Powder, powder, powder. The Kootenay snowfall has put you into a one-track state of mind: getting as much of that whiteroom experience before heading home for the day. But as you sit on the chair for the umpteenth time today, you realize there’s another feeling arising: hunger.
After working your legs into a continual burn all morning, your stomach is telling you you’re running on empty. Lucky for you, Kootenay ski areas aren’t known for just their powder—we’ve got delicious ways to refuel, too.
Here are the top dishes at each of our ski areas, as shared by chefs, ski area staff, and locals!
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ski Area
Farm-raised elk braised in merlot—mouth already watering?
“This isn’t something you’ll see on other resort’s menus,” says Samantha Gernhart of Fairmont Hot Spring Resort Ski Area’s most-loved dish, the Elk Meatloaf, a winter offering gracing their menus until May long weekend. “It’s definitely the most popular, being both a guest and staff favourite—and it’s different. “
The Elk Meatloaf makes its journey from merlot braising to fresh-baked pretzel bun before being served. But first, it receives its adornments: a glaze of apple-smoked cheddar and the resort’s own signature sauce.
“Some words we use to describe it: hearty, tender, lightly seasoned, scrumptious,” says Gernhart of the dish, before she sums it up with the most important descriptor of all: “Very delicious!”
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ski Area, Elk Meatloaf ~ Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Fernie Alpine Resort
If you ask Dan Jeffrey, the most popular dish at Fernie Alpine Resort is clear: “Tacos, tacos, tacos!”
“We believe if someone says they don’t love tacos, they are probably lying,” says Jeffrey. He gives nod to the Legends Mountain Eatery, the brand new restaurant in the resort’ plaza, and invites guests to check out their variety of tacos including Ginger Chicken, Pulled Pork, and Roasted Beer & Tabbouleh.
Fernie Alpine Resort, Tacos at Legends Mountain Eatery ~ Photo by Dan Jeffrey
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
When you’re eating at Canada’s highest elevation restaurant, it might be hard to concentrate on the food when your eyes are feasting on the views. But Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s Eagle's Eye restaurant makes sure both sensory experiences are taken care of.
A favourite here? “Our unique pulled pork sandwich,” says Matt Sweet. “It all starts with dry rubbed pork shoulder, slow cooked for 12 hours in red wine and fresh herbs, then we pull it and smoke it in-house with BC apple wood chips, mixed in a signature BBQ sauce topped with maple glazed bacon, aged cheddar fresh apple and arugula slaw.”
Getting it with a side of fries? “For me, the must-do is upgrading to the truffle fries,” says local, Andy Brown. “Also, a beer at the Eagle’s Eye bar is a must on a sunny day—best view from a barstool!”
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Eagle’s Eye Restaurant View ~ Photo by Jeff Bartlett
Kimberley Alpine Resort
“I would have to say right now it is the Prime Rib Dinner at the new Buckhorn and Main Mountain Eatery,” says Shawna Crawford when asked what the most popular dish at Kimberley Alpine Resort is. She describes the offering: “Delicious, roasted prime rib; au jus with all the fixin's—and so tender!” But heads up: It's only available on Friday and Saturday nights. “Certainly something to make a point of coming out for!” adds Crawford.
For those skiing and riding on all the other days of the week, your taste buds still get a treat. Crawford mentions a close second favourite of the locals: “Don't laugh, but you can't deny: it’s the Waffle Fry,” an offering found at the resort’s Stemwinder Bar & Grill. “While there are a bunch of inspired, fresh menu items available on the pub menu, it's tough to think about coming in at apres ski for a pint without ordering up a basket of waffle fries, or better yet, waffle poutine!”
Kimberley Alpine Resort, Buckhorn & Main Prime Rib Dinner ~ Photo by Cali Sammel.
Panorama Mountain Resort
“The dish to focus on is the “Woodman’s Chop,” says Laura Matthew of Panorama Mountain Resort’s most popular dish.
Found at Panorama’s new restaurant, elevenFIFTY, Matthew describes the Woodman’s Chop as a Canadian-inspired dish. “It features rosemary & rye brined pork, birch syrup glaze, rosemary mashed potatoes, and grilled broccolini. In addition to being a delicious and hearty meal after a big day on the slopes, the Woodman’s Chop has Canadian and local inspiration: the birch syrup is sourced from a local farm nearby!”
Panorama Mountain Resort, elevenFIFTY Restaurant Woodman’s Chop ~ Photo courtesy of Panorama Mountain Resort
RED Mountain Resort
According to the Food & Beverage Manager at RED Mountain Resort, the winner of RED’s most-loved dish is the “Stacked to the Rafters Burger.”
“It is crazy popular,” says Meagan Philpot of the burger. “This is the meal you want after skiing powder all day and need something to make up for the fact that you missed lunch. It's super delicious.” This burger is stacked with a 6oz beef patty (“grilled to perfection” adds Meagan), topped with roasted garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, cheese, bacon, and an onion ring. It’s all served with choice of fries or a tossed salad. Pro tip: “You have to add the egg to the burger for extra height; it makes the burger looks insane!”
The close-second in RED’s crowd-pleasing lineup is their Korean Tacos, which includes braised Bulgogi beef, kimchi, Sriracha mayo, cilantro, and cabbage. These Korean Tacos are a quick-fix when you’re on a powder mission. When asked why it’s a favourite at the hill, Philpot says, “Fancy food at a ski resort? Yes, please! It’s a delicious lunch item you can grab and munch down quickly so you don't miss out on any of the action outside.” She rates the beef a 10/10 in “tasty ratings” and notes that the addition of slaw makes it a fresh meal that won’t make you feel too full when you clip back into your skis.
RED Mountain Resort, Stacked to the Rafters Burger ~ Photo courtesy of RED Mountain Resort
Revelstoke Mountain Resort
When you’re making laps on a mountain that claims North America’s greatest vertical, you need to keep the caloric fire stoked. The best way to do it, according to Kevin Manuel, is by stopping at the base for Szechuan beef served at Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Rockford wok | bar | grill restaurant.
Served with lightly breaded beef strips, wok-fired vegetables in a spicy Sriracha ginger sauce, and jasmine rice, Manuel says it’s a local favourite amongst skiers and riders in Revelstoke.
“This dish is full of flavour, but won’t weigh you down when you head back up the mountain. The beef is tender and juicy, while the wok-fried vegetables balance the dish perfectly. It’s a fantastic option for a quick lunch or a sit-down dinner.”
Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Rockford Wok Bar Grill Szechuan Beef ~ Photo courtesy of Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Summit Lake Ski Hill
It’s hard to beat a hot and hearty soup when you’re coming off the slope. And that’s precisely what the Summit Lake Ski Hill serves up: “The favourite home-cooked dish is Borscht & a Bun,” says Darlene, who runs the kitchen at the Summit Lake Ski Hill. “A traditional Russian soup—made for generations—is served steaming hot with a fresh homemade bun.”
“Not only is it delicious, but it’s good for you, too,” says Darlene, listing off the ingredients she simmers together to create the local favourite: tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, green peppers, dill, butter, cream, salt and pepper.
Summit Lake Ski Hill, Borscht and a Bun ~ Photo credit by Darlene
Whitewater Ski Resort
When you’re at Whitewater Ski Resort, there’s some cookbook classics to choose from—literally; the resort’s recipes are featured in five different cookbooks. But it’s the resort’s newest lodge, The Glory Lodge, that’s serving up favourites on the backside slopes: meat pies and the Faux Bowl.
Though the meat pie’s flavours are changed often, Mikey Bourke—creator of the savoury dishes—says the smoke salmon potato leek pie is his fave. And there’s a backstory on how his little pies came to be: “I was asked to make items that would be good for Glory [which, at the time was Whitewater’s food truck] and wanted something fast and delicious. I loved pies and had my own special pie dough recipe.” From these requirements came the pies you’ll find at the lodge today. “It is one of the most labour-intensive items I make, but I put lots of love into those pies; I am so happy that people love them.” Gotta act quick, though—these sell out fast each day.
If you’re not able to get in in time to put your mitts on a pie, Bourke has a suggestion: “Another popular menu item is the Faux Bowl. I named it after the popular [Vietnamese dish], the Pho bowl, but my bowl is nothing like the original—that’s why I call it Faux … It definitely has an Asian flavour with the broth having miso, lemongrass, ginger and few other things that make it taste awesome. The bowl pleases both vegans and gluten-free people, but you can also add Asian pork tenderloin or smoked tofu to the bowl as well, so it makes everyone happy.”
Whitewater Ski Resort, Glory Lodge Meat Pie ~ Photo couresty of Whitewater Ski Resort
Gina Bégin - Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. On a quest to reach the distant adventures of North America, she lived in her car, traveling to ski the backcountry of Alaska, sleep under the northern lights in the Yukon Territory, ice climb Colorado's frozen canyons, photograph Nova Scotia’s coves, backpack in southern US wildernesses and munch on sugared tamarindo in the jungles of Mexico. But after three years living on the road and seeing the many wonders this continent had to offer, she chose the place she knew would fit an explorer looking for a lifetime of wild wonder: British Columbia. Dual citizenship in hand, she settled along the Powder Highway in the Selkirks and is making her home between four walls and deeply wooded mountains.