Whistler ---Workshop---Wine ---Will Power

  • Date May 29, 2013
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Good Intentions Post 5: Workshop in Whistler

Headed up to a workshop in Whistler and after missing what I thought could have been a great good intentions post after my work trip to Calgary, I decided to make sure I didn't miss the opportunity on this trip for a good intentions post. Reminder -- my good intentions are not about whether or the not food being served or the restaurants I go to are great, bad or indifferent. There are many websites out there that will tell you that (urbanspoon, yelp, trip advisor). My goal is to explain how I managed to get a daily meal plan together away from the sanctuary of my own kitchen. However, given my opinionated   personality, if the food was good, bad or indifferent, I'm going to comment. Overall, good intentions in Whistler was a success......there were a few "slips" that you will sure laugh over if you keep reading.

As always, I took food with me. Who knows what breakfast options there would be. Also, what if I want to eat breakfast at 5am after a run and breakfast isn't served until 8am. What if I had a disaster order at a restaurant and come back hungry? Having healthy options in your hotel room is critical.
For this trip, I didn't get to the grocery store before I left, so I took what I had available to me:

While I LOVE the Thrifty Foods Pop Crisps, packing them is really challenging. Recently, I discovered the Wasa Crackers - Crisp and Light. They are the closest tasting to the pop crisps that I can find and are my new go to cracker.

First stop, BC Ferries. Groan now. White spot burger or stale sandwich? However, times are improving. BC Ferries has introduced their new healthy start menu, that includes some breakfast, lunch and dinner options that aren't going to require you to loosen your belt buckle. Of most interest to me is the fact they have two salads under 300 calories that they make fresh daily (of course dressing is not included in this math).

Spinach Salad with Shrimp (290 calories)

A light and healthy salad served with crisp baby spinach leaves and succulent shrimp. I really enjoy this salad, it even comes with some mandarin oranges which I think mixes well the shrimp. For those that don't like the salad dressing options that they offer, I recommend you find the little section behind the cashier where you can grab some hot sauce for your dressing. With the addition of a little salt and sometimes a packet of mustard for some flavor for the spinach, its a huge success. Good intentions on the ferry ride over to Whistler gets a thumbs up.

Grilled Chicken Salad (270 calories)

Grilled chicken and a hard boiled egg served over a bed of mixed garden greens. I had this salad on the ferry home from Whistler, and aside from having to pick off the red onions, it is a good salad. Good intentions for a ferry ride doesn't get as good as a good intentions as the way to Whistler as I was sitting at a table with three co-workers whom all order fries (one regular, two poutines). I ate all of their leftovers and will blame it on the champagne from the night before.


Fairmont Whistler and GOLD! 

Arrived in Whistler and first treat of the trip, I got upgraded! Gold room - 8th floor and lovely music playing with a fireplace and a jacuzzi tub. The younger version of me would have been excited, but experience has taught me that I would be spending little or no time in my room as workshops require you to be on  your game from 7am to 11pm every night. However, getting upgraded to Gold at the Fairmont in Whistler meant that I had access to their "gold lounge". This meant, giant breakfast buffet, nighttime appetizers and all day access to fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee. Yes please!

The Fairmont also did the catering for the conference. Here are a few of the meals I was able to put together from this part of the trip. Also, the endless supplies of vegetables, bananas, apples and yogurt allowed me to feel very satisfied with my options even if the catered food didn't meet my needs. Overall good intentions at this hotel: Excellent. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Failed a bit when the afternoon snack came out.  - make your own sundaes! And the spread was spectacular! Frozen grapes, watermelon, mango, ice cream in three flavors, m and m's, chocolate cookie bits, skor bits, gummy bears and chocolate sauce. I'm sure I have missed some of the ingredients, but I couldn't resist making myself a sundae. Frozen grapes are my new favorite thing!

The breakfast spread in the gold lounge was amazing. The picture below only shows one side of the buffet. The other side was all of the hot food and pastries!

My good intentions breakfast consisted of what I considered an amazing spread - yogurt, oatmeal and fruit, hard boiled eggs and a little "treat" of cinnamon bun and bread pudding. I was quite pleased with myself. 

However, I failed. The cinnamon bun was too good to just stop at that little treat. I ended up having three more servings of the cinnamon bun and can say it was honestly one of the best things I have eaten. Good intentions FAIL, but no regrets on this one as it was delicious!

The next day for breakfast, I made myself up a plate to return to my room with as I couldn't stand to be in the same room as that damn cinnamon bun.

We had our hosted dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro . Good intentions difficulty level is near impossible when you are going to a catered event. When we got to the table we were presented with a lovely menu with CHOICES.  Sigh of relief. And even better was not only was there a fish option there was a vegetarian option as well.

I ended up ordering the salad (with dressing on the side) and the vegetable roll. I was really torn about whether to get the fish or not as it also sounded really good. 

Salad was delicious and there were delicious crunchy beets and a great balsamic vinegar for the dressing.

Bearfoot Bistro on Urbanspoon

The vegetable roll was really good. It was mushroom, quinoa, sweet potato, brown butter and sage. I am not sure if it was supposed to be served hot or cold as mine was somewhere in the middle. Given that it was a huge catered event, I bet they had trouble keeping everything at the right temperature and if it was served a little hotter it would have been nicer, but the temperature didn't influence the taste of the roll. The sauce surrounding the roll was really good and tempted me to then eat a few pieces of bread to soak up the sauce.

Although I didn't eat the fish, I took a picture regardless. I can't say I had order envy, but I would have been more than happy to have been served this as well. It was a pan seared ling cod with cauliflower spring garlic cream, almond and braised fennel. 

The dessert was amazing. It was a ricotta cheesecake with preserved pemberton rhubarb and vanilla streusel. It was light and rich but not too rich. Overall, all of the food looked really good and given a nice establishment, the portion sizes weren't huge letting you leave the restaurant feeling good and not too stuffed.

We also went for dinner at 21 Steps Kitchen & Bar after the reception with all of the workshop attendees. Prior to the reception I happened to participate once again in the wonderful Fairmont Gold appetizer bar where they were serving fresh oysters. Then headed to the reception where I had some more tuna tataki and delicious prawns. By the time I got to 21 Steps I wasn't very hungry and also feeling like I should keep the asian influenced theme going for me.

Most of the table ordered off the $35 menu, where you get to select an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. What a great deal! I myself decided that I would order two appetizers. I knew before I ordered that I wasn't ordering much, but also knew that I would be eating some of the desserts as who can resist desert. So I ordered edamame to start (I was pleased when I asked that they did not rub in oil as I find edamame does not need to be soaked in oil to enjoy the flavors. It was served cold, which the server did warn me about (however, I really enjoyed it cold, what a nice change from the ordinary).

My main course was the spicy seared ahi tuna. I asked for without the spicy mayo that the server said was on the tuna. Good intentions fail on this one. It was very small. The presentation was great, but for $13, I expected more tuna or thicker pieces. They were really thinly sliced. I'm not saying that you shouldn't order this appetizer as it was delicious, the main part of my "good intentions" is to more explain about whether I was successful in maintaining my dietary goals with my orders. In this case, it was a fail.

21 Steps: Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Almost done, I had a few questions from colleagues about how Brett was "surviving" without pinks pantry to keep him fed while I was away. I chuckled as it was more like a vacation for Brett. Without even asking, Brett sent me two photos of his dinner while I was away. I can't resist putting them in here for enjoyment of those that like to know what "husband friendly" food was created without any influence by me. Both of his meals consisted of chicken and goat cheese. I am still laughing as these are the two ingredients I use to make most of his meals "husband friendly". 

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