Whoever said breakfast is the most important meal of the day evidently never enjoyed the gustatorial delights of the hangover brunch.
And in a town with an appetite for imbibing matched only by its appetite for adventure, brunch has become a borderline religious experience. And now, by the grace of the culinary gods, Whistler's brunch disciples have a new church to worship in come Sunday: The Four Seasons.
The village resort hotel is throwing its hat into the brunch ring with a decadently indulgent buffet that is absolutely mind boggling in its variety.
"For me, a brunch needs to be all encompassing," said banquet chef Artie McGee, the brains behind the Four Seasons' popular Summer BeerBQ series at Sidecut. "We have a lot of diversity in this hotel, and there's obviously a lot of diversity here in Whistler, so it's important for us to show that at brunch."
There will of course be the classic breakfast fare: your eggs bennies, your frittatas, and your bacon, for instance, alongside a wide selection of soups, salads, charcuterie and other post-noon favourites that make up the "lunch" part of the brunch portmanteau.
But it's the less common menu items — not to mention the 25-per-cent off wine — that will provide ample reason to roll out of bed on a Sunday morning. A carving station will feature a different Sunday roast each week, paired with buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Yorkshire pudding. While that's not totally out of place on a hotel brunch menu, the Four Seasons' array of delectable dim sum is.
For the uninitiated, you should probably just put this paper down and head to the nearest purveyor of fine Chinese cuisine (Dynasty Seafood in Vancouver is a godsend) as soon as possible because, you, dear reader, have not lived until you've sampled the steaming, bite-sized delights that only dim sum can offer. China's take on brunch (or maybe brunch is the West's take on dim sum?), a traditional dim sum meal typically consists of an assortment of steamed buns filled with tangy barbecue pork or seafood, dumplings, rice noodle rolls, and a whole host of other Cantonese finger foods paired with endless rounds of palate-cleansing tea.
And in Whistler, a barren wasteland for Chinese food, those who are, like me, suffering from severe withdrawal can thank the Four Seasons' executive chef for this much-needed weekly dim-sum fix.
"Chef Eren (Guryel's)... worked with dim sum and he's excited to bring these different flavours in, so I think that's going to be pretty exciting for people that maybe don't know that flavour profile," McGee says.
If you're more of a sweettooth, the Sunday brunch will also include a donut wall. Yes, a literal wall of donuts. What did we do to deserve such a beautiful thing?
"It actually started with our daily breakfast buffet. We just wanted to display our bagels a little bit better," explains McGee. "So we engineered a wood plank with some rods that worked to hold the bagels in place, and people liked it."
The hotel's bakers will have plenty of room to experiment, which makes sense when you consider they have to fill an entire wall with donuts. (I'm sorry, my excitement for this wall is reaching near Trumpian levels.) Along with the coffee-shop classics, McGee said the pastry team has already taste-tested a honey-bacon pecan donut, a s'mores donut, and an espresso donut, with plans in the works to create a — gasp! — foie gras and balsamic donut. Dear lord.
"It's going to switch up all the time. You're not going to come in and have the same donut every single time," says McGee. "For us, the word 'donut' is wide-ranging."
If that all weren't enough, there's one more unorthodox menu item that is sure to dazzle your already hunger-racked brain: snowcones! Well, actually, the Four Seasons' is calling them "glacier cones," befitting our icy surroundings.
"We're going to make that term stick," McGee said
Equipped with a vintage ice shaver, chefs will actually serve these refreshing glacier cones tableside, with a rotating selection of gourmet flavours, such as blueberry-lemon, maple, and mango.
"How cool is that going to be when you're sitting there having brunch at the Four Seasons and someone rolls up and hands you one of these cones?" McGee asks.
"You're not going to go anywhere else in town and be able to get dim sum, donuts and glacier cones all in the same place. Brunch should be fun, and we want people to come out and have fun."
The Four Seasons' Sunday Brunch will run weekly from noon to 3 p.m. The feast will run you $55, with half price off for kids ages five to 12. Kids under five eat free. Reservations are recommended by calling 604-966-5280.