Butter on the Endive: Sunwolf Supper SeriesPosted by Brenda Lowe on Friday, August 6th, 2010
Tags for this Article: al fresco, italian, italian supper, outdoors, Squamish
Outdoor dinner in Squamish by the river with views of the mountain range? Four courses of Italian inspired cooking, with local fresh fruit and vegetables? Hell yes.
On July 27 2010, Owen Lightly of the Butter on the Endive blog took over the Sunwolf Outdoor Centre’s cafe to cook and host a dinner inspired by his recent trip to Italy. Owen is a talented young cook from Vancouver who has worked in some of Vancouver’s most notable restaurants (Aurora Bistro, West, Gastropod, Voya, Au Petit Chavignol, Market) and is currently at Araxi in Whistler.
It was a gorgeous and sunny day, the kind that makes you appreciate staying home during the summer because the season is all too short on the perpetually rainy West coast. Our little dinner group left downtown at 5:30 PM to give ourselves lots of time but it turned out to be unnecessary as rush hour over the Lion’s Gate was surprisingly light. It was my first drive on the Sea to Sky highway since before the Olympics; I’d forgotten just how breathtaking some of the views are.
An hour and a half (and some wrong turns on my part) later, we arrived at the Sunwolf. The picnic tables in front of the cafe had been set up and the smell of grilled pork hung in the air as it was being finished on the giant outdoor grills. We had some time before dinner to walk along the nearby river or sit in the shade under the giant walnut tree beside the tables.
When it was time to be seated, Owen said a few quick words thanking the owners of Sunwolf for lending the space, and his friends Trevor and Naomi for helping with the cooking and serving. Tanya, one of the Sunwolf owners, also thanked everyone for coming and informed us that there were cabins available for anyone who wished to spend the night. (By the end of the evening and several glasses of wine later I was very tempted to make use of one.)
While the first course was being finished, the guests nibbled on marinated cherries, mixed nuts and bread.
Marinated cherries with herbs & orange peel.
Over the next few hours, the first three courses were served family-style on large platters. Even though each had a central “protein” that was very tasty, my favourite part of each dish were the vegetables. So flavourful, and perfectly seasoned.
Owen, describing the first course of …
…Albacore tuna with North Arm Farm cauliflower and Paradise Valley greens.
This dish was all about the cauliflower.
Second course: Read Island mussel soup with tomato sauce and grilled Terra bread.
Third course: Free range rack of pork with North Arm carrots, organic potatoes, and apricot mostarda.
The pork loins had been cooked sous vide beforehand.
Fourth course: Panna cotta with cherries.
Time flew by all too quickly. I could have lingered for hours longer but sadly the next day was a work day for most of us. It was one of the nicest meal experiences I’ve had and I look forward to attending others in the future. The next Sunwolf supper is scheduled for Thursday August 26 at 7 PM.
Butter on the Endive