James Walt, one of Canada’s leading chefs, cookbook authors and farm-to-table pioneers, has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in British Columbia.
He has been voted best chef in Whistler twice by Pique Magazine and was inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2011.
James recently took some time out to chat about his two biggest loves: food and skiing.
"I grew up in the Ottawa Valley and my fondest childhood memories include playing in the garden with my brothers and my parents and eating fresh peas and carrots.
"I was raised in an agricultural community and I saw day-to-day the effect of knowing where your food comes from and who grew it.
"Whistler is a great place for food, because we have an international clientele with diverse food cultures. This allows us to try many different things and it’s fantastic to see that people are now paying attention.
"We have phenomenal products, especially considering we are close to the ocean, three incredible food-producing valleys and large pasturelands.
More celebrity travel stories
"Sourcing food locally is important to me. It creates a circle of sustaining ourselves. I've been working as executive chef at Araxi for 15 years and what I love most about my role is working with young chefs and fostering relationships with the local growers and farmers in Pemberton, BC.
"Some of the best foods that come from the area include Pemberton potatoes (which we are well known for) root vegetables, berries, and Pemberton beef.
"When I have time off my favourite place to ski is Blackcomb. I head to Jersey Cream and Solar Coaster and then up to 7th Heaven. I really love it here because the incredible variety of runs.
"My next ski dream destination is Steamboat Springs in Colorado. I have lots of wonderful memories with friends there."