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Perfect bliss

Rim Rock Café has been providing the best of all worlds for Whistler diners for 17 years

Nirvana: A place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain or worry and the external world. — Webster’s dictionary

"I knew I had found nirvana when I could work at night and ski all day."

So explains Bob Dawson, co-owner of the Rim Rock Café of why he has been skiing and working in Whistler restaurants for the last 27 years. And no doubt seafood lovers would say they found seafood nirvana when eating at Rim Rock since Dawson and his chef partner, Rolf Gunther, took it over in 1986.

When discussing with Dawson the Rim Rock and his working history, one is taken down a fascinating, fun, mini-history tour of Whistler. Dawson arrived at Whistler in 1976, when, "the village consisted of 300 permanent residents, the skiing village was at Creekside and the main village that we’ve got now was a garbage dump."

Dawson and Gunther got together in 1980 to run the Creek House restaurant, where Dawson says he gained the utmost respect for his partner’s cooking skills.

"This is a guy from Germany, trained in French cooking, who can cook anything. We did everything we could to survive. We did Italian, Mexican, burgers and salads, whatever. And Rolf could cook it all."

When the Rim Rock Café location became available in 1986 the pair leapt at the chance to take it over and set out with the goal that when people asked for seafood in Whistler, the Rim Rock would be on everyone’s lips. And after 17 years, the pair has succeeded admirably in their goal.

A quick peruse of the Rim Rock’s menu had me salivating and wanting to try everything on Gunther’s expertly planned menu of starters and main courses, which was amazing for this diner, not being the biggest seafood fan in the world.

Read and salivate: Spicy sea bass in a sweet & spicy cashew chili sauce, salad mix in a crispy wonton cup; crab & salmon cakes with mango aioli & roasted corn salsa; foie gras pan-seared with an apple raspberry salad; tiger prawns grilled with mushroom spinach garlic risotto & basil tomato roasted pepper salsa.

Such mouthwatering delights had me wondering just what to choose and Dawson helpfully recommend the Rim Rock’s Ahi Tuna, which is marinated in soya sake & mirin, grilled rare and finished with wasabi beurre blanc. The word rare pricked up my ears as most chefs have the unfortunate habit of cooking their fish way too long, a fact that Dawson concurs with.

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