In a year when the resort didn’t get to welcome its usual influx of international guests, the Four Seasons Whistler is taking a hyperlocal approach to its latest dining experience.
“The inspiration behind Braidwood Tavern … came from a contemporary twist on a rustic, mountainside cabin,” explained Four Seasons’ marketing coordinator Carolina Pires in an interview. “We really wanted to provide a vibrant and high-energy welcoming space for not only our guests, but we want to make it a place that is approachable for locals.”
Developed in partnership with the Richard Sandoval Hospitality Group, which counts more than 45 restaurants worldwide, the Braidwood Tavern’s menu is geared towards familiar comfort foods with the modern flair the Four Seasons is known for, all inspired by B.C.’s abundance of seasonal, local ingredients.
“Food to me is a very social experience, and at Braidwood, our emphasis is on re-energizing familiar dishes and presenting them in a way that creates community and social connection—sharing with those around you,” said Richard Sandoval, CEO and founder of his namesake hospitality group, in a release. “Whistler’s culinary scene is very unique and vibrant, and we’re excited to create a modern update on a classic food styling.”
The menu will offer classic dishes from across the Americas, including some familiar après favourites treated with Sandoval’s usual penchant for playfulness, like a green chile burger made from grass-fed Canadian beef and a roasted poblano pimento cheese, Brohm Lake duckling carnitas poutine with a poached duck egg, and a local elk salami and arugula pizza topped with a hit of spice from Calabrian chiles.
That will be paired with an extensive local cocktail and beer program, with more than a dozen taps highlighting some of the best craft brewers from the Sea to Sky and across B.C. The tavern will also pour its own house-brewed beer.
Furthering the mountain aesthetic, the Four Seasons worked with Vancouver’s Box Interior Design to create a chic yet rustic design that is meant to evoke “the warmth of your favourite uncle’s cabin,” Pires said. (Not your lame uncle, don’t worry.) In fitting with the tavern’s name, it will be wrapped in braided-wood panelling made from woven reclaimed pine, cedar and spruce.
“The elements have age, have place,” Box Interior Design founding principals Jay Brooks and Cynthia Penner said in the release. “Using indigenous and reclaimed woods such as fir and cedar, and natural textiles such as wool, gives a feeling of authenticity and integrity.”
Taking the local flavour a step further, the Four Seasons is also working with the Whistler Contemporary Gallery to populate the walls with locally made art.
Although the concept was in the works pre-COVID, the Braidwood Tavern’s local emphasis naturally aligns with the new reality of physically distanced dining, Pires added.
“One of the pillars behind this concept was to make sure it is approachable for locals and that they feel like it’s a place they can go,” she said. “For example, we will have things like specials and happy hours to make sure we cater to the local market and to focus also on the music scene to make it a fun, high-energy [setting].”
The Braidwood Tavern opens Dec. 15. Learn more at braidwoodtavern.com.