Chefs Warren Barr and Nick Nutting of the Wickaninnish Inn

“Salmon.  No, spot prawns”, answers Chef Nick Nutting thoughtfully, as if he’d never been asked his favourite local seafood in years of leading the kitchen brigade at the Wickaninnish Inn.  Executive Chef Warren Barr chimes in agreement, leading to a fast-paced discussion of all they can do with this sustainable (and succulent) shrimp.  It’s prime season for savouring sweet spot prawns, fished off the shores of Vancouver Island.  This is also the time to celebrate local food in Tofino, first with the Feast Tofino culinary event series, on through May.  Next comes the 11th annual Tofino Food and Wine Festival, June 7th to 9th

This executive chef team first met while working over a snowy Montreal winter.  From there, Warren spent summer seasons as Executive Chef at Prince Edward Island’s The Inn at Bay Fortune, while Nick returned to his adopted hometown of Tofino.   It turns out that this is a small world, especially when you’re a chef in Canada, as they reunited in the Wickaninnish Inn kitchen in 2010.   Chefs Nick and Warren talk the talk and eat the food, and their time away from the Inn is often spent enjoying the creations of fellow Tofino chefs.  Lisa Ahier’s work at SoBo Restaurant gets high, head-shaking-in-disbelief praise, and Warren speaks of repeat visits to Jack’s Waterfront Pub for the pulled pork poutine. Tough City Sushi is a favourite for Nick, with its Buddha Rolls and the added “seasoning” of the charismatic Crazy Ron.   Tofino is a haven for food lovers, and Chefs Warren Barr and Nick Nutting are happily producing - and enjoying - dishes that speak to sustainable, fresh and delicious cuisine.
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