– Photography by Don Denton
Chef Adam Guther knew from a young age that he wanted to learn how to make great tasting food. He took the culinary program at Spectrum high school and received a scholarship to Camosun College.
While still in school, he started working in kitchens. “I worked in different restaurants in downtown Victoria, before I found myself at the West Coast Grill at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort. I was hired as the banquet chef and was then appointed sous chef. Once I had my red seal I was promoted to executive chef and then to corporate culinary leader, which involved a lot of travel. I recently got married and now have a family. I wanted to spend more time with my wife and kids, so now I am back as the executive chef at the West Coast Grill in Sooke.”
Chef explained how he’s evolved in the kitchen. “Learning how to be a chef, comes mostly through doing,” he said. “In school you learn how to cook. In the kitchen, you really learn how to be a chef. I have learned some great values from the chefs I have worked with. Learning from mistakes is also a great teacher.”
Chef’s job goes further than creating great dishes. He also loves to teach. “I love teaching staff who are eager to learn. It’s wonderful, watching them understand the whys and hows of a particular dish. After all, this is my team, my family. I call them my wolf pack.”
Being head of the wolf pack is not an easy task. “We started with a pretty green crew this year,” he said. “It was challenging, but now we are geared up for the summer. I love our brand new open kitchen concept. Once the 12 hour work day is done, we head out to play basketball to blow off steam.”
Chef’s favourite food isn’t one of his own creations, it belongs to his wife Aubrey. “She makes this keto pizza that is so good. I love the crust with cream cheese and fresh herbs and almond flour.”
When it comes to his work kitchen, there are a few things chef can’t live without. “I love my 8” Shun handcrafted Japanese knife. “I feel naked without it,” he said. “That and fresh ingredients. I love working with locally sourced ingredients.”
With things in place for the busy season, Chef is thinking of the future. “I want to try making Turkish ice cream. It’s different because it’s stretchy and doesn’t melt very fast.”
In the meantime, Chef will be preparing the most ordered dish on the menu, fish and chips, with an exotic flair. “We make it with sumac raita, fresh coleslaw and pair it with our famous clam chowder. I was tired of beer batter. So we made it with pakora batter. I call it fish with a twist.”
Something to consider for the next time you dine at the West Coast Grill in Sooke.