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Fairmont Chateau Whistler a foodie haven

- August 19th, 2012

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is more than just a hotel – and more than just my home-away-from home while visiting the B.C. mountain village. It is really a foodie destination in its own right.

This ski-in, ski-out hotel at the base of Blackcomb Mountain is home to a number of restaurants offering gourmet dishes made with locally sourced products whenever possible. The luxurious Chateau is also the only hotel in Whistler with an in-house herb garden. Chefs are able to harvest tomatoes, Swiss chard, chives, artichokes, grapes and more to use on site. Plans to add bee hives to produce honey are also in motion.

Executive sous chef Richard Samaniego in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler's herb garden.

Executive sous chef Richard Samaniego in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler's herb garden.

The Wildflower Restaurant, located just off the lobby, should be a foodie’s first stop after arriving at the Chateau. Open for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch, this dining spot has a sumptuous menu featuring locally inspired dishes and signature cocktails.

Make reservations at The Wildflower’s Grill Room for a true west coast steakhouse experience. Canadian AAA beef is the star of the menu, with a selection of British Columbia wines to compliment the fare. Also on the menu is the extravagant  seafood platter, featuring a number of treats from the sea, including locally sourced oysters, tuna and crab. Served with sauces made in-house, this platter is perfect for sharing at the start of a meal.

Seafood platter at The Wildflower Restaurant.

Seafood platter at The Wildflower Restaurant.

Local, organic flavours also feature on the breakfast menu at The Wildflower, from the Dungeness crab cakes Eggs Benedict to berry pancakes. Relax on the garden patio while you sip a fruit smoothie and plan your day in Whistler.

The Wildflower Restaurant also offers a Lifestyle Menu filled with health conscious meal options.

Tomato and avocado Eggs Benedict at The Wildflower Restaurant.

Tomato and avocado Eggs Benedict at The Wildflower Restaurant.

If a quick bite is all you need before hitting the trails or slopes of Whistler, the Chateau’s Portobello Market & Fresh Bakery is your go-to spot. This deli and coffee bar offers a selection of fresh favourites, including pizza, doughnuts, homemade soups and sandwiches and vegetarian options. Grab a cup of coffee and a snack here before you catch your gondola ride up Blackcomb Mountain, just next to the hotel.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is also the prime jumping off point for exploring the Whistler Farmers Market each Sunday through the summer. Just outside the doors of the Chateau, vendors set up booths of locally produced crafts, jewellery, vegetables, chocolate, breads and more. Though it doesn’t officially open until 11 a.m. each Sunday, the market is busy by 10 as locals and tourists alike look to find the best deals on what is often organic products.

Whistler Farmers Market.

Whistler Farmers Market.

Foodies will also love dining alfresco at the Chef’s Table in the Chateau’s herb garden, where one of the hotel’s chefs will prepare a multi course meal on the spot, answering any questions you may have about the ingredients or the herb garden.

My trip to Whistler has been full of tasty experiences. No doubt this mountain village is an ideal destination for its winter skiing and summer adventure sports, but the quality and abundance of local ingredients and gourmet dishes also makes Whistler, and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a haven for foodies.

For more information, visit the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Tourism B.C. and Enjoy Whistler online.

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