January 2005 Edition
The Flavour of Canada

The Fairwinds Marine and Golf Resort


"We have to serve a product that matches our setting which means it has to be the best,"

Barry Dame, Executive Chef


by Sarah Phillips


Fairwinds Marine and Golf Resort is set in one of Canada's last great, unspoiled places: Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island. It’s a place where nature takes centre stage - a refreshing and relaxing environment - the perfect place to getaway.


"There is no other resort anywhere that offers everything we do including the health club and the Fairwinds Centre," says Klas Fogelklou, General Manager for Fairwinds. "It’s perfect for individual or corporate retreats because we offer a casual atmosphere in a stunning setting. There are innumerable things to do here including kayaking, sailing, diving, and biking. And there are extensive trails to explore and an abundance of wildlife to see including otters, seals, eagles, deer and, a pond with swans and wild geese."


The Fairwinds community includes Schooner Cove Resort & Marina, The Fairwinds Golf and Country Club and the Fairwinds Centre - a 20,000 square foot facility that houses a 20-metre pool, sauna, exercise room and more.


Executive Chef Barry Dame finds the physical environment at Fairwinds inspiring. "It enhances what I do every day and allows me to think creatively," says Dame. "My sous chefs and I have a unique way of developing our menus. We collaborate and brainstorm all the time, and we're inspired by just about anything and everything from reading, traveling, media, the internet, to family conversations. This unique way of working together and coming to unified decisions allows my team of chefs to shine in each of their areas of expertise."


One of the most popular foodservice venues at the resort is the Laughing Gull Pub which features a casual dining atmosphere. Wooden model ships and maps and charts give this pub a distinctively nautical feel and the view of the bay and marina is spectacular.


"Fresh seafood compliments our centre-of-the-plate meat products," says Richard McCarthy, Sous Chef at the Laughing Gull. "Favourites here include prime rib, whole crab and caesar salad, barbecued New York steak, fresh halibut and salmon. And, we've had great success with our burger sales ever since we switched to Fire River Farms burgers."


For a more upscale dining experience guests are encouraged to try the Clubhouse at the golf course - a very popular venue during the summer months.


"We have to serve a product that matches our setting which means it has to be the best," says Dame. "Our Butcher's Block TM Reserve is excellent, and we get good customer feedback on the strip loin. In fact we cut about 3000-5000 steaks per year from Sysco Strip loins."


Besides excellent products Dame also relies on Sysco for menu building and costing and they credit Sysco North Douglas in part for their success.


"We want to grow and Sysco North Douglas helps us grow our business, more so than others. We get treated with respect and the service level is great. Sysco has concern for their customers and they've helped us fix problems quickly so we can move on and become more profitable," says Dame.


Just recently Dame and his team had the opportunity to tour the Sysco North Douglas facility and says Dame, "The people demonstrate their policy. Sysco has a good team of people and it shows."


Fairwinds is dedicated to developing and expanding their services to create a true world class customer experience, and Dame and the culinary team plan to focus on high quality products to make Fairwinds one of the top resorts in North America. "We say "No Compromise,'" says Dame, "our motto is 'go big or go home.'" ¨