When Chef Ryan Orr applied to the resort 7 years ago to work under the Resort's long time Executive Chef, Tim May, he had no idea what the future held for him. As a young chef, Ryan loved the life of travel and the adventure that his chosen career was allowing him. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Ryan was looking forward to coming home and saw Clayoquot Wilderness Resort as not only another adventure, but a remarkable place to hone his skills.
Once at Clayoquot, Ryan realized what an opportunity he had walked into. Under the close eye of Chef Tim May, Ryan embraced Vancouver Island's wealth of local ingredients, and Chef May's approach of "Modern Natural Cuisine". Over the next 7 years, Ryan started to fine tune the focus for his food, and find it's own identity.
Now Clayoquot Wilderness Resort's Executive Chef, Ryan says the influence of "Modern Natural Cuisine" can still be found in his food along with his own unique approach.
The simple idea of treating beautiful local ingredients with respect and not over complicating things will let the flavors shine. Vancouver Island has become a "mecca" for organic produce, free run poultry, cheeses and local game meats. Chef continues to explore and source the island for new products that he can showcase in his kitchen. He also continues to learn and experiment with techniques, old and new, to best display the bounty of Canada's west coast.
Chef Orr believes that he has an obligation in his kitchen to respect the craft and hard work of local suppliers and farmers. As examples, to Chef Orr respect means not smothering a beautiful wild, line caught salmon with a rich, heavy sauce, but instead adorning it with a light aromatic salsa, or citrus reduction. Organic field greens are dressed lightly so that each herb and variety of green can be tasted.
It is with this respect of natural local ingredients and letting their unique qualities shine through that Executive Chef Ryan Orr treats the culinary senses of our international guests here at Clayoquot.