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Cooking Canadian

The Wickaninnish Cookbook

Rustic Elegance on Nature's Edge

by (author) Wickaninnish Inn

Random House Canada
Initial publish date
May 2018
Canadian, Individual Chefs & Restaurants, Northwestern States
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price

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2019 FINALIST for the IACP Cookbook Award - Best Chefs & Restaurants
2019 SHORTLISTED for the Taste Canada Awards
From the Wickaninnish Inn--the award-winning Relais & Châteaux property in Tofino, British Columbia--comes a rustically luxurious cookbook to celebrate their sensational west coast cuisine

Perched between the majestic old-growth forests of Tofino and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the Wickaninnish Inn is a destination like no other. In this evocative cookbook, the "Wick," as it is affectionately known, welcomes you into the warmth to share the celebrated cuisine of Inn's The Pointe Restaurant. Since the Wick first opened in 1996, it has been regarded for its rustic elegance, warm hospitality, and incredible west coast cuisine. This cookbook highlights the innovative dishes (and the stories behind them) that have made The Pointe a destination dining experience like no other, and paints a vivid picture of spectacular natural surroundings, west coast life, and scenic ocean-to-table dining.
Memorable recipes from the Wick are coupled with signature recipes from current and former chefs--Warren Barr, Rod Butters, Matthias Conradi, Mark Filatow, Justin Laboissiere, Duncan Ly, Andrew Springett, and Matt Wilson--and combine cutting edge techniques with fresh, seasonal ingredients, to create a distinctly contemporary, west coast cookbook. Inside you will find both sophisticated and accessible recipes that speak to the Inn's longstanding commitment to farm- and ocean-fresh ingredients, and strike a harmonious balance between the bounties of land and sea that surround the Inn. The Wickaninnish Cookbook offers a chance to visit life on nature's edge, and discover dishes from one of the most prestigious kitchens in Canada.

About the author


  • Short-listed, Taste Canada Food Writing Awards – Regional/Cultural Cookbooks
  • Short-listed, IACP Cookbook Award - Best Chefs & Restaurants

Contributor Notes

THE WICKANINNISH INN, Tofino, Canada, is a landmark Relais & Châteaux designated hotel--an enchanting and acclaimed getaway perched on the western edge of Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia. Established in 1996, The Wickaninnish Inn is the only resort on beautiful Chesterman Beach and is a luxury destination for foodies and island visitors alike.

Honoured as a member of Travel + Leisure's Hall of Fame and Condé Nast Traveler's Platinum Circle

Excerpt: The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature's Edge (by (author) Wickaninnish Inn)


THERE’S A MOMENT, when you’re driving along Highway 4, after you’ve passed the stands of towering old-growth Douglas firs of Cathedral Grove and traversed the narrow switchbacks near Kennedy Lake, when you turn a corner, top a rise, and there it is: your first glimpse of the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. A froth of whitewater rolls onto the wide, sandy strand of Long Beach, where the Pacific Ocean stretches out to meet the horizon.

I’ve seen this view countless times, and it’s nothing short of magical. But for me, it means one thing above all: home.

Just a few minutes farther up the road is the Wickaninnish Inn, the realization of our long-held family dream. Growing up along this wild coast, my parents would talk about opening an inn on the rocks overlooking Chesterman Beach. Our goal was to create a destination that would allow others to discover the remarkable beauty of this part of the world. To have our guests be mesmerized by the rolling waves, meet the fascinating characters we call our neighbours, and revel in the taste of local salmon and crab. We wanted to create a place of quiet serenity right on nature’s edge.

“The Wick,” as our friends like to call it, has become that place. Today we are a 75-room inn perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, with a view of this mighty ocean from every room, suite, and public space. The Inn was the first high-end hotel on the west coast of Vancouver Island and the first destination resort, with all that implies: high-thread-count sheets, attentive service, and a soothing ambience of natural wood, stone, and glass combined with the soft colours of the rainforest. We’re honoured to be a member of the Relais & Châteaux family, an international association of intimately scaled luxury properties guided by the five Cs: Calm, Character, Courtesy, Charm, and—perhaps most importantly—Cuisine.

The Pointe Restaurant is the crown jewel of the Wickaninnish Inn. The space is encircled with floor-to-ceiling windows framing a 240-degree panorama of Chesterman Beach, forested offshore islands, and the endless ocean. Inspired by our family cabin on the adjacent point of land, at first glance, the room looks simple: an octagonal space with wooden chairs and tables protected by massive hand-adzed cedar posts and beams fanning out from a central core to the windows and ever-changing vistas beyond. Look closer, though, and you’ll see the quiet handcrafted elegance of expertly detailed woodwork and perfectly placed lighting illuminating locally crafted tableware and haunting works by local First Nations artists. We’ve done all we can to create everything with care, no detail left to chance.

But as spectacular as the scenery is, and as elegant as the décor is, the real masterpieces here are on the plates.

Since opening in 1996, our kitchen has been led by some of Canada’s most talented chefs, from our opening chef, Chef Rod Butters, to current Executive Chef Warren Barr. Not only have they prepared delicious meals for our guests, they have also been leaders in the sustainable, seasonal, farm-to-table—or more accurately on this coast, boat-to-table—culinary movement. Long before it was fashionable, they were sourcing produce from the Island’s fishers, foragers, and farmers. Through their menus, they celebrated the incredible local seafood bounty, including Dungeness crab, salmon, spot prawns, and halibut, as well as treasures of the forest, such as tender chanterelle mushrooms and tart cynamoka berries. They created a style of cuisine unique to this region; they also inspired other chefs who over time have transformed tiny Tofino into one of Canada’s great culinary communities.

In the following pages, we’ve gathered some of the most unforgettable dishes created by our chefs, including Chef Butters’s shellfish-rich potlatch, a West Coast take on bouillabaisse (page 126); Chef Duncan Ly’s Thai-scented chowder (page 60); Chef Andrew Springett’s cinnamon-scented duck (page 168); Chef Mark Filatow’s bright sidestripe prawn escabeche (page 148); Chef Justin Labossiere’s saffron-scented ravioli stuffed with crab (page 144); Executive Chef Barr’s crispy briny oyster coals (page 130) and his beautifully sculpted salmon mosaic (page 132); Chef Matthias Conradi’s decadent chocolate platter for two (page 199); and Chef Matt Wilson’s hearty sourdough bread (page 71). There is salmon in a myriad of dishes, crab in almost as many, and chowder, so much chowder.

Are you hungry yet? Well, you’re in luck—all the deliciousness of the Wickaninnish Inn lies just ahead. Won’t you join us?

Charles McDiarmid
Managing Director

Editorial Reviews

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2018: “On the furthest west coast of Vancouver Island, the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, B.C., has been a destination for visitors from around the world since its opening in 1996, the Pointe restaurant a pillar of the town's flourishing culinary scene. Their first cookbook gathers signature recipes from former and current chefs and focuses on regional techniques and seasonal west coast ingredients.” The Globe & Mail
“Since 1996, Tofino’s jewel of a hotel, the Wickaninnish Inn, has been wowing visitors with its beautiful setting (between old-growth forest and the Pacific Ocean). Included in the posh, edge-of-the-world experience is the on-site, The Pointe Restaurant. A foodies delight delivers innovative, elegant and, at the same time, perfectly comfortable West Coast cuisine. Oh and the view. Wow. Tip: Get a just-before-sunset reservation. This new cookbook is packed with recipes from current and former chefs.” Calgary Herald & Vancouver Sun
"Full of the kinds of vivid details that transport you back to that wild coastline--and to its flavours."
The Georgia Straight
“Those looking to take a piece of The Wick back to their own kitchens can consider picking up a copy of The Wickaninnish Cookbook … a collection of delicacies put together by [Warren] Barr, but also by the previous chefs who’ve blessed the plates here over the years.” Montecristo

“The Pointe restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn was the catalyst [behind the food scene] in Tofino. Back when it opened in 1996, local, seasonal eating was very much the exception rather than the rule. . . . Almost 20 years later, that adherence to local ingredients is no longer a novelty. It’s the default philosophy for almost every dish in Tofino.” CHRIS JOHNS, The Globe and Mail
“Tofino’s gourmet focus began 15 years ago with the opening of the smart Pointe restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, an elegant Relais & Châteaux hotel where folk feast on local cod with a romesco crumble while overlooking the roaring Pacific Ocean.” ROSIE BIRKETT, Condé Nast Traveler
“The Pointe has great views. But the food, from chef Warren Barr, is pretty darn good, too; think creative takes on local produce, including a bounty of seafood including the freshest crab and halibut.” NATHAN LUMP, Editor-in-Chief, Travel + Leisure
“The thriving culinary scene [in Tofino] . . . began when a native, Charles McDiarmid, opened the Wickaninnish Inn. . . . The restaurant continues to be at the top of high-end dining destinations in the area.” SHIVANI VORA, The New York Times

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