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Café to Café

Chef's Kitchen

Guest chefs give us a tip that elevates their cooking, and provide a recipe that highlights their tip so you can practice at home. Our guest chef this month is Executive Chef James Walt of Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar in Whistler, B.C. Araxi has a total dedication to place: Pemberton Valley, an agricultural paradise extremely varied in its bounty. The restaurant's elegant farm-to-table style of cooking has been a staple in Whistler since 1981.

Executive Chef James Walt came to his unique style of modern mountain cookery naturally in an evolution that has taken place over decades, and includes time as chef at the iconic Sooke Harbour House and culinary travels to Peru, Italy, Mexico, Vancouver, and Manhattan, among others. He loves the farms and ranches of Pemberton Valley, and also lives there. It's a natural connection as he grew up in the small farming community of Stittsdale, Ontario, in the Ottawa Valley. While young, he worked in the farm labour pool, picking fruit, milking goats, and haying. His family ran a large fruit and vegetable garden, and raised cows. James visited B.C. in the summer of 1990 while attending Stratford Chefs School. He spent summers cooking at the seasonally-inspired Raintree Restaurant, as well as Sinclair, and Sooke Harbour House. He returned to Stratford to complete his culinary studies; once done, he returned immediately to the coast. He has worked at Araxi's sister restaurant Blue Water Café in Vancouver, and in Rome cooking for the Canadian Consulate General.

Faster ways to make pasta, by Executive Chef James Walt

Hand-rolling pasta can be time consuming, so a quick tip for producing a large quantity is to place the rested dough into a piping bag, fitted with a standard ½" diameter tip. On a lightly-floured surface, pipe the dough, squeezing the bag firmly into a long line. This method produced a very symmetrical result that just requires cutting and blanching. I recommend the hand-rolling technique first, and then trying the piping bag for the next time to see the different results.

Click here to see Chef Walt's recipe

Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar
4222 Village Square
Whistler, BC V0N 1B4

February 2017

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