One of the country’s leading chefs, a cookbook author and a “farm-to-table” pioneer, James Walt continues to inspire his guests, creating compelling regional cuisine based on local, sustainable ingredients. A graduate of the Stratford Chefs School, his impressive culinary career spans across several of British Columbia’s leading restaurants including a four-year tenure at Sooke Harbour House and as opening chef to sister restaurant Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver. James was also Executive Chef to the Canadian Embassy in Rome, Italy; an experience that helped shape the way he cooks today.
James is Whistler’s only chef to cook at the celebrated James Beard House in New York City where he has performed on three separate occasions. He has been voted best chef in Whistler by Pique Newsmagazine and was inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Association Hall of Fame in 2011.
James continues to oversee the kitchens of Araxi, The Cellar by Araxi and Bar Oso in addition to his new duties at Il Caminetto.
James lives in nearby Squamish where he works closely with local farmers and producers and personally selects the freshest ingredients featured on the Il Caminetto menu.
Like many of his peers at Il Caminetto, Ryan came from afar (in his case Fredericton, New Brunswick), for a six month visit, fell in love with Whistler, and is still here 13 years later! A highly experienced restaurant manager, Ryan worked for eight years at the former Il Caminetto and Trattoria di Umberto, then left to polish his wine knowledge at the Okanagan’s Painted Rock Winery near Penticton. Ryan enjoys both loyal local and long distance followings for his enthusiasm and deep wine knowledge, and spends his winter days-off barrelling down the hill on his snowboard.
“I love the refreshed Il Caminetto, and working with my colleagues, both old and new,” he says. “But my real joy is arranging marriages of Chef Walt’s wonderful modern Italian dishes with just the right bottle, and lighting up a guest’s smile.”