting bigger and bigger. Every year there seems to be a new farmer in Pemberton,” says Patricia, referring to North Arm Farm, Ice Cap Organics and Good Time Farming. When a community can live off ingredients from just down the road, they’re impacting the ever-present carbon footprint.
And then there are honey bees: amazingly hearty creatures who play a prominent role in the farm to table journey. Steve Gourley, owner of Goldstrike Honeybee Co., says his swarm has something to teach us. When they became ill in their pesticide-laden environment, production diminished. However, transferring their hives to the pure air of the Lillooet Valley, the bees began to thrive, pollinating crops and producing organic honey.
Steve’s honey is one of the beautiful ingredients to be presented at the Wanderlust table. With chefs focused on crop availability, farm-to-table dinner guests can expect the deliciously unexpected.
“Eating local is better for the world. The food is clean. We’re trying to do the best we can.”
Check out the video to get up close and personal with Wolfgang and Steve.
Erin is a contributing food reporter for CTV Morning Live and The Rush on Shaw TV in Vancouver. She is also the banana bread-loving owner of To Die For, an artisan baked goods company specializing in premium loaves (don’t miss her lemon loaf, either). Find her restaurant and recipe recommendations on Twitter, or follow her on Instragram.