Wickaninnish Cookbook hits the spot
For travellers to Tofino the Wickaninnish Inn is the stuff of legend. Nestled above Chesterman Beach, the 75-room Relais & Châteaux resort isn’t just famous for its panoramic views — but also for the award-winning local, seasonal cuisine on offer at The Pointe restaurant.
Indeed, the inn’s farm-to-table cooking (or, as owner Charles McDiarmid jokes in the book, “boat-to-table”) helped jumpstart Tofino’s thriving foodie scene, which draws culinaryminded tourists from around the world and consistently wins coverage in the international press.
Now, Vancouver food writer Joanne Sasvari has compiled two-decades’ worth of the remote West Coast outpost’s mouth-watering recipes — plus stories of its landscape, staff and heritage — in a gorgeous coffeetable cookbook that’s not to be missed.
The Wick’s collection is, as one would expect from its coastal rainforest climate, packed with scrumptious seafood, hearty soups and homemade breads for storm-watching season, and fabulous foraged fare. Plus, a generous helping of locally themed sweet treats.
There are countless droolworthy dishes on offer here. Think: Elderflower-and- GrapeGlazed Trout; Seared Albacore Tuna with Marinated Shiitake Mushrooms and Wakame Salad; Dungeness Crab and Mascarpone Ravioli in Saffron Pasta; Truffled Cauliflower “Risotto;” Burnt-Honey Gelée with Goat Cheese Mousse; and Okanagan Spirits Raspberry Sabayon. Recipes are fairly straightforward, as fine-dining fare goes anyway, and there’s lots of helpful popout boxes with cooking tips and tricks.
Accompanied by breathtaking photography, Sasvari’s writing throughout is richly evocative, even poetic at times, bringing her subject to living, breathing life.
“Darkness falls, slowly, and then suddenly,” she writes at one point. “This far from town, when darkness comes, it is absolute. The only bright spots are the mellow lights flickering from
homes tucked into the woods along Chesterman Beach and, on a clear night, the icy twinkle of millions of stars overhead. Off in the distance, there might be a flash from a lighthouse, sometimes a gleam of light from a passing ship. Otherwise the night is inky, a little daunting, the dark forest breathless with the unknown.”
Flipping through this stunning book, one can almost feel the night air, and the ocean spray. And taste the Sablefish, Clam, Potato and Bacon Chowder.