Refreshed fondue night delicious and exhilarating
Riding up Sunburst chair in the dark the wind whipped around us and froze our faces.
“We’re paying for this…” someone muttered beside me as they pulled the hood of their jacket over their face.
But when we offloaded and walked into the Sunburst Bar + Eatery, the apprehensiveness melted as fast as the snowflakes dusted on our clothes.
The fondue night has long been a staple offered by Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) but when Hans Stierli began as SPR Executive Chef last year it was one of the areas he refreshed, using his Swiss heritage to create an authentic experience.
“It’s something amazing,” Stierli said. “The experience is traditional with a twist. The best part is it’s a social event, you share stories, eat, have fun, drink wine.”
Two long tables set with everything needed for the meal greeted us as we shed our extra layers and settled in.
Friendly servers and guides introduced our first course, a mix of three bubbling cheeses served with bread, boiled potatoes and pineapple.
Stierli said he chose the cheese for its flavour and because it comes from the Appenzell region of Switzerland, where his mother was born.
Paired with a glass of light pinot grigio the first course flew by.
Next we were presented with what Stierli called a “chinoise fondue,” a pot of boiling broth shared between those sitting nearby and individual plates of food for dipping and cooking.
Raw pork, beef, chicken and shrimp were beautifully presented alongside four house-made sauces. Our table’s favourite were the coffee ground barbecue and Japanese barbecue sauce.
Unlike some meals out, there was no rush to finish the food and give our table to another group. While taking our time cooking each bite we shared stories, compared dipping techniques and enjoyed Swiss music coming through the speakers.
Most of us were stuffed after the second course, but no one could say no to the melted chocolate being carried to the tables.
Served with fresh bananas, strawberries, shortbread cookie and marshmallows, the chocolate fondue was the perfect finish.
Leaving the lodge the clouds had cleared revealing a sky filled with stars, clicking back into our skis we started off toward a freshly groomed 5 Mile.
With headlamps on to guide our way and lanterns marking the edge of the run we skied as a group, stopping regularly to admire our surroundings, which looked much different under the cloak of night.
Skiing by feel, yells and shouts of joy filled the air and permanent grins had arrived on everyone’s face by the time we re-grouped at the Village Day Lodge.