Fernie's Finest Chefs: Paul Haddon

Paul Haddon was surrounded by positive food experiences from an early age. He has fond memories of baking cakes with his grandmother as a child, but the real influence came from having young parents who loved to entertain. During their many dinner parties they would often find Paul in the kitchen helping out.

“My parents were really into food and eating and whenever they took us out for dinner, there was no such thing as ‘kids’ meals… if we were going to join them it was sitting with the adults eating Thai or Indian food or whatever,” he remembers. “Mom also had a great strategy to get us to try new foods. She was always experimenting with new dessert recipes and we would have to eat all our dinner in order to try her latest cake,” he adds. Paul still uses many of his mother’s and grandmother’s recipes today.

Paul grew up in Australia and studied at William Angliss Institute in Melbourne to become a pastry chef. He worked in bakeries in his early 20’s which left little time to play. Feeling burnt out in his mid twenties Paul decided to travel. He headed for the mountains and Canada, landing a job in Banff in the kitchen at Ptarmigan Inn. “I really enjoyed the chef experience and the lifestyle it afforded, the hours were better than in a bakery and I got to work beside some really good, passionate chefs.”

Paul went on to study cooking and receive his Red Seal in Australia. He worked in a number of restaurants and was truly inspired by one in particular - a seafood restaurant in Queensland where he worked with 12 other chefs. Every day each chef would visit the restaurant’s own seafood monger and organic market before making their special for the day. He learned a lot there and subsequently felt ready to make the move back to Canada.

After a stint in Nanaimo as head chef at Modern Cafe, Paul found an ad on the internet for a chef in Fernie, a place in which he knew little about, other than it was in the mountains and offered fly fishing and snowboarding opportunities - his other two passions. He took the job and was head chef at Park Place Lodge for two years before leasing the Old Elevator building and running his own successful restaurant there.

Paul’s Chocolate Profiteroles filled with Baileys infused whipped cream
Choux Pastry
85g butter
200ml water
105g plain white flour, well sifted
a pinch of salt
3 eggs (medium size)

Put butter and water into a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil so that butter is melted by the time the water boils. Immediately add all the flour with the salt and remove the pan from heat. Working as fast as you can, beat the mixture hard with a wooden spoon. It will become thick and smooth. Place the bottom of the saucepan in a sink of cold water to speed up cooling process. Once cool, beat in eggs one at a time until soft, shiny and smooth. The mixture should not be runny and should be able to drop off of a spoon.

Chocolate and Filling
570ml double cream, whipped and sweetened with 1 tablespoon sifted icing sugar and 60ml of Baileys liqueur
110g chopped plain chocolate
15g butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place teaspoons of the choux mixture on a baking sheet about 8 cm apart.
3. Bake for 20-30 minutes. The profiteroles will puff up and be fairly brown (if they are taken out when only slightly brown they will be soggy when cool).
4. Using a sharp tipped knife, poke a pea sized hole in the bottom of each profiterole, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry the insides out.
5. Leave to cool completely on wire rack.
6. Once cold, put the Baileys cream mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. Pipe the cream into each hole on the bottom of the profiterole until well filled.
7. Double boil the chocolate and butter until melted.
Dip the tops of the profiteroles in the melted chocolate, then cool

Local Food News ~
Le Grand Fromage ~ Offering Vij’s packaged Indian curries. Vij’s is a famous Indian restaurant in Vancouver. The curries are quick-frozen after cooking ensuring integrity of taste, texture and nutrition. Also new are raclette and fondue sets, plus they now offer grilled cheese sandwiches using any cheese in the shop.
The Fernie Hotel ~ This home style restaurant now offers Bangkok Corner –enjoy your favourite Thai dishes every night of the week but Sundays.
Mezzaluna ~ Now offering Gelato – a refreshing Italian favourite. Also enjoy their Chicken Parmigiana special for $12 on Thursdays and on Sundays try their Pollo Ripieno for $17.95.
The Old Elevator ~ Check out their new wine by the glass and refreshed wine cellar menus. They are open for Valentine’s Day on Monday (when they are usually closed) and are offering a dinner special for two.
Fernie Wine Club ~ The next wine club event is slated for Feb. 6, at 6pm at Lizard Creek. Tickets are $25, call 250- 423 – 2057 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Loaf Bakery, Café & Pizzeria ~ Serving Italian style pizzas four nights a week throughout the winter. Fully licensed, open 5pm on Thurs-Sun, or call 250-423-7702 for take-out. They also have a Pizza & Movie deal (free Midges Mags DVD voucher with selected pizzas on Thursdays & Sundays) and Pizza & Hockey deals on Ghostrider home game nights.
Red Tree Lodge ~ Open daily from 3-10 pm with food and drink après ski specials. Choices include rotisserie chicken, ribs, chicken/beef or vegetarian sizzling fajitas, fish and chips, and Bison tenderloin. A cosy space with a fireplace, great atmosphere for groups. Reservations welcome.
The Corner Pocket ~Open and in full swing at the Griz Inn. Serving hearty lunches, this family friendly après ski destination also offers an evening menu with thin crust pizza, pasta, ocean wise salmon and halibut, and AAA Alberta beef. Reservations welcome.