Post Hotel in the heart of the Rockies
The rustic Post Hotel is located at Lake Louise, Alberta. Try some of Chef Sauter's signature recipes.
Can the aroma of a Sunday dinner roasting in a wood oven last a lifetime? In the case of Executive Chef Hans Sauter, who first fell in love with cooking at his grandmother’s table in a small Swiss town, the answer is deliciously affirmative.
After 40 years, the memory of those meals continues to fuel a culinary career that first drew him to Canada in 1979 and has hungrily drawn others to him at the Post Hotel Lake Louise for over a decade. Voted the third-best Rustic Retreat in the world by Gourmet magazine, the property has at its heart a man with a simple passion for excellence. Chef Sauter has cooked across much of Canada, as well as Japan, Hungary, and the United States; it brings him an even deeper appreciation of where he is now.
“When I moved to Canada, I went from working in a kitchen of 10 serving a 50-room hotel to having 100 cooks in the kitchen and 1,200 rooms in Montreal,” said Sauter. Now he enjoys scenic panoramas from the Post Hotel, a location that captures many things of beauty but few local growers.
“It is easier to get the fresh ingredients up here in the summer, but we are not approached by a lot of farmers directly and are two hours away from the big city,” he explained. “That requires some planning.” And a good amount of creative teamwork–while Sauter dreams of seeing the politics of distribution improve, he enjoys the challenge it poses for a restaurant that has received one of only four Grand Awards granted in North America by Wine Spectator.
At heart, Chef Sauter remains rooted to his earliest appreciations of food and has found ample audience for his rustic flair that brings osso bucco, organic beef stroganoff, lamb, bison, and caribou to the table regularly.
“There will always be those who want the foams, the high tech, the nitrogens,” he said with a combined air of appreciation and humour. “That is not what people come to us for. Here they look for food that tastes like food. They come for the honesty and plates that bring them closer to home.”