Foodie culture isn’t just about food. It isn’t even about the presentation. Rather, it’s about the experience; a memory, intrinsically tied to each of the senses, surrounding one ephemeral meal. It’s about the ability to afterwards relate a story interwoven with details ranging from the food’s cultural and historical significance to the curation of its ingredients, to the interiors and architecture of the setting in which said ingredients are transformed into delectable delights.
For one Canadian restaurant, the experiential aspect of fine dining is being taken, quite literally, to new heights.
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Whistler, British Columbia, is a scenic collection of chalets and private residences nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains. These provide a perfect haven for the après-ski experience; interiors with wood and stone detailing, gas fireplaces, and scenic views of the slopes and surrounding forests set the stage for post-slopes cocktails.
Now the Four Seasons has teamed up with Head-Line Mountain Holidays (a Whistler-based luxury wilderness experience provider) to craft an exclusive dining experience in an ancient ice cave.
The locale, known as the Blue Room, is located beneath an ice cap in a secluded, secret location in Canada’s largest, southernmost ice field. This cavernous “restaurant” is bathed in an otherworldly, bluish light and is filled with naturally-occurring ice sculptures; to dine here is to enjoy a meal in one of nature’s finest galleries.
So how exactly does one get there? Well, the journey to the Blue Room makes for one extraordinary dinner date. Guests are met at the Resort with a Mercedes limousine and escorted to a private helicopter. The flight passes over one of Canada’s most breathtaking landscapes, one populated with volcanic peaks and a vast glacier. Along the way, experts from Head-Line Mountain Holidays provide context and information about the area’s wildlife habitats and ancient forests.
Upon arrival, the culinary experience begins. Guests are greeted with a glass of chilled Krug champagne, imported from the Grand Est region of France, as they wind their way into the bluish realm of the cavern. Here a luxurious table awaits.
Four Seasons Executive Sous Chef David Baarschers (who cut his teeth at Four Seasons locations in London at Park Lane and Costa Rica, as well as at the thrice-Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay flagship restaurant in Chelsea, London) has prepared a gastronomic menu that pays homage to the climate of the region with quintessentially northern fare. Northern Divine caviar is served on a bed of snow alongside thyme roasted root vegetables; catches straight from the nearby Pacific waters, like Vancouver Island oysters, complement a grilled long bone rib-eye. A pumpkin and truffle soup lends an earthy flavour to this unearthly experience. And despite the ruggedness of the surroundings, this is no makeshift meal. Silver-service waiters are on hand, providing top-notch service within this rocky, icicle-laden grand hall.
Ready to experience this once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure for yourself? Experiences launched this past November and occur by request only, year-round — weather permitting, of course. The entire journey takes between 5 – 6 hours, with tours starting at 10 am. (Custom times are available.) Prices start at a staggering $20,000 CAD for two adults. And while this is no doubt a considerable bill, eco-conscious guests will be happy to know that Head-Line Mountain Holidays donates 3% of revenues to the “White is Green” Ice Cap Research Initiative in partnership with Simon Fraser University.
Interested in visiting one of the most beautiful all-natural restaurant venues in the world? Learn more here. And, as the Four Seasons warns: bring a camera.