Friend of The Pointe: Chef Andrew Springett
Prior to starting at the Inn, Andrew Springett gained incredible experience working for legendary chefs at places such as Four Seasons Vancouver (Chef Kerry Sear), Four Seasons London, England (Chef Bruno Loubet), La Belle Auberge Restaurant (Chef Bruno Marti) in Ladner, Chateau Whistler Resort (Chef Bernard Casavant), North 44 Restaurant (Chef Mark McEwen) and Royal York Hotel (Chef George McNeil) in Toronto and Metropolitan Hotel (Chef Michael Noble) in Vancouver.
All this experience served Andrew well in a variety of culinary competitions. In 1988, 1992, 1996, Andrew assisted Culinary Team Canada to win gold medals at the Culinary Olympics. In 2000 and 2004, he was a member of Team British Columbia who also won gold. To top it off, Andrew was the Canadian candidate at the Bocuse d'Or competition in France in 2003.
These achievements, along with a recommendation from Chef Rod Butters, the original chef of The Pointe, who had worked with Andrew at Four Seasons and Chateau Whistler, helped Andrew attain his first chef position as Chef de Cuisine position in 2003 at The Pointe Restaurant. But it was his “love of the product” that truly suited the Inn. After experiencing Chef Springett’s cuisine at The Pointe, the late, great broadcaster/writer Jurgen Goethe stated “he's just upholding the tradition, and, well, raising the bar”.
Andrew was Chef when the Inn hosted the prestigious North American Relais & Chateaux Congress and as he says, “it was one of the biggest and most important events held by the property and one of the biggest events by me as a chef.” That is saying something considering Andrew has competed on the world stage and continues to do so. For example, he competed as a team member with the Canadian Culinary Federation, “Bocuse D’or Laureate” Culinary Team in Dubai in 2013.
Today, Chef Springett is a Chef Instructor at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) sharing his knowledge and experience with young cooks. In 2018, Andrew was the recipient of the “SAIT Staff Award” for his style of teaching. When sharing this detail, Andrew chuckled humbly but those who know him, appreciate it is his incredible passion for cooking that is at the root of his teaching style and that is as infectious as his laugh.
We are honoured to have shared our kitchen with Andrew Springett and miss him singing Christmas carols during the summer rushes. Here is a fresh summer signature dish from Chef Springett as published in the Wickaninnish Cookbook: Scallop and Pea Soup. Bon appetit!
Sweet English Pea Soup with Seared Scallop and Buttered Leeks
⅓ cup (80 mL) grapeseed oil
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
½ leek, white part only, thinly sliced
½ cup (125 mL) dry white vermouth
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
2 lb (900 g) English peas, fresh or frozen
½ cup (125 mL) cream
2 oz (60 g) spinach, leaves only (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 g) butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
½ leek, white part only, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
4 to 12 large scallops, abductor muscles removed
Peashoots, chives, and chive flowers, for garnish
Make the soup: Heat a large stainless steel pot over medium heat, add the grapeseed oil, then add the shallots and leeks and sweat until translucent; do not allow to brown. Add the vermouth and continue cooking over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Check seasonings; if necessary, adjust with salt and cayenne. Add the peas and cream and bring to a boil. Cook until the peas are soft, about 10 minutes. Place in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Optional: If you’d like a more intense green colour, add the spinach leaves now and purée until fine. Strain through a sieve to remove any solid bits. Place back into a cleaned pot and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasonings if necessary and keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 Tbsp (14 g) butter, then sweat the shallots and leeks until tender but not browned. Season with a little salt, remove from the pan, and set aside. Turn the heat up and add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan. Pat the scallops dry, then sear them in the butter, turning them once. This should not take more than a minute or two—you want them to be medium-cooked at most. Divide the leek mixture among four warmed soup plates, mounding it in the centre of each. Balance a seared scallop (or more, depending on how many you have cooked) on top of the leek mixture. Pour the pea soup around the garnish so the scallops look like they are floating in a pool of green. Garnish with the peashoots, chives, and chive flowers.
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