Sooke Harbour House

sooke-harbour-houseWorking as Pastry Chef at the Sooke Harbour House was one of the most exhilirating, challenging and inspiring jobs in Thea’s career.

One of the top restaurants in the world, the Sooke Harbour House is noted for its  unique menu written every single day that uses only the freshest of local ingredients.   The cooks, including the pastry chef, daily create their dishes from the Sooke Harbour House ‘edible landscape’,  using the over 200 edible herbs, greens, edible flowers and vegetables grown on location. (Watch a Youtube video about the edible gardens here).

Needless to say, this is a fantastic daily challenge for a chef – using only the best ingredients from the Southwestern Coast of Vancouver Island to create desserts that meet or surpass the expectations of the discriminating diners coming to one of the best restaurants in the world.

Here are some of the 2007 Awards the Sooke Harbour House has received:

  • Wine Spectator Grand Award 2007, one of the Top 75 Wine Lists in the World
  • Best Vancouver Island Restaurant, Vancouver Magazine
  • #2 Best Hotel in North America 2007 Reader’s Poll, Travel & Leisure Magazine
  • #8, World’s Best Service 2007 Reader’s Poll,  Travel & Leisure Magazine
  • #8 Best Small Hotel in the World 2007 Reader’s Poll, Travel & Leisure Magazine
  • Gold Star, Conde Naste
  • 5 Stars, Canada Select

Creating unique, flavorful delicious desserts from fresh local ingredients demanded constant communication with local suppliers and the house gardeners, and an exquisite awareness of seasonal freshness and properties of herbs, edible flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables.  Sorbets, reductions, ice creams, pastries and confections all had to be daily made from scratch, not just to serve the diners but to surprise and delight them!

Over the summer I will be matching some of Thea’s photos with Sooke Harbor House menus, and posting pictures and descriptions on the blog.  Enjoy!!!

Thea working at Sooke Harbour House - the dessert she is building was listed on the menu on Saturday August 16, 2003, as "California bay leaf crème caramel, with lemon thyme poached pears, a pear and anise sorbet, calendula petal cream, and fennel syrup"; also seen is "flourless chocolate cake" and a "selection of garden inspired sorbets: golden plum with fruit sage, Nectarine with mint, and Apricot with Lemon verbena".

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