Dinner is being served this summer 436 metres above Fitzsimmons Creek during a one-evening charity event. Up to 250 people are going to have a six-course meal as part of a new fundraising event called Skyhigh.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. The unique event is the brainchild of André Saint-Jacques and his team at the Bearfoot Bistro. Saint-Jacques calls the event, scheduled for Saturday, June 28, a "dinner with altitude." Tickets for the event are on sale now at an all-inclusive cost of $7,500 per cabin of up to ten people. The price includes lift tickets to get up Blackcomb Mountain, a champagne cocktail party before dinner, a six-course dinner served high above the gap between the mountains, downloading on the Whistler Village Gondola and a party at the Bearfoot Bistro to end the evening.
"It's a pretty cool concept," says Saint-Jacques of a dinner that will require two satellite kitchens.
Each gondola station will have a team of servers and a clearing team. Saint-Jacques says the first course will be set up on the Whistler side. The diners standing by at Blackcomb will settle in for the first course and enjoy the second and third courses in the gondola cabin as the summer sun sets. The fourth course is to be served on solid ground. The Skyhigh diners will have their final two courses in gondola cabins.
"You are up sky high and everything needs to match that," says Mei McCurdy, the WB Foundation executive director. "Everything just has to match that. You're going to get unmatched views so we want the food and the experience to match that, totally."
Saint-Jacques was looking for a new special-event challenge and from the early days of the Peak 2 Peak, McCurdy was thinking about how a food event could work using the new attraction.
"André, of course, is so passionate and the Bearfoot is one of our best restaurants in Whistler. It was a really great partnership and it fit right away," McCurdy says.
Saint-Jacques was thinking about doing another event on a glacier, but that idea was scrapped as unoriginal.
"We were looking at trying to do something different than a Feast of Fields because we've done it, and everyone is doing it, so we're doing something different in the summer," he says.
He adds that the Bearfoot Bistro executive chef, Melissa Craig, is already imagining the event.
"I said yes before consulting with her but I know she's going to pull it off," says Saint-Jacques.
"Melissa has a lot of chef friends that said they will lend a hand if she needs some additional help."
The event is expected to sell out — tickets are available through the Bearfoot Bistro and Whistler Blackcomb.