The Wildflower, Whistler, British Columbia
Nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, it took Canadian Pacific Hotels to build another chateau with luxurious rooms, lots of dining options including the Wildflower, award-winning golf and a full-service spa. Although it’s now a Fairmont property, it remains one of the finest such properties in Canada.
Chateau Whistler’s Executive Chef Isabel Chung, one of only two female chefs in Fairmont, has built quite a team in this, one of the busiest hotels in western Canada.
Enter Executive Sous Chef, Derek Bendig who leads the culinary charge in all four full-time and two seasonal restaurants. I’m not sure anyone has his energy! His expansive personality and prodigious knowledge of all things food-related make him a perfect choice to oversee such a complex and important side of the hotel’s food service. He’s won accolades from Food Day Canada and in 2017 was invited to cook with other Food Day chefs at the James Beard House in Manhattan, after which he pretty much tasted his way through the city. I’m not sure any of the other chefs could keep up with him….I know I couldn’t.
There’s a ton of talent in these hotel kitchens and what we’ll see unfolding over the summer does Canada proud. You may taste maple-cured Arctic char with a wild vegetable salad, watercress aioli, and wrapped in smoldering cedar paper (at left). Or there might be a Chateau-smoked salmon poutine using legendary Yukon Gold potatoes, likely grown up the road in Pemberton, a spoonful of fresh cream cheese, extra virgin canola oil sabayon and local B.C. sturgeon caviar. Can it get any more decadent?
Chef Bendig is a hunter and although no wild game can be served in his restaurants, he knows how to serve it forth. Check out the roasted venison loin with wild mushroom and barley “risotto”, wilted mustard greens and mustard seed jus. It would have to go with a lusty cabernet franc or possibly even a Syrah from the Okanagan. And speaking of wine..for as long as I can remember, the emphasis has been on B.C. first with a cellar gathered from the likes of Quail’s Gate, Cedar Creek and Mission Hill to name only three. And there are cocktails including this one dedicated to Canada 150!
The Wildflower is one of over 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
The Wildflower est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez xxx directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
4599 Chateau Boulevard
Whistler, British Columbia
Photography by Julie Zoney.