The Clubhouse Welcomes New Executive ChefMarch 16, 2017 | 1825 Views
The West Coast Fishing Club has raised the culinary bar yet again by appointing one of Canada’s most skilled and talented young kitchen masters as executive chef at The Clubhouse for the 2017 season.
Born and raised just a short distance north of London, Rob Ratcliffe earned his culinary stripes in the kitchens of some of southern England’s most prestigious dining rooms. It was there he met his British Columbia-born girlfriend, and when her working visa later ran out, he accompanied her back to Vancouver, where within weeks he met Chef David Hawksworth of Vancouver’s famous Hawksworth restaurant.
Having honed much of his own craft long ago in the great London kitchens, Hawksworth recognized the finesse that Ratcliffe had similarly acquired. For the next five years, he worked his way up through the ranks under Hawksworth’s eye and demonstrated all the right stuff to eventually go places on his own. As it turned out, The Clubhouse is the place he is going next, and not because he is a wilderness adventure seeker, but because the rustically elegant lodge offers both the challenge and the support he needs to establish his own signature brand of culinary artistry.
“I’m not a fisher, so that’s not the reason I took this job,” says the 28-year-old, who as senior sous chef at Hawksworth was second in command in the kitchen of one of Canada’s most well-known restaurants. I like the fact that it’s not really a hotel, but a place where people are made to feel like it’s their home during the time they are there. It’s also a place that is very quiet and relaxing when the work is over.”
The Clubhouse is also pleased to welcome Ratcliffe’s girlfriend, Reesa Cullen, as dining room manager for the upcoming season. A native of the remote village of Tahsis on Vancouver Island, Cullen developed her own distinct taste and sensibility while working alongside Ratcliffe in southern England.
No doubt long-time guests, who perhaps didn’t think it possible to further raise the near-legendary standards of The Clubhouse, will be pleasantly surprised.