Baja Meets Mountain At Whistler’s Cornucopia

Cornucopia is thrilled to present Chefs Benito Molina and Solange Muris as the 2016 International Guest Chefs!

Chefs Benito Molina and Solange Muris are the husband-and-wife duo behind Ensenada, Mexico’s Manzanilla Restaurant– rated as one of ‘Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants’. Ensenada, located 120 kilometres south of San Diego on the Pacific Coast, is a popular culinary tourism destination, increasingly known for its compelling seafood-centric cookery married to the distinctive wines of the nearby Calle de Guadaloupe wine region. Since founding Manzanilla (‘Camomile’) in 2000, the couple has been recognized as pioneers of the hybrid ‘Baja Med’ cuisine that has proved such a powerful draw for dining cognoscenti.

On Friday, November 11th, Araxi Restaurant Executive Chef James Walt will welcome Chefs Benito and Solange for an epic culinary collaboration. Chef Walt joined the couple in Ensenada for the 2015 Festival de las Conchas el Vino and was challenged to craft dishes applying his internationally-gained technique to local fare. Now, with the tables turned, Chefs Benito and Solange will create Baja-inspired dishes utilizing British Columbia’s best ingredients and wines to present a multi-course dinner alongside chef Walt. An extraordinary evening – with a sunny take on tastes and flavours – is in store!

“We are truly thrilled to welcome Chefs Benito and Solange to Cornucopia 2016,” Chef James said. “The evolution of Mexican gastronomy is due to their passion to share the riches of this wonderful culture with the food community from all corners of the world. And their early commitment to sustainability has shaped their unique perspective on sourcing and cooking local. Their thoughtful treatment of seafood pulled from their back door is truly remarkable, and we look forward to welcoming our guests for this collaborative event.”

Then on Saturday, November 12th, Chefs Benito and Solange will participate in Cornucopia’s Chefs Table Luncheon series, preparing a multi-course feast for an intimate group in a secret Whistler home. And don’t miss his appearance on Cornucopia’s Culinary Stage on Sunday, November 13th, when Chefs Benito and Solange will demonstrate classic Baja cuisine

Nourish Your Strongest Life

Nourish is a platform for a cornucopia of ideas that are ancient, delicious and fresh.  Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial, not only gives you a chance to sip and savour but also offers an opportunity to restore the body, inspire the mind and celebrate the spirit.  Full programming can be found at

Set within one of B.C.’s premier food + drink festivals, Nourish at Whistler Cornucopia brings together those who are curious and committed to greater health to share ideas, create community, and to inspire action and play in the world and in the kitchen. Commit to a full Nourish Retreat package or check out the Nourish Wellness Series of workshops, seminars and cooking demonstrations.

Chef Marina Koly on the Nourish Culinary Stage, 2015. Photo: Darby Magill

The Nourish Retreat at Cornucopia, hosted by Allison Hunter, Nourish producer, and veteran strengths coach, Tracy Hutton, gives you three nights and four days dedicated to restoring your body, inspiring your mind, and celebrating your spirit. Taking place during the second dynamic weekend of Cornucopia, this full package features meditation and yoga each day followed by fuelling your body with healing local foods, demonstrations by chefs and experts and connecting with Whistler’s natural beauty, through forest forages, spa visits and more. After an energizing day of movement, healing and relaxation, join Cornucopia’s world-class food and wine events and celebrate the best of what this region has to offer.  The Nourish Retreat is a perfect blend of restoration and inspiration.

Sage ceremony with the Squamish Lillooet Nation, Nourish Retreat, 2015

Or, choose your workshops a la carte from the entire Nourish Wellness Series during the 11 days of Cornucopia. Enjoy round-table seminars with passionate experts on topics such as Food Sustainability, and 10 Happiness Habits to interactive cooking demonstrations that showcase everything from natural fermentation to raw food cooking, and workshops such as Fuelling for Endurance Trail Runs and Building a Healthy Family. The Nourish Wellness Series lets you share ideas, create community and inspire action and play in the world and in the kitchen. With seminars starting at only $20, there is something here to nourish everyone.


The Nourish Retreat at Cornucopia
You can! Pickling, Preserving and Canning Workshop and Lunch
Fuelling for Endurance Trail Run and Workshop
The Ancient Art of Fermentation – Workshop and Brunch
Master Gardening – Food Sustainability for the Here and Now
Farmers Breakfast on the Culinary Stage
Aging Gracefully – Nourish Seminar
Building a Healthy Family Workshop and Brunch
For the Love of Plants Lunch with Wolfgang Sterr on the Culinary Stage
Nose to Tail Techniques and Traditions Workshop
Mastering the Basics Workshop and Lunch
Healing Foods from Around the World Lunch
10 Happiness Habits – Nourish Seminar
Cooking in the Raw Workshop and Breakfast
Seasonal Health – Nourish Seminar
Zero Mile Breakfast

Whistler Restaurant Don’t Miss Events

Embracing the palate, the plate, and the Pacific North West, Cornucopia is a promise of warmth and welcome to all-comers to experience Whistler’s talented taste-makers. Relying on the raw and rugged backdrop of the Pacific Coast Mountains to cleanse the senses and focus the palate, Cornucopia shines a spotlight on the craft and talent of the chefs, vintners, brewers and distillers of this village and region. Cornucopia brings together a village that is ready to host, delight and amaze you. Let your tastebuds run wild.

New to the 2016 dinner selection is the Audain Art Museum: Artistic Expressions. This event hosted by Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, will feature a culinary adventure designed by Collective Kitchen and guided wine pairing by Fort Berens Estate Winery followed by a private tour of Whistler’s newest cultural hub – the Audain Art Museum.

This year, The Four Seasons Whistler introduces the Peak to Peak to Peak – A Four Seasons Mountain Collection Chefs Collaborative at SIDECUT Modern Steak + Bar. Executive Chef Eren Guryel plays host to his Four Seasons Vail and Jackson Hole counterparts to create a culinary experience paired with premium Kettle Valley wines. SIDECUT Modern Steak + Bar will also host a Best in Show dinner to celebrate British Columbia’s local producers with the culinarians on hand to speak about what makes their products so special. Wines from Fort Berens Estate Winery Lillooet will be paired to perfection.

The Rimrock Café: California Outer Limits Wine Dinner presents a four- course wine dinner with Hope family wines of Paso Robles & Michael David Wines of the Lodi Valley, California. Quattro restaurant features a multi-course meal paired with the wines from esteemed Barolo producer Ceretto. The Venue will host a dinner with a focus on sustainability and paired with wines from Siren’s Call and The Escapist all from the B.C. Wine Studio. The popular Red Door Bistro offers two five course winemaker dinners expertly paired with wines from Tightrope Winery.

Araxi will host its dinner series in the beautiful private dining space known as The Cellar by Araxi. The dinner series lineup features legendary Canadian wine pioneer Don Triggs sharing the exceptional wines of his family’s Culmina Family Estate Winery, an intimate wine dinner with Foxtrot Vineyards, Pacific Northwest cuisine paired with wines from Chateau Ste Michelle, and the rare opportunity to savour the great South African Anthonij Rupert Wines. Not to be missed, of course, is Araxi’s well-renowned Big Guns dinner but also Araxi’s The Best of British Columbia with Cornucopia’s 2016 International Guest Chef Benito Molina of Ensenada’s acclaimed Manzanilla Restaurant. This multi-course collaboration will see a friendly duel as Chef Molina adds subtle Baja twists to prime British Columbia ingredients.

At Nita Lake Lodge’s Aura restaurant’s Sip & Savour Nose to Tail Dinner with Laughing Stock Winery, Chef Dean celebrates fresh, local produce by using all of the specially raised pig from Root Down farm just 50km away in this unique four course winemaker’s dinner.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler will host multiple winery dinners in the private and intimate setting of the Grill Room. Act quickly though as most are already sold-out! Choose from dinners paired with wines from Blasted Church Vineyards, Meyer Family Vineyard, Tinhorn Creek Winery or Quails’ Gate Winery.

Looking for something different than wine? Fear not, as beer-paired or whiskey-paired dinners are also on offer. Black’s Pub features a five course guided dinner paired with five local beers from Whistler Brewing. Nita Lake Lodge’s Aura Restaurant is offering a Sip & Savour Beer Dinner where great local food is paired with beers from across Europe. Or choose their Sip & Savour Whiskey Dinner and let master of malt guide you through a delicious journey of great food paired with incredible whiskeys from Diageo spirits.

Don’t miss out – tickets are selling fast!

Whistler Restaurant Hall Of Fame Launches

In collaboration with the 20th Anniversary of Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial, the Restaurant Association of Whistler (RAW) is launching their Hall of Fame with renowned legendary local restaurateur Mario Enero as the first inductee.

“This annual celebration will honour members of our food and beverage community that have been pioneers, trailblazers and innovators within our beloved restaurant industry.  As our first recipient, Mario Enero exemplifies all of those qualities and more.  He took a chance on a young and unproven little ski town over 20 years ago and managed to create two amazing establishments with La Rua and Caramba. His warm and charming demeanor matched the flair, style and genuine hospitality of both his locations.  We could not be more proud, or more delighted, to honour Mario as our very first inductee into the RAW Hall of Fame,” said Amy Huddle, president of the Restaurant Association of Whistler.
Restaurant Association of Whistler first-ever inductee Mario Enero

Restaurant Association of Whistler first-ever inductee Mario Enero


The Restaurant Association of Whistler Hall of Fame was established to give recognition to individuals in the hospitality industry who have made significant contributions to the Whistler restaurant community. Enero, a former Spanish bullfighter with a passion for both hospitality and fine cuisine, has been at the forefront of British Columbia’s elite dining scene for some 35 years. Enero’s global sensibilities and enduring yet unpretentious style inspired a distinctive brand of culinary fusion.

In the words of Keeley Higgins, former manager of La Rua and Caramba, “Good food, good service, good people…Mario is a patriarch in Whistler’s culinary and hospitality scene because of simple principles and a gift for sharing his experience and passion with the community and those who work with him.”

The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Thursday November 10th prior to Cornucopia’s 20th Anniversary Party at The Picnic: A Celebration of Whistler Culinary Excellence.

Cornucopia would like to extend our greatest of congratulations to both Mario Enero and the Restaurant Association of Whistler and also thank both for your great contribution to the spirit of Whistler and its culinary excellence.