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Chef's Choice: Olivier Mayer



When Olivier Mayer last made headlines in Whistler he was winning the 2011 Chef's Challenge during Cornucopia.

Today he's in New York City preparing for the Master's Golf Tournament. He hasn't traded in his chef's apron for golf spikes. No, he's going to be part of the culinary team preparing for the internationally recognized annual golf event.

"For me, I'm going to get a chance to play with those guys," says Mayer joking, his larger-than-life French accent as he speaks by cell phone.

Mayer says he's been in New York for the last four months and expects to be there for another two or three months before returning to Whistler.

He primarily cooks for one family. His main employer has a home in Whistler and when they are in Whistler, he's in Whistler. At the moment the family is in New York so he's based in the Big Apple right now.

"They are my main clients, even in New York," says Mayer. "I work with them, say, three, four times a week.

He says the connections he has made in Whistler have led to contracts and jobs all around the world. In the next few months he plans to be in the U.K. and Hong Kong before returning to Whistler.

He prepared food for an event this week at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the works of New Yorker George Bellows are on display until Feb. 18, and before that he says he did an interesting New York political dinner.

He isn't exactly certain whom he's preparing food for at the Masters golf event as details of the contract haven't been completely finalized, but he knows his services are needed in Augusta, Georgia, for the first week of April. The annual tournament takes place at the historic 18-hole course called the Augusta National Golf Club and this year it is scheduled for April 11 to 14. The golfers invited to compete at the prestigious tournament include world-class competitors like Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods.

While golf is in Mayer's near future, his heart is in the mountains.

"I'm looking forward to coming back for skiing," says the chef of his desire to get back to Whistler as the busy din of New York can be heard bleeding through his phone.

Mayer teamed up with chef Guillaume Gissinger in 2011 to compete in the Chef's Challenge that year during Cornucopia as the Shirtless Chefs. The duo prepared a winning duck dish in 45 minutes to win the culinary show down. The competition featured duck and apple as secret ingredients.

Gissinger and Mayer were the only team of two in the event that featured teams from Araxi, The Four Seasons and Whistler Cooks. Each of the other teams in the competition had at least four people on the team.

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