André Saint-Jacques

André Saint-Jacques Host and founder

“At the Bearfoot Bistro anything is possible. Your pleasure is our pleasure. Be yourself. Be whoever you want to be. We want you to laugh, to love… Come celebrate with us.”

Renowned wine collector and Champagne expert, André Saint-Jacques is a bon vivant dedicated to celebrating the good things in life. The visionary behind the Bearfoot Bistro, Saint-Jacques is as passionate about pleasure as he is about beautiful food, attentive service and spectacular wine. Under his direction, the Bearfoot Bistro strives to exceed every guest’s expectations and inject a little magic into their visit – whether that be sabering a bottle of Champagne, venturing into the Ketel One Ice Room, or simply sitting back and allowing us to take care of their every desire.

For Saint-Jacques, a night at the Bearfoot Bistro should always be special – an experience worthy of his own celebratory toast: “It’s good to be us!”


Melissa Craig

Melissa Craig Executive Chef

“It’s about simplicity and sophistication. If I have a perfect heirloom tomato, I’m not going to mess with it. When the fish is so fresh, why wouldn’t I serve it raw? But I also want an element of surprise – a familiar plate that tells a new story, an invitation to a culinary journey.”

Executive Chef Melissa Craig has established herself as one of the top names in Canadian cuisine. Commanding a large kitchen devoted to sourcing the best ingredients from home and abroad, Chef Craig’s vision is both approachable and cutting edge. With an exquisite palate matched only by her artistic eye, Chef Craig can’t help but create unforgettable dining experiences.

Always looking to please her guests, Chef Craig is happy to tailor her tasting menus around preferences. She can often be seen at tableside, checking in with guests and making sure they want for nothing.

“I love that the atmosphere here is so unique – it’s what makes it exciting for our guests. And I love that I have the freedom to do whatever I want in the kitchen.”

But ask her what truly motivates her every day, and Chef Craig is clear: “I just love to feed people.”


Dominic Fortin

Dominic Fortin Executive Pastry Chef

“I love pastry. I love to play with pastry – with shape, contrast, texture… Pastry can be simple as long as it’s well done. But not too simple – I’m too young for that.”

At 34, Executive Pastry Chef Dominic Fortin is constantly working to improve his craft: “I want to be absolutely the best pastry chef I can be.”

Such ambition speaks to the creativity and drive displayed in his extraordinary desserts and petits fours. For Québec-born Fortin, creativity is key: he is constantly looking for innovative ways to incorporate seasonal produce, new technique and unusual flavour combinations into his desserts. New dishes are refigured over and over – a dessert can take three weeks from the original idea to its menu debut.

His peanut bar, incorporating peanuts, chocolate and banana has become a Bearfoot Bistro signature dish, as has the spectacular nitro ice cream with its dramatic tableside preparation and self-serve sundae toppings.

“Sometimes all I want is a scoop of perfect ice cream,” he admits. “It’s my favourite thing.”


Kerren Bottay

Kerren Bottay General Manager

“I’ve been to many great restaurants around the world, and I’ve come to realize that when you create an atmosphere that is truly special, that’s what really drives the experience for guests.”

Managing a restaurant that typically serves 200 people a night, more than 250 during the festive season, and has pushed it as far as 320 on New Year’s Eve, is not a routine floor position.

“It’s electric,” General Manager Kerren Bottay admits. “It’s on the borderline of chaos sometimes, but in a good way. People are getting up to go to the cellar, to the vodka room — there’s movement. It’s exciting.”

“It’s the little things that are off-the-wall amazing, that just wouldn’t happen anywhere else.”

“You never know when the night will take an interesting turn. Big Sugar walked in and jammed with Cameron. What a great surprise that was on a Friday night.”

For him, the Bearfoot is more than just a job. It’s become family.

“The people I work with are some of my best friends, and that is a result of the working relationship we have created and built. And the passion we put into making this restaurant totally unique.”

Luc Trottier

Luc TrottierWine Director

“To take over that wine list and that cellar. It’s mind-blowing.”

Running the wine program at Bearfoot Bistro is a dream job come true for Luc Trottier.

“And it’s not just working with amazing wines, but it’s also the opportunity to build and add to that collection.”

Originally from just outside Montreal, he has lived in Whistler for 15 years. Being part of the team at the Bearfoot, he says, keeps his wine knowledge and skills sharp.

“Probably the most exciting part of my daily job is working with Chef Craig on the five-course menu,” he notes. “It keeps me on my toes, gives me an edge.”

He also revels in the interaction he has with guests, guiding them through the wine list to find the bottle they will enjoy with their meal.

“If you like to drink Malbec, we’ll show you the bottles we really like. If it’s Pinot Noir, well then let’s talk Pinot Noir. This is my job, and I love it.”

Scott Barber

Scott BarberBar Manager

“The level of creativity encouraged and supported at Bearfoot Bistro makes it a constantly inspiring place to work.”

With all house made syrups and shrubs, a kitchen of limitless ingredients and techniques to draw upon, Bar Manager Scott Barber makes sure any guest to the Bearfoot bar can experience the best in craft cocktails.

Pre and post-Prohibition classics are done with the care and precision they deserve, while the Bearfoot Bistro signature list changes seasonally, drawing on both staff innovations and global trends.

Barber is also responsible for the extensive vodka program guests experience in the Ketel One Ice Room — the world’s coldest vodka tasting room — curating the list and writing tasting notes on each of the vodkas featured.

“Our clientele drink all around the world,” he notes. “It’s a point of pride for us, not just to be able to recreate well any drink they desire, but to introduce them to something they have never tasted before.”

Cameron Chu

Cameron ChuResident Pianist

“My job is to create an elegant presence in the room, without taking it over. It’s a balance.”

Cameron Chu has been entertaining Bearfoot Bistro patrons almost since the day the restaurant opened. He recalls meeting owner André Saint-Jacques and recognizing his big dreams and a clear commitment to the arts – both irresistible to a pianist offered free reign to create a resident music program.

Adjusting his repertoire to reflect the make up of the restaurant on any given night, Chu aims to bring a sophisticated twist to recognizable melodies.

The Bearfoot Bistro has its own unique slant on everything,” he notes. “And it’s the same for the music – we don’t follow a formula.”