Chef Jeremie Trottier knows one thing well: his customers can tell the difference between fresh picked from Pemberton and fresh off the produce truck from California.
The kitchen boss at Quattro for the last 12 years loves using fresh ingredients from North Arm Farm in Pemberton because the food from Pemberton simply tastes better, he says.
When asked if his customers notice a difference when he uses ingredients from just up Highway 99 he's definitive with his answer.
"Oh absolutely," says Trottier while sitting in a cool corner of Quattro a few hours before the restaurant opens, with the sound of kitchen prep echoing from the other side of the room. "It's picked that day and all the stuff out of California has been sitting in reefer trucks and getting transported up. You can definitely tell the difference the soil makes up there.
"It just brings fresh," he says. "You can tell if something's come out of a bag from California or someone picked it that day and dropped it off at the restaurant."
Trottier takes a moment to focus on the Quattro fresh sheet of specials.
"We try to focus on what's as close as possible and that changes a couple of times a week depending on what's in season and available."
There's an audible hint of frustration in his voice when talking about the ingredients he likes to use from Pemberton.
"When we can get it as local as possible we stay as local as possible," he says after describing the challenges the seasons present for Quattro with winter being the busiest time of the year for the restaurant. During the winter months he says he takes full advantage of the root-based food ingredients that are available in abundance and in the summer he takes advantage of all the other produce coming from Pemberton.
In the case of Quattro's signature dish, Spaghetti Quattro, whenever he can use Italian parsley, garlic and tomatoes from Pemberton, Trottier does so because it takes a great dish to the next level.
He works with his main supplier on a weekly basis to get the freshest ingredients he can from Pemberton.
"He (Jordan Sturdy) comes down on Thursdays right before the weekend so we can get stuff in," says the chef. "He e-mails out a fresh sheet, what's available this week and then I drop an order in and it makes it here on Thursdays."
Trottier and the rest of the Quattro team are advocates of sharing. The signature spaghetti dish is published in the Quattro cookbook, the recipe has also been on the Quattro website for some time and the website also features a video of Trottier delivering instructions on how to make the dish.
Trottier says he wants people to enjoy the dish at home. He warns that many people find that when they try to make it at home it comes out tasting slightly different.
"Sometimes when people try to make this at home and they buy the Hunt's, or whatever, it can have that sort of high acidity and that is why its not going to taste the same as what their getting here, but it's close."
"The simplicity of this dish was created by Antonio Corsi back in Rome," the Whistler chef says in the video.
Trottier goes on to reveal how the pros at Quattro prepare the restaurant's internationally known Spaghetti Quattro so anyone can enjoy it at any time.
While the menu says the dish is for Italians only he explains this is all about pointing out that it is a truly Italian dish where the pasta is the focus.
"It's about the pasta itself, its not about how much garnish and stuff you can get in there.
"Why we say for Italians only is because the olive oil and the tomato sauce are emulsified to create the sauce, its not like we're dumping in a bunch of Prego or Ragu and that's the whole delicate balance of it all. It has spice, definite spice, but it is balanced spice, not just stupid hot for no reason."
- 1.5 lb (675g) Spaghetti
- 3⁄4 cup (180ml) Extra virgin
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30ml) Chopped Italian parsley
- 1 lb (454g) Ground chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) Minced fresh garlic
- 2 tsp (10ml) Red pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 cup (125ml) Black turtle beans, boiled for 20 minutes or until cooked through (or use regular black beans, rinse well, no need to boil)
- 1⁄4 cup (250ml) Tomato sauce
- Pinch of Salt
Cook spaghetti in four litres of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Add oil to sauté pan over high heat, add parsley, and sauté until it sizzles, it should be crisp but not burnt. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the ground chicken and cook for three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and cooked black turtle beans. Keep all the ingredients moving in the pan and sauté for two minutes. Add your tomato sauce and stir vigorously to combine the tomato sauce and oil, add a pinch of salt. Add the cooked pasta and serve immediately.
Wine pairing - Ceretto