In a profession traditionally dominated by men, chef Melissa Craig, the award winning Executive Chef of the Bearfoot Bistro, is a rarity.
Chef Melissa Craig’s career began in the world-renowned Culinary Art Program of Malaspina University College.
Upon graduation, she went in to win the National Apprentice Competition. This outstanding achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact that she was the first Canadian female to win this prestigious event and she was only twenty years old at the time. In 2008, Ms. Craig was awarded the coveted gold award at the Gold Medal Plates’ Canadian Culinary Championships – arguably the most prestigious culinary event in Canada.
After training at Malaspina, Melissa moved to the southern tip of Vancouver Island and did her apprenticeship at The Sooke Harbour House – an establishment regarded by many as one of the finest restaurants in the world. Then she deepened her understanding of West Coast Canadian cuisine and further refined a style of cooking inspired by the foods of indigenous peoples, the ocean, and the rich soil of the Pacific soil of the Pacific Northwest.
Craig’s focus expanded internationally, as she travelled the world discovering new ingredients and techniques. These travels have brought her many places where she developed a passion for creating dishes to pair with some of the world’s best wines.
Since 2005, Melissa has commanded a team of twenty-five in the open and electrifying show kitchen of the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler, one of the country’s premier fine-dining restaurants. She also leads the Bearfoot Bistro’s catering division launched nine years ago.
Her menu is best described as modern Canadian cuisine and boasts a unique blend of West Coast and international ingredients, immaculate presentation and simple yet passionate artistry. Her talents define the experience of dining at Bearfoot Bistro.