The 16th annual Telus Winter
Classic ensures ski teams will work up an appetite on the race course during
the day, then wine and dine with the best of B.C. in the evening at Whistler
Winetastic! at the Westin Resort and the Elements of B.C. Grand Gala at the
Roundhouse on Whistler Mountain.
I guess former Aubergine
Grille executive chef Darren Brown couldn't plate enough heart of palm to keep
his homesickness for Las Vegas at bay. He lasted only a few months before
heading out for sunnier skies. Fortunately, Hans Stierli, the prior executive
chef to Brown, was able to satisfy his traveling jitters and after visiting
other culinary talents around Europe, he decided to return home to Whistler to
assume his place at head of Westin Resort dining and the Aubergine Grille.
The Swiss-born chef
immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1987. Eight years of working as sous
chef in a variety of hotels and restaurants in Switzerland were ripped away on
Canadian soil where Stierli was forced to work as a mere "cook"
because of the language barrier. However, in a matter of months, he began what
would become a long relationship with Westin hotels, first sharpening his
knives as a sous chef at the Westin Hotel in Winnipeg in 1987. Now, two decades
later, after opening the Malta Westin and the Whistler Westin, Stierli returned
from his European getaway to plate his adventures on a new menu for the
While diners await the new
menu, Stierli — along with support from Aria Foods — has orchestrated a swish
and snack lineup for Whistler Winetastic! An Evening of International Wines and
Cheese. More than 20 wine agents will pour a broad selection of roughly 150
wines for guests to taste as they swirl and sample perfect bites. A few
highlights include an artisan cheese display with candied nuts and dried
fruits; Swiss cheese raclette with organic potatoes, pickled vegetables,
gherkins and pickled onions; scallop and Mexican prawn on Yukon mashed potato
with bouillabaisse broth; and every girl's dream: a five-tiered chocolate
fountain with marshmallows, biscotti and lady fingers for dipping.
More than 700 guests will
also be free to mingle through the artist gallery as well as purchase raffle
tickets for the Instant Wine Cellar. Mountain FM's Mike Ciccone and his new
wife (former Mountain FM host Rebecca Hall), will host the evening with live
jazz from Rajan Das and the Das Trio.
Tickets are $55.