BC Business Magazine
( quality time)
“I can burn some extra energy that I have left and just enjoy playing hockey with my teammates and have a few beers after that,” he says. “I don’t have to think about work or anything like that. It’s just a good hour and a half of fun times.”
Choquette, who likes being part of any team, especially enjoys hockey because it’s fast and physical. He plays goaltender, a position he loves for the skill set it requires and because it’s the backbone of the team: “[I] try to stop the pucks and keep our team in the game,” he explains of his work between the pipes.
Choquette took up the sport in his late teens in his hometown of Laval, Quebec, but didn’t really get into it until moving to B.C. in 1998. After studying classical French cuisine for three years at Montreal’s l’institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, followed by an apprenticeship in Montreal and three months at a restaurant in France, he headed to Vancouver, where he landed a job as chef de partie at Lumière. Apart from a couple of years in Australia to broaden his culinary experience and a stint at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island, he was based in Vancouver until 18 months ago.
In late 2017, Choquette and his girlfriend, Chelsie Osmond, moved to Rossland, which immediately felt like home. The former mining town, population around 3,500, in the Monashee Mountains of the West Kootenays, has reinvented itself as a tourism and recreation destination—for hiking, biking and especially skiing. Despite plentiful snow, Rossland has a moderate climate with mild winters and comfortable summers. “It’s very lovely,” Choquette says. “It’s awesome—a small community with lots of outdoor activity.” Besides playing hockey, he snowboards in the winter, and in the warmer months participates in a slo-pitch men’s league. At home, he brews his own beer.
The couple’s Bernese mountain dog, Russell, adopted as a puppy in Vancouver, also approves of the move—he can be off-leash, play on the mountain and romp in the snow. “There’s so many dogs here, so it’s fantastic,” Choquette notes. He expects to stay in Rossland for a while. “[I’m] very well established here now,” he says. “I had a chance to purchase a home, and I totally feel part of the community, so I’ll enjoy this new adventure for a little bit.”