There's no better way to soak up the end of summer than with a delicious long table dinner nestled in the mountains, and we had the best time at the annual Araxi Longtable Series in Pemberton, BC! This was our second year, and while we may have gotten caught in a thunderstorm, it was still an amazing night full of great food, beautiful scenery, and the best company.
Pemberton, BC is about 45 minutes from Whistler, so heading up for the event was the perfect summer staycation for us! We packed up our Lo & Sons Catalina carry-ons (our new fave travel essential) and headed up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler. Even though we do this drive a lot, it honestly never gets old with these gorgeous views. You can check out our Whistler City Guide here!
Araxi is the go-to fine dining restaurant in Whistler, along with their new Bar Oso, and each year they bring their restaurant outdoors for a magical evening spent in the most picturesque setting. The dinner takes place at the breathtaking North Arm Farm in Pemberton, with a four-course farm-to-table menu by Executive Chef James Walt. This year, it was the biggest outdoor dining experience in Canada with over 400 guests! Talk about one long table...
The dinner starts with a relaxing reception with delicious cocktails (using local Pemberton Distillery Schramm Organic Gin), paired with delicious oysters and local wines. Every course is also paired with wines, so you'll get to enjoy a variety of amazing BC wines. Pro tip: take the shuttle from Whistler so you can enjoy allllll the wine!
We got to mingle around the farm with new friends and old friends, all while enjoying the most delicious lamb spiced meatballs from Bar Oso. Wandering around North Arm Farm was so fun, we just couldn't get over how gorgeous everything was!
The farm has tons of willow trees, gardens, swings, and even a sunflower field! Keep your eye out for the bathtub by the field too..
As you can probably tell, it was a SUPER windy day! Before we got there, they had to take the tablecloths and glassware off the tables because it was so windy, and then we all got caught in a thunderstorm! The rain only lasted about 20 minutes, and everyone was definitely in jovial spirits, so we were still able to enjoy the dinner but boy, was it an adventure. We were so impressed with how the Araxi team handled everything!
After the storm cleared, it was time for dinner! Thankfully we all got to enjoy some more wine while we waited, and then the sun came out and all was well, save for a long table with a few raindrops and guests with frizzy hair. But it's kind of incredible, because the entire kitchen is set up outside under tents, and the chefs just kept working throughout the crazy thunderstorm!
Finally, it was dinner time! We started out with the most amazing fresh and cured charcuterie plate from Bar Oso, which you just have to try if you're in Whistler. It was full of duck liver parfait, ham hock terrine, B.C. bison mortadella with Prosciutto, Iberico chorizo, Serrano ham, and house fennel salami paired with house pickles, tomato, and apricot chutney with Araxi fresh-baked breads.
For our second course, we enjoyed the most delicious and farm fresh squash blossoms that were grown right on this farm! Doesnt get more local than that, right? They were stuffed with house ricotta, local cheeses, Pemberton-grown heirloom tomatoes and Rootdown Farm greens. In a word: amazing.
Our main was a duo of BC beef, featuring slow-cooked heritage beef cheeks and grilled beef striploin with Chimichurri sauce and carrots and green beans from North Arm Farm. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, along came dessert! Everything was made from the raspberries on the farm, including the most incredible raspberry sorbet bars dipped in Valrhona chocolate, and the delicious raspberry macarons.
We had such a great time at the dinner, and we highly suggest attending next year! This was our second year (see last year's dinner here) and it was just such a great evening of good food and new friends. The best part is that James Walt's new farm-fresh cookbook Araxi: Roots to Shoots is out now, so you can make all these delicious dishes yourself too!