Sustainability is more than a passing fancy for Bruno Feldeisen, top chef at northwest Washington’s Semiahmoo Resort, Golf and Spa, it’s his culinary calling.
Besides utilizing the fruits of the sea provided by Semiahmoo’s pristine setting in the Strait of Georgia north of Puget Sound, and the artisanal bounty of local farms in-season, Feldeisen is on a sustainability mission that includes critiquing the china, packaging and chemicals the resort uses.
Taking it perhaps to the next level, he even parks his car next to the property’s garbage area to monitor the amount of waste it produces.
As a first-generation Frenchman whose love of the culinary arts was stoked by his Italian grandmother and German grandfather, Feldeisen was classically trained in French cooking techniques and really started refining his skills when at age 16 when he took an apprenticeship at Las Palets D’Or.
[Featured Recipe: Pan-Seared Halibut by Chef Bruno Feldeisen]
After working at the famed French chocolate shop, he then moved on to working with renowned chocolatier Alain Ducasse to create a line of truffles for the Hotel de Paris in Monaco.
Before landing at Semiahmoo, Feldeisen also held the position of Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and instructed at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver.
Located on Semiahmoo Bay 45 minutes south of Vancouver, B.C., and 90 minutes north of Seattle, the scenically stunning resort can be accessed via ferry shuttles from the mainland or a seaplane flight on Kenmore Air from Seattle, and features two award-winning golf courses, a full-service spa, 35,000 square feet of meeting space and a wealth of nature-focused activities.
Of course, local sustainable seafood such as king salmon, halibut and spot prawns is the star attraction at Semiahmoo’s Pierside Kitchen and Feldeisen’s other outlets.
“We are very seafood-centric—our feet are almost in the ocean,” he said, adding that he also sources his pork and free-range eggs from the same local farm when they are available.
Feldeisen also uses conservation-focused, grazed Gotham Ranch beef.
“It’s the beauty of working with seasonal local products,” he said.
“It’s not perfect, but we like it this way.”
Group Offerings at Semiahmoo Resort
Bringing the leisure-guest experience to meetings customers is key to Semiahmoo’s dining experience.
“Banquet food is not banquet food.” Feldeisen said. “Banquet food is an extension of what we do in the restaurants. The challenge is you’re cooking with larger volumes and that groups sometimes have a limited budget. Fish is expensive now, but you don’t want to serve farm fish or catfish or tilapia.
“You want to serve something that reflects what we are as a hotel,” he added.
Aside from fresh sustainable food, groups can also be immersed in the local microbrewery scene, tour area oyster and dairy farms and take part in cooking classes, contests and tastings.
“They want to get away from their meeting.” Feldeisen said. “You come here because it’s a beautiful surrounding but also because we care about what we serve.
“We can tell you a story about what we serve,” he added.
[Related Content: Click here to view Meetings Today's full roster of Top Chefs.]