For Chef Clayton Fontaine, the abundant natural beauty of Vancouver Island is captivating. Fostering a close connection with foragers, farmers, and local suppliers fuels his passion for modern, seasonal cuisine and sparks inspiration for the food he creates.
His curiosity for food began at a young age, spending time in the kitchen with his father and growing up in Abbotsford, BC, with a group of multicultural friends. Tasting dishes from around the world led Clayton to appreciate food as a means of storytelling, evoking connections and shared experiences. Today, he balances culinary innovation with nostalgic familiarity, crafting dishes that create a thread from past to present.
A graduate of Northwest Culinary Academy in Vancouver, Chef Fontaine brings a decade of professional experience that spans establishments across Canada, including Osteria Savio Volpe, Lake O’Hara Lodge, Villa Eyrie and Canoe.
Initially at the Pointe Restaurant as Sous Chef in 2019, Chef Fontaine returned in 2023 as Executive Chef. At the helm, he mindfully directs the team while reimagining the fine dining experience. With a focus on fresh bounty and sustainability, highlighting seasonality and locality are paramount to his culinary approach.
“The ingredients you find in Tofino are some of the best I’ve worked with. Working with local suppliers to incorporate their latest bounty into our culinary program is always an inspiration,” he says. “It’s important to highlight the beauty and incredible quality of what our Vancouver Island region has to offer.”
Chef Fontaine cultivates a collaborative and intentional team environment in the kitchen, with a focus on mentorship and continuous learning: an approach that is in natural alignment with the Wickaninnish’s values. He believes every team member can learn from one another and has their own stories and life experiences to bring to the table. Ideas are encouraged, and inspiration is sought for creative tasting menus that reflect a collective effort for a truly special dining experience.
Practicing mindfulness inside and outside the kitchen helps Chef Fontaine hone his creativity and drive. Beyond the kitchen, you are likely to find him at the gym, hiking, or spending time in nature.