Staff Spotlight: Chef Carmen Ingham
Chef Carmen Ingham is passionate about showing off the ingredients that represent coastal British Columbia. Hailing from North Vancouver, with summers spent camping and fishing at Pachena Bay on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Chef Ingham’s focus on locally-inspired cuisine is a perfect match with what we strive for at the Wickaninnish Inn: celebrating the bounty and beauty of where we live.
A graduate of Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) culinary program, and with fourteen years professional experience, Chef Ingham comes to us from his most recent position as Head Chef at the award-winning Olo Restaurant in Victoria, B.C. From casual to fine dining, butchery to pastry, Chef Ingham brings a broad array of professional expertise to his position as Executive Chef at The Pointe Restaurant. His resume includes: Chef De Cuisine at Villa Eyrie Resort (Malahat, B.C.), Head Chef at Meat & Bread (Victoria, B.C.), Head Chef at Clarke & Co., (Victoria, B.C.) Chef De Partie at Pourhouse Restaurant (Vancouver, B.C.), and Sous Chef at Relais & Châteaux property Sonora Resort (Sonora Island, B.C.).
Chef Ingham’s talent was recognized early in his career. He placed second in the first annual Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship, a Canada-wide cooking competition for chefs under 28 years old, in 2013, and was recognized as the “Le Creuset Rising Star” at the same event. In 2016, he was one of the top ten young chefs in Canada at San Pellegrino Young Chef competition.
Constantly seeking to expand his skills, Chef Ingham has travelled across B.C., to Washington, California, Japan and Italy to volunteer at farms and assist staging in a diverse range of culinary environments. This hands-on and from-the-ground work with ingredients was “an enlightening experience,” he says, and highly influential in his approach to respecting the produce he uses.
Chef Ingham is known for making “creative food that ‘makes sense,’” but his talent sails further than the plate. Providing a unique and cohesive dining experience for others gives him “a huge sense of purpose and fulfillment”; this requires hard work and mutual respect within a team, attention to detail and consistency, he says.
With an approach that so candidly aligns with ours at the Inn, it feels like a natural fit to have Chef Ingham join our leadership team at The Pointe Restaurant. Fostering an authentic connection to the land and people of this area is something we pride ourselves on.
“I am very passionate about this beautiful corner of the world,” he says, “and have always thought of the Inn as the property that best represents it. I couldn’t ask for a more inspiring place to cook.”
We look forward to continuing our legacy of creating exceptional dining experiences for you here in Tofino with Chef Ingham’s fresh perspective.