Barrie Rebbeck-Elliot’s Prosciutto Wrapped Stuffed Trout

photo by Matt Kuhn

Barrie grew up in Nova Scotia, the child of hippy parents who owned Sunflower Natural Foods and the Sunshine Cafe near Cape Breton. She and three siblings were home schooled and her parents put them all to work in the store and restaurant as part of their schooling to gain an understanding of running a business. One of Barrie’s jobs was to stock shelves and she found herself drawn to the exotic smells and aromas of the herbs and spices. “While stocking shelves I would day dream about the faraway places the herbs and spices came from and imagine travelling to them one day.”

Barrie learned an appreciation for food early as her mother loved to cook with spices and fresh ingredients from their garden. She also has memories of being five or six, sitting on the counter in the restaurant kitchen, intrigued while their cook, Magda rolled the dough for cinnamon buns, sprinkled it with cinnamon, sugar and raisins and then rolled it all back up again. By the time she was 15 she was working in the restaurant as a prep cook. That summer the head chef injured herself leaving Barrie to run the kitchen. “I had such limited experience and was so not prepared for this but it was a great learning experience for me, it gave me a taste of the work involved to run a kitchen.” At 17 Barrie wanted out of rural Nova Scotia; applied and was accepted to work in the kitchen at Chateau Lake Louise. She spent two instrumental years there gaining experience and a greater understanding of what it takes to be a chef.

Now knowing this was the path that she wanted to follow Barrie moved to Vancouver and worked for a catering company where she began her apprenticeship for her red seal certificate. She continued her work experience travelling through Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania cooking as she went. Back in Canada, Barrie made her way to the Kootenay’s. She landed a job in the kitchen at Powder Cowboy Catskiing for a winter and was hired at Island Lake Lodge where she spent three seasons, all the while working under Red Seal Chefs gaining her apprenticeship hours and working towards her red seal certificate. In the fall of 2009 Barrie was hired by head chef Keith Farkas of Picnic Restaurant and Social as he was gathering his team to open the restaurant. “Farkas is a great chef and I feel so lucky to be working with him, he is an incredible mentor.”

Recently Barrie attended the final six weeks of chef school at Vancouver Community College and received her red seal certificate. At graduation she was invited by her instructor to participate in their annual “Apprentice of the Year” competition. This is a huge accolade for Barrie as each year only the top two students from each class get asked to compete. “I’m not really a competitive person, but I am really considering accepting this invitation.” Barrie is hoping to eventually open her own high end catering company specializing in cocktail parties, weddings and other special events.

Barrie’s Prosciutto Wrapped Stuffed Trout

2-3 lbs trout, scaled and gutted
11/2 cup white onion julienne
1 cup celery julienne
11/2 cup leeks
3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
300g prosciutto long, thinly sliced
Caramelizing onions, celery and leeks by slowly cooking them on low to medium heat in a little olive oil and butter until they are richly browned. Add toasted almonds. To remove scales run your knife along the trout’s body under cold running water. Open cavity, clean and sprinkle with salt. Stuff fish and wrap with prosciutto. When wrapping make sure the prosciutto tightly secures the open cavity.

Grill on the barbeque or bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes per pound. Cooking time may vary with each fish, so check occasionally with fork. If fish flakes and fork goes in and out easily, it's done.

Local Food News ~
Max Restaurant & the Pub, Park Place Lodge ~ Now offering several “Gluten-Free” menu options available in both Max Restaurant and the Pub including The Max Cobb Salad, Seared Queen Charlotte Salmon, a gluten-free pasta choice as well as Chocolate Chocolate Torte for dessert. Also don’t forget their special Mother’s Day Brunch May 8.
The Fernie Hotel ~ Starting in May they will offer a Sunday Night Wing Fest - $6 a basket.
The Clubhouse Restaurant ~ Opening in May with nightly specials starting at 3pm. Monday is Locals’ Night with a burger and beer special, Tuesday Pizza and Corona’s, Wednesday Wing Night, Thursday Shrimp Fest and Fridays Prime Rib Dinner and wine specials by the glass. There is also a daily lunch special, and if it’s raining they offer a 10% discount on their lunch menu (not including the daily special).
Mezzaluna ~ This spring try their featured potato gnocci with a selection of sauces including creamy pesto and mushroom, fresh tomato and roasted vegetables or garlic sage butter with spinach. Also, during the spring, Mezzaluna will continue to be open seven nights a week from 5-9pm.
The Cottonwood Tree ~ Save 25% off retail price on Coop orders, next order May 1. New products: Kinnikinnick Candadi yeast, wheat and gluten free bread and pizza shells, Only Oats muffin mix and quick oats, Anitas Buckwheat and Spelt flour, New World raw organic cashew butter, Alter Eco fair trade organic dark chocolate quinoa bars.
The Curry Bowl ~ Closed from Monday May 2 to Thursday May 19.
Loaf Bakery, Café & Pizzeria ~Throughout May Loaf is offering 15% off lunch to all Loafers Card holders (offer applies Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 12-3pm) and 25% off bread purchases every Tuesday and Wednesday. Loaf Pizzeria is licensed and open 5pm-close, Friday and Saturdays and 12-5pm Sundays, for take-out or dine-in 12" pizzas.