They are the new generation of people who are passionate about food. They are stewards of the land and what grows in it and on it.
For over nine years, Oliver Kienast and Brooke Fader have been partners in the preparation and delivery of fine food and wine. They have 40 years of combined experience in restaurants, inns and chefs’ tables.
On April 14, they opened Wild Mountain Food and Drink, a neighbourhood eatery nestled just above the government dock on Maple Avenue. It’s the site of Markus’ Wharfside Restaurant and they have taken it over and have put their own unique stamp on the well-known restaurant.
“We feel like we are stewards of this land,” said Fader. “Markus and Tatum put so much heart and soul into this place. We both worked for them and they loved doing this.”
The duo has been supporting and using the products from farmers in the region. The fishers, suppliers, wine and cheese makers, and they are excited to give them a stage for their produce.
“Our concept is to celebrate this incredible food region — the West Coast of Canada. It’s wild, it’s fresh with clean flavors, bright and delicious,” said Fader.
They recognize that this is not the cheapest way to obtain food, but that’s the point.
“When food is cheap, someone is paying the price and it is usually the harvester,” she said.
The couple plans to grow a lot of their own food and buy the rest from other gardeners. Local food in season, buying the whole animal, preserving, and basically living the slow food movement lifestyle.
“Markus was already doing that and we want to do more of that, local food for local people. We wanted to create a place where you could go for a drink and a snack or dinner on Saturday or for a birthday,” she said.
The menu will have snacks, small bites, appetizers, fresh clams and handmade pasta to name just some of the delectables being offered. They want to have something for everyone.
“A vibrant food community is where there are more places to eat at,” said Brooke. “It creates a great food culture for everyone.”
Their concept is to have all of the employees be a part of the whole. They can get their hands in the dirt in the gardens and they can offer suggestions in the kitchen.
“It’s a different sense of belonging, said Kienast. “It’s not a platform to show off my dishes.”
The idea is to have a neighborhood restaurant which is accessible to everyone and part of the community. It’s not just about food and drink. They want people to feel like it is “their” restaurant.
“It’s about the relationship the restaurant has in the community, it attaches farmers and people and creates commerce in a way that is ethical,” he said.
In the end it is all about taste for Oliver and Brooke. The local wines will be paired to match the food and local spirits and beer will be offered as well.
“It’s about good food, not just for special occasions,” said Kienast.
They said they will be happy to honour Markus’ old gift certificates.
Wild Mountain Food and Drink, at 1831 Maple Avenue South, began their dinner service on April 14; They will be open for dinner Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are not necessary for parties of four and smaller. Call 250-642-3596.