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West Coast Wonder

The Wickanannish in any weather

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West Coast Wonder

Welcomed into the exclusive Relais & Chateaux ranks (an international guide to hotels and restaurants) less than two years after opening, the Wickaninnish Inn has stood by the qualifying five Cs ever since.

Welcomed into the exclusive Relais & Chateaux ranks (an international guide to hotels and restaurants) less than two years after opening, the Wickaninnish Inn has stood by the qualifying five Cs ever since.

Character, courtesy, calm, charm, and cuisine continue to define the destination as one of the top five resorts in North Americaas so often voted by the likes of Cond Nast.

Famed for its prodigious views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and its world class Pointe Restaurant, the Wickaninnish Inn has weathered the past 20 years of Tofino tides well, garnering more praise with each change of season. Voted Best in Country last year by the renowned Zagat Guide, it remains perhaps the penultimate reason to traverse the sole winding road that crosses Vancouver Island to end nearly upon its doorstep.

Even in November when the weather turns, the Wickaninnish shines, offering storm-watching packages and piping the surf and storm sounds directly into the dining room.

It was the lure of the regions unsurpassed natural beauty and the prestige of the property that attracted Chef Tim Cuff, C.C.C., to the kitchen at the Wick. An Alberta native who cut his teeth on steak and potatoes at Calgarys Ranchmens Club, Cuff arrived at The Pointe Restaurant fresh from a three-year stint at the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in the Okanagan. He has seen a lot of the world, but no place quite like the Wickaninnish.

"I still catch myself just staring. I might come out of the kitchen to greet a table and just catch myself saying 'Wow, did you just see that?' to one of our guests, Cuff admits. The mists, the waves, and the shoreline are amazing, but it is the sound of the ocean that has really defined this place for me."

Sights and sounds aside, it is the cornucopia of local ingredients that have attracted some of Canadas top chefs since The Pointe first opened in 1996. All who have headed the kitchen agree: it is an honour and the experience of a lifetime.

While Chef Cuff is still becoming acquainted with the fullness of the local bounty, he is already well versed in what comes from the surf directly below his oceanside dining room: gooseneck barnacles, mussels, clams, seaweed, prawns, salmon, tuna, scallops, and more.

This is food. Real food. Its pure, and I dont have to fuss much with it as a result. Everywhere you look, a lot of what we eat has become processed—tomatoes and chicken have changed and so have their taste," says Cuff.

What we are working with here has never been farmed, never been polluted. Its tasted this way for hundreds of years.

Recipes

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