Fernie gets a taste of the Mediterranean

In the food business, it is always important to get the balance of flavours just right.

Inside the restaurant.

Inside the restaurant.

By Steph Fleming

 

In the food business, it is always important to get the balance of flavours just right. That’s why the newly opened Smokey Mountain Pasta on Second Avenue is giving Fernie just a little taste of everything.

“We have tried to include all the regions of the Mediterranean from Greece to Italy to Turkey,” says owner and chef, James Wapple.

With over 30 years experience in the kitchen, Mediterranean-trained James moved to the Kootenays to follow his passions. “I have a love for the mountains, this is where I’ve wanted to live for many years,” he says. Having lived in Fernie now for two years, James noticed a gap in the food available. “There wasn’t really any place you could go for an honest flat bread pizza made from scratch.” With a mill and pasta making equipment on site, the focus for Smokey Mountain Pasta is on completely in-house made food and healthy alternatives.

The overall concept of the restaurant centres around the slogan ‘from the berry to the bowl’ with an emphasis on local and organic produce, starting with the grain. “Fresh milled flour makes sense, it tastes better and nutritionally it’s better for you,” says James who will be launching a range of retail products including home made pastas, sauces, olive oils and a range of grains that can be selected by the customer and milled in minutes on site for breads and doughs made at home.

The restaurant, which took nearly three months to renovate, is decorated with local art, antiques and an array of guitars and musical equipment. But don’t be fooled into thinking these things exist merely for decoration. Like the menu, the decor has been carefully selected and everything is for sale. “If you see something and think, ‘oh that would look great in my kitchen,’ you can buy it and take it home,” says James, who even has plans to set up a small music corner where people can buy guitar strings and other speciality items previously unavailable in Fernie.

Smokey Mountain Pasta is currently open Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and later on weekends, serving a range of Mediterranean inspired food including pizzas, pastas, soups, salads and donairs; all reasonably priced and available for eat in or takeaway in biodegradable packaging. There are plans to showcase many of the retail products at the upcoming summer street markets in Fernie and to have a mobile vendor open late, moving in to the winter.

Walking into Smokey Mountain Pasta you can see and feel the thought and passion that has gone into its creation. From the little details like the brown paper and crayons on some of the tables to entertain the kids to the small stage set up to host local acts to entertain the adults, it appears that this place has got the balance just right.

Visit Smokey Mountain Pasta at 561B Second Avenue, Fernie or contact James at smokeymountainpasta@gmail.com for more information.