Any dedicated yogi will tell you that the age-old practice is about more than just improving your flexibility and looking great in a pair of stretchy pants.
Yoga concerns the mental and spiritual realms as much as it does the physical, so it makes sense that a festival dedicated to the discipline would include a one-of-a-kind dinner that aims to delight the mind and spirit along with the taste buds.
Such is the philosophy of Wanderlust Whistler's farm-to-table dinner, served family-style amidst the dazzling alpine views of the Roundhouse Lodge's Glacierview room.
"At Wanderlust, we feel that food is an integral part of a holistic lifestyle," wrote the festival's manager of food and vendor experience, Sarah Erickson, in an email. "Food is both how we fuel our bodies and a source of pleasure and celebration of the bounty of life."
Wanderlust's signature dinner will be crafted by Whistler Blackcomb's Executive Chef Wolfgang Sterr, who wanted to showcase the abundance of fresh, local ingredients grown in the region. The menu will feature produce from Pemberton's North Arm Farm, meats from North Vancouver supplier Two Rivers, greens from Surrey's Barnston Island Herbs and a specially made salad dressing using Whistler Farmers' Market vendor Goldstrike Honey.
"A lot of times (at Whistler Blackcomb), we're gearing up to serve thousands of people, but we also have a passion and a commitment to the environment and to source local products as much as we can," said Sterr, who will also be the MC for the evening. "I'll tell (the guests) a little bit about our philosophy and how difficult it is to have restaurants such as Steeps and Christine's in the alpine that use locally-sourced products."
This led to the addition this year of a chef-attended salad bar, where Whistler Blackcomb cooks will be on-hand to talk to guests about where their food came from and how it was prepared.
And even with a restaurant filled with close to 100 health-conscious fitness fans, Sterr knows he'll be able to satisfy the most discerning diners with his vegetarian and vegan options, like a quinoa and three-bean stew, or his Okanagan peach gazpacho. There's also a carving station for the meat-eaters, featuring whole sides of wild spring salmon and Fraser Valley pork loin smothered in Okanagan applesauce.
"I'm a vegetarian and I'm the butt-end of many jokes amongst the food and beverage (staff) at Whistler Blackcomb, but I practice yoga twice a week at White Gold (Yoga studio) and I run the 5 Peaks trail-running series in the summer, so I'm a fairly health-conscious individual and I'm trying to preach to use those metrics with our staff and try to teach them a better sustainable lifestyle," he said.
The Wanderlust Whistler Farm-to-Table Dinner runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2. The $108 prix fixe includes tax, gratuity and two glasses of wine or beer.
Visit www.whister.wanderlustfestival.com for more information.
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