Veni­son and Beets

Whistler Traveller Magazine - - DINING GUIDE TASTE -

Es­tab­lished in 1981, Araxi is one of Whistler’s long­est-last­ing res­tau­rants and still one of its finest. Af­ter Ex­ec­u­tive Chef James Walt joined in 1997, he fell in love with the in­cred­i­ble pro­duce from nearby Pem­ber­ton and the menu quickly changed from Ital­ian to farm-to-ta­ble — this be­ing long be­fore farm-to-ta­ble was even a thing.

Veg­eta­bles still drive the menu, in­clud­ing the meat pair­ings. In the win­ter months, veni­son is a con­stant. It’s usu­ally red deer from Van­cou­ver Is­land, but this year there will be prized Cerf de Boileau from Que­bec as well. The lean game is sim­ply crusted with salt, pep­per and fresh bay leaf, cooked sous-vide and nicely seared. In­vari­ably, it is served with beets and other earthy flavours (squash and sun­chokes), maybe crispy po­lenta and per­haps fruit chut­ney. But the beets come first.

“Maybe I work back­wards, but I just re­ally like veg­eta­bles. And with veni­son, I like beets the most,” says Walt, who now also over­sees Whistler’s Il Caminetto, Bar Oso and The Cel­lar by Araxi. “They taste bet­ter with protein and they just tie the whole dish to­gether.” 604-932-4540 |

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