Winning and dining: Getting to know Taku Resort, this year’s We Heart Local Awards grand prize getaway
There’s a lot that’s special about Taku Resort: located on beautiful Quadra Island, they offer peaceful rooms in a natural setting — and for gourmet-minded guests, cookery courses featuring some of BC’s best chefs. Taku really is the ideal getaway for anyone looking for a relaxing culinary experience, which is why we’ve chosen a luxurious Taku getaway as this year’s grand prize for the We Heart Local Awards! To win this getaway, simply nominate or vote in this year’s We Heart Local Awards (visit weheartlocalawards.ca to participate!) Enjoy this behind-the-scenes chat with Elizabeth Wong who grew up at Taku and now manages the resort’s business development and Erin Roswell, manager of cookery at Taku.
We Heart Local: Can you tell us a bit about how families played a role in Taku Resort’s beginnings, and about how Taku has evolved into a cooking getaway destination?
Elizabeth Wong, Taku Resort: Over 30 years ago, four families bought the resort together as a place where they could enjoy the beauty of the West Coast. Some of my earliest memories are of us spending the whole day on the water beach-combing, digging for clams or fishing for rock cod. All of the kids knew how to bait a hook and you always had to clean what you caught. Catching or foraging for our food was always a big part of the day. The rest of the day was about the whole family cooking together. Our home was actually the old restaurant for the resort so we had a huge commercial kitchen that could fit everyone. Most nights we had 20 people sitting around the table. Cooking was a passion of my father Milton and it was his dream to have a cooking school. He was known for teaching people how to make apple pies. He always said the key to a successful marriage was one person doing the crust and the other person making the filling! We are very excited to have achieved his dream of a cooking school that compliments the bounty of the island and beauty of the resort.
WHL: What kinds of local ingredients can would-be chefs find on Quadra Island?
Erin Rowsell, Manager Taku Cookery: There are so many beautiful and delicious ingredients that chefs have access to at Taku. For seafood and shellfish we have a bounty of local oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, cod, salmon, urchin and more. Beyond the sea, we have gorgeous produce, scrumptious mushrooms and herbs galore! Huckleberries, blackberries, salmonberries and blueberries are found here. We even have fresh local chickens that come from SouthEnd Winery and Farm – and they also sell amazing local wines! There are producers of local jams, breads, chocolates and many other food items. These are just a few examples of some of the foods available here on Quadra.
WHL: What can cookery course participants expect over a weekend at Taku?
ER: Our courses start on Friday evenings with a fun meet-and-greet reception where participants have the opportunity to try out some special snacks from visiting chefs and relax in our beautiful location. If the weather is nice, we may just spend some time on our green roof! Saturday is a full day of learning. For those staying at the resort, breakfast is brought directly to guest rooms before class. We hold two classes during the day, which are 3-4 hours in length. Each class leads into the meals, either lunch or dinner. Dinnertime on the Saturday evening is always a special time, enjoying not only each other’s company but the foods that everyone has made during the day. Sometimes Saturday dinner can go quite late! Sunday morning is another chance for learning from the chef and enjoying a breakfast or brunch before saying our good-byes.
WHL: We noticed that cookery course guests have special accommodations at Taku – can you describe them?
EW: The getaway is just as much about cooking as it is about the location. Taku Resort has a myriad of different ocean-view accommodations from studio suites to beachfront cabins to deluxe two bedroom suites. There’s something for everyone. The towering fir trees provide a natural landscape framing the ocean and coastal mountains beyond. Most of our guests stay at least three nights so that they have enough time to enjoy the surroundings.
Want to experience Taku for yourself and a friend? Participate in this year’s We Heart Local Awards, happening August 19th to September 16th and you’ll be automatically entered into a draw, for a chance to win a luxurious three-night stay at Taku Resort and Marina for two, along with your choice of a cooking courses featuring some of BC’s best chefs. This prize includes a $300 gift card for ferry rides and transfers and is valued at over $2000. Here’s hoping you’ll find yourself cooking up something special soon at Taku!