Dining al fresco

Friday, 5 July 2013 | Tags: , , , ,

One of my favourite Grocery Bag episodes was when Kristina and I got to spend a few days in Whistler, B.C. testing an "apres ski" cookbook. The book wasn't a home run, but skiing is among my favourite ways to spend a day, due in no small part to the well-earned meal that comes after hours of fun in the snow. Add a roaring fire and a big jug of red wine, and I have found my nirvana. For this episode we cooked for world renowned chef James Walt, from Araxi restaurant. And now, I am thrilled to report, this guy is going to be cooking for me!

Top photo: John Sherlock

Every summer, Walt and his team from Araxi put on a series of “Longtable” dinners in and around Whistler.  It’s a chance to join a couple hundred other guests and dine al fresco in a park or at a farm, complete with local produce, BC wines, and perhaps most importantly, the talents of this low-key chef, whose cooking is honestly a step above many other chefs at the top of the heap.  (Even Mr. Hard-to-Please himself, Gordon Ramsay, says Walt is something special in the kitchen.)  

I love the laid-back setting combined with what might be the best meal of my summer. (And I’ve got some great travels planned. More on that later.)  

There’s nothing worse than the uber-pretense of a restaurant that’s forgotten that, while a nice meal does indeed feed the soul and might even be considered art, it isn’t saving the world.  So give me the best food in a great setting and drop the attitude.  That’s what makes the Longtable event perfect for me!

Tickets are $175 each, which includes a cocktail reception, 4-course dinner and wine.  Locations and dates are as follows:

  • Saturday August 3rd, Lost Lake, Whistler
  • Saturday August 17th, North Arm Farm, Pemberton

If you choose to attend the Lost Lake dinner, I’ll see you there!


Chef James Walt (photo by David Buzzard) 

Toshi Kawano3

Photo: Toshi Kawano

Toshi Kawano2

Photo: Toshi Kawano 

Toshi Kawano

Photo: Toshi Kawano

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