Dine on the Nanoose Bay waterfront – Smithers Interior News
– Words by Susan Lundy Photography by Sean Fenzel
Described as a “modern Canadian tavern”, Seascape is a new waterfront dining destination in the Fairwinds community of Nanoose Bay.
Located in Fairwinds Landing, Seascape offers spectacular ocean and marina views, a relaxed and inviting ambiance, and a menu that showcases comfort food with a modern twist, and built around local produce from the land and the sea.
Boulevard reached out to Seascape Executive Chef John Stratton for more information on his background and the philosophy behind Seascape.
Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Oakville, Ontario where I discovered a passion for cooking. As a teenager, I worked as a waiter and dishwasher at a seafood restaurant and was enthusiastic about the process of producing and working with food. After graduating from the Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at George Brown College, I decided to hit the road. Being half-Australian, I spent several years there in my early twenties, exploring my roots and gaining many experiences. I’ve done everything from farm produce and pigs to cooking at luxurious island resorts.
Where did you work before Seascape?
Arrived in Fairwinds from the Okanagan in the New Year, I was previously the Executive Chef of Sparkling Hill Resort. Before that, I spent 2016 trying to travel as many national parks as possible across North America, starting in Utah and ending in British Columbia.
Why did you decide to become a chef?
I don’t think it’s really a “decision” – it just happened! Between part-time jobs when I was young, the mentors I was lucky enough to have, a curiosity for the industry, and the ability to be creative and never stop learning, it has it all. just worked! What else was I going to do?
How does Seascape’s menu reflect the restaurant’s theme or brand?
Trick question! As a brand new restaurant, we are still finding our footing and figuring out what works for our customers and for us. Seascape’s location has a strong influence on our culinary decisions. It’s nestled in Schooner Cove, overlooking Fairwinds Marina and the Winchelsea Islands, yet it’s surrounded by dense forests and minutes from local producers: our menu reflects all the amazing ingredients that Central Vancouver Island has to offer. to offer.
What is the ingredient you can’t live without?
I don’t think there’s a singular ingredient I couldn’t live without, but I couldn’t live without access to fresh local produce. There’s nothing better than looking out the window and seeing the ocean where we get our seafood or visiting the farms and people who produce the amazing products we all have access to.
How would your last meal be?
Hard to say. I have no favorite foods and cravings change with my mood. Maybe a spicy curry, fresh sushi or a greasy burger.
What’s the best recent food trend?
I don’t really follow trends; I can’t say I’ve ever done it. But from what I understand, low-waste foods are all the rage right now, and that concept has always resonated with me. Making hyper-local and eco-responsible purchasing decisions means reducing unnecessary packaging and emissions. Plus, reusing food scraps that may have already ended up in the trash (like broccoli stalks, carrot tops, and potato peelings) increases sustainability and reduces waste. There are so many ways to do a better job of protecting our planet and supporting local producers, and any trend in that direction is one I can support.
What is a good simple advice for food and wine ?
When done right, food and wine pairings can create a religious experience, but don’t feel bound by the rules of white and red pairings. Don’t be afraid to break the rules when you think about wine. Even though sablefish and chardonnay is a classic combination, sometimes pinot noir, or maybe even a light, fresh syrah to cleanse the palate, would be even better. Above all, I think it is essential to drink what you like!
What is your favorite cuisine to cook?
Brazing, smoking, anything slow. Just in case I have an afternoon to enjoy preparing a meal, I want to take my time, enjoy a nice bottle of wine, while I work in the kitchen and prepare the anticipation for a delicious meal. Cooking at home is the opposite of cooking in a busy restaurant and I love savoring the experience.
When are you happiest at work?
When I work in a busy department, shoulder to shoulder with my team; the energy and camaraderie are contagious.
When are you happiest outside of work?
When I’m outside with my daughter Aurora (a rambunctious Airedale terrier), I hike, forage and take walks on the beach. I’m so thrilled to be here at Fairwinds and Nanoose Bay; it’s an outdoor wonderland that I can’t wait to explore even more.
Learn more about Seascape here.
Story courtesy of Boulevard magazinea publication of Black Press Media