Last Saturday the Westin Whistler hosted the annual Indulge Gala, benefitting the Whistler Health Foundation. Through a special arrangement, John and I were given a behind the scenes tour of gala preparations by Executive Chef Brad Cumming.
Chef Cumming paired up with chefs from four other Westins including Chef JP Fillion from the Westin Grand, Chef Robert Uy from the Westin Bayshore, Chef Iain Rennie of the Westin Bear Mountain, and Executive Chef Hamid Salimian from the Westin Wall Centre in Richmond. Each prepared one of the five courses with wine pairings for the 170 guests that evening.
Having seen one too many reality cooking shows, it was interesting to see how calm everyone was during the preparations. Eyes were focused, the meal was mapped out, and everyone from the restaurant manager to the events planner for the Westin was on hand to make sure everything went smoothly. Dietary restrictions were noted on whiteboards and menus were written in Sharpie on giant sheets of paper pinned up in the hallway behind the banquet room.
After sharing his kitchen with other Westin chefs for the event, Chef Cumming said that no matter how busy or hectic the preparation might be, all hard work is validated when a diner takes their very first bite and goes back for a second with a smile.
Last year $42,000 was raised for the Whistler Health Foundation and hopefully attendees were as generous this year, especially after enjoying colourful culinary creations such as these.
All photos in this post were taken by John Bollwitt for Miss604.com