Photo by Mike McFee/Island Lake Lodge

Island Lake Lodge to host Untamed Kootenays Culinary Event

Two award-winning chefs will be spending the weekend cooking at Island Lake Lodge, June 16-18.

For the first time ever, Island Lake Lodge will be hosting Untamed Kootenays Culinary Event, a showcase of the best fine dining around from June 16-18.

Island Lake’s Chef Keith Farkas will be joined by two notable award-winning Calgary chefs in the kitchen for a weekend. One of these is Chef Justin Leboe, proprietor of Model Milk and Pigeonhole, and winner of Enroute Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Canada for 2015. In addition, Executive Chef John Paul Pedhirney of the prestigous Bridgette Bar will be joined the two others.

The Tamarack Dining Room will welcome food enthusiasts to experience the beauty of Kootenay-foraged food, Friday and Saturday night.

Those attending will have the chance to immerse themselves in the mountain wilderness for two days, which includes two impressive dinners, along with the ability to explore the area on guided hikes, and return to a relaxing evening in the spa and on the patio with exclusive samplings from Fernie Brewing Company and BC Wine Studio’s specialty wines and bubbles.

The full schedule for the weekend is as such: Friday will start in the evening with a Wine Makers Dinner from six to nine p.m., hosted by BC Wine Studio. Wine maker and expert, Mark Simpson will be present to discuss the wine making process, as well as help guests pair vintages with pairings for each course. With this, the chef-trio will showcase four courses paired with four select wines.

Saturday is a day full of adventure, as guests are encouraged to forage goods in the forest with the chefs, then help prepare their findings or take part in a half-day guided hike. If rest and relaxation is preferred, Spa Specials will be offered throughout the day.

During the evening of Saturday, five chefs (three in-house plus the two guests) will prepare a five-course meal, each course prepared by a different chef with the theme of The Kootenays. This is a four-hour celebration of food culture.

Sunday starts with a departure brunch, with spa specials and guided hiking available during the day.

A full package, ($999 to $1,119), includes two nights accommodation, two dinners with wine, two breakfasts and one lunch (Saturday). Also included is the Island Lake Lodge cookbook.

Dinner only on Friday is $129 per person, and $149 per person on Saturday.

This idea has been in the works for a few years. This past winter, all the pieces came together.

Island Lake sought out Justin Leboe, as he is currently one of the biggest names in Canadian Cuisine. It also turned out that Leboe is a big Island Lake fan and avid skier, and jumped at the idea.

Chef Jean Paul is another big name in Calgary as an up-and-coming chef, and was also very interested in coming to the event.

Other events in the past for Island Lake Lodge included the sale of their cookbook which is now a Canadian bestseller, and they’re excited to try something new by inviting guest chefs on-site.

“The point is to start the season off with something exciting and unique,” said Island Lake Lodge’s director of sales and marketing, Mike McPhee. “And it’s also a continuation of our reputation as one of the best culinary destinations in the region.”

With only 30 seats per dinner and 15 rooms available for guests, spots are limited. Those interested in attending are encouraged to book early by calling 1-888-422-8754.

For more information, visit

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