Staff Spotlight: Mathieu Paré
As a young child, Mathieu Paré landed in Calgary, Alberta from the wilds of northern Quebec and immediately set off exploring. From four corners of Alberta to the U.S. border, he foraged the landscape for edible plants and animals, eventually crossing the Canadian Rockies and the Strait of Georgia in pursuit of indigenous and exotic ingredients to develop his culinary career.
He first learned of the Wickaninnish Inn while studying Tourism Management at Capilano University (Vancouver). It was the Inn’s environmental consciousness and commitment to sustainable tourism practices that drew Mathieu to this place, but it was the endless opportunities to explore Clayoquot Sound as an avid kayak fisherman – fishing for crab, rockfish and salmon from the bow of his craft - and foraging opportunities that made him fall in love with the area.
Though it wasn’t always an easy transition, “There are many challenges to living in Tofino. The weather is extreme, travel can be difficult, cost of living is high and housing options are limited. It's no wonder they call it Tuff City.” In that toughness, Mathieu found the people who chose to live here became connected through a real sense of community and shared experiences. Now he loves the ruggedness of Tofino, describing the feeling of life on the edge as humbling and thrilling. “I love the pure taste of our drinking water and Tofino's close proximity to nature and wilderness. I also appreciate the strength of the First Nation's culture here and its connection to the land, sea, plants and animals.”
Now a Governor General Award winner and professional chef, Mathieu brings his passion for all things wild and an expertise in fine dining to the table. Trained in Western Canada’s most demanding kitchens (La Chaumiere, Rouge, Quail’s Gate Estate Winery, CP Rail’s The Royal Canadian Pacific), Mathieu’s focus is on classic technique and execution while maintaining some freedom for surprise, fusion and one-of-a-kind creativity.