Pemberton, BC, is just one train stop beyond Whistler, but the two are leagues apart in sensibility. Pemberton’s the place Whistlerites move to when they grow up. Get a marriage and family under you, and you start thinking less about adrenaline and more about, say, organic beets.
Pemberton is fast becoming one of the great locavore foodie destinations in Canada. So it’s the second-best place in the country to spend Thanksgiving (after your own home, of course.) And the best place in Pemberton to spend this Thanksgiving might just be North Arm Farm.
It’s just jaw-droppingly lovely. Snow-capped Mt. Currie towering above. The scent of the turned earth of the fertile floodplain. Dusk comes, and the warm blaze from the wood-burning firepit sets the yard aglow. The cauldron looks like it could have been designed by Martha Sturdy. (Wait a sec: it was designed by Martha Sturdy, who owns a house just down the road. Figures, because her son Jordan, who also happens to be the town mayor, owns North Arm Farm.)
North Arm feeds you twice: once with its crops, and then again with its catering and restaurant. Maxim Ridorossi and Jenna Dashney run that division, and they have spent a decade earning their wings, cooking at some of the world’s finest restaurants and winning food competitions. (He—the former executive chef at King Pacific Lodge, ranked third in the world for food by Condé Nast Traveler—specializes in the savoury. She—former pastry chef at the renowned Sooke Harbour House—commands the sweet.) This summer they set the valley abuzz with their Saturday night farm suppers—fabulous alfresco events featuring organic meat and veggies exploding with flavour and creative twists.
But for Thanksgiving, they’re aiming higher still: planning a regional-cuisine feast for the ages, maybe one long table in the yard. There will be fare for the traditionalists—including organic, free-range local turkey and heirloom ham from Vancouver Island, BC. And then lots of never seen or tasted before because—well, they invented them.
Once you’ve been down on this farm, who needs Paris?
Canadian Thanksgiving is Oct. 11. How will you be celebrating? Will you be preparing traditional or more unusual food? Tell us below.