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"Rolf is a master at not overcooking his food. Plus, he’s fanatical about using the best and freshest seafood he can order."

While the above is just a sample of the many fish treats that await at the Rim Rock, you are not out of luck if you are allergic or seafood just doesn’t do it for you. The Rim Rock now offers a nice array of exotic game, like grilled buffalo eye steak, roasted north muskox loin and Arctic caribou.

"We didn’t want to just stick steak on the menu as an afterthought like a lot of seafood restaurants do. We thought adding game like caribou would be different and give people a choice if they don’t like seafood," said Dawson.

Complementing the meats and seafood at the Rim Rock is an excellent wine collection, with more than 300 bottles from around the world to choose from.

"We’ve got a nice, eclectic collection. Our main wines are French, Californian, Australian and Canadian. We have to with our menu," says Dawson.

Aside from his food, one of the truisms of a master chef is the company he keeps and Gunther has a very big alumni in former Rim Rock sous chef, Rob Feenie, the chef-owner/celebrity of Vancouver’s five-star Lumiere restaurant. When Feenie was in Whistler for a Cornucopia cooking class he reminisced about his Whistler days, with a charming story of the power going out and improvising by cooking in the Rim Rock’s gas fireplaces.

"I remember that night!" Dawson exclaimed. "It wasn’t our fault that we lost our power. Half the village was dark. But Rolf and Rob did an excellent job that night. Cooking in a gas fireplace is a lot like a stove, as the flame is the same. The only difference was our customers got to watch the chefs cook in and we had to use candles on the tables."

While the Rim Rock, which gets its name from the neighbourhood, has excellent chefs, food and wine, the capper comes from its warm ambience. Climb past the big lobby rock, under the Bobby Orr granite statue and be enveloped by gas firelight, blond, hardwood floors, snowy white linen tables and eye-catching, Whistler Mountain prints on the walls.

"We underwent a major renovation in ’96 where we moved the washrooms downstairs and got rid of the long bar, which really opened the room up," Dawson said, proudly leading the scribe through the restaurant. "We’ve got a patio off to the side here where we grow our own herbs in the summer and the deck out front is nice too, although it can get a little too noisy if there’s too much traffic."