It’s fresh, healthy and sustainable. While restaurants elsewhere scramble to keep up with the increasing demand for locally grown ingredients, the Canadian Rockies are home to a wide range of restaurants, cafés, breweries and distilleries that provide local and regional pasture-to-plate experiences. These establishments make it their mission to use the finest local ingredients the mountains have to offer, so you can enjoy a taste of place, and really enjoy the true Rockies experience.
Land to Liquor
Wild Life Distillery supports local agri-farm producers. 100% of their grains are grown nearby and they use wheat grown exclusively for them at a small family farm. Their Alberta Botanical Gin is created with sustainably foraged wild ingredients, such as juniper, sage, Labrador tea and rose hips found in the foothills.
“It is a truly unique gin. It is created seasonally, and no two batches are ever the same.” – Distiller and Co-founder, Matthew Widmer
Wild Life also provides a local farm with 3000 lbs of cattle feed per week. “They come by twice a week and pick up our spent grains, which they take back to the farm to feed the animals. It is a way for us to have less waste and re-purpose the grains.”
Canmore Brewing Company uses the town’s mountain water and local well water as the number one ingredient in their beers.
“The water out here is fantastic. All we do is remove the chlorine.” – Brian Dunn, Canmore Brewing Co.
The vast majority of their malts are grown in Alberta, which they believe are the best in the world. They source all-natural juices and hand-crafted syrups for their radler beer from a local Canmore company, Modern Cuisine. Canmore Brewing Co. also partners with local bakeries, like J.K Bakery and The Pie Junkie, who use the beer to make delicious hand pies and beer pretzels.
Similarly, Banff Ave Brewing Co. likes to keep all their flavour additions, such as fruit, honey, spices and other seasonal ingredients, as local as possible. All of their base malt is Alberta grown, and they use local water as a key ingredient for their beer.
“The glacial-derived Banff water is our true gift from the park.” – Miranda Batterink, Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Whitetooth Brewing in Golden, BC creates beers that are “inspired by the adventure that awaits in the mountains of Golden.” They use local water from the town’s aquifer and source many ingredients for their West Coast influenced beers from BC and Alberta. Whitetooth Brewing experiments with local flavours such as huckleberries in their small batch beers.
Mountains to Menu
Tapas takes the concept of local ingredients to a new level. Owner and Head Chef Tracy Little forages wild ingredients from the surrounding landscape to create imaginative, multi-sensory dishes that enhance the dining experience. The chef’s tasting menu is dictated by what Little can find, so there’s always something new to try.
The culinary team at Table Food + Drink source their produce and meat from their very own on-site garden and butchery. The garden on the dining patio grows herbs and vegetables for Chef Tim Matsell. Using these ultra-fresh ingredients, Table Food + Drink offers a modern menu that changes with the seasons. They work with as many local suppliers as possible, including Canmore Pasta Co., Valbella Gourmet Foods, Wild Life Distillery, Canmore Brewing Co. and more.
Pursuit’s newest Banff restaurant, Farm & Fire, works closely with The Bear and The Flower Farms to bring the best, humanely raised pork products to their dishes. They also work with local suppliers for their produce and chicken, to ensure the freshest and highest quality meal possible.
Whitetooth Mountain Bistro in Golden, BC is a proud member of the Oceanwise Sustainable Seafood program, and sources their ingredients from local producers. There’s something for everyone on the menu, with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, all made with fresh local flavours.
Ranch to Restaurant
It was in the dining lodges of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts that “Rocky Mountain Cuisine” was first created. Led by Executive Chef Alistair Barnes, Rocky Mountain Cuisine consists of high-quality, locally procured ingredients. This food quickly became popular with travellers and locals. To meet the growing demand for fresh, local food, CRMR purchased their own 540-acre ranch in 1997 where they raise high quality bison and elk in a natural, humane and sustainable manner.
“We pride ourselves for using the freshest ingredients, grown as close to home as possible.” – Caitlyn Murphy, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts
Their goal is to control the quality of their product from conception to consumer. CRMR promises a unique dining experience at any of their restaurants, offering local produce, meats and wines at Sleeping Buffalo Dining Room in Banff, the Mount Burgess Dining Room at Emerald Lake Lodge, and the Mount Fairview Dining Room at Deer Lodge in Lake Louise.