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It all came together quickly. Motivated by tough times and hungry bellies, the idea was to help team members and the community by offering healthy and easy-to-prepare meals at cost in the tight-knit communities of Banff and Jasper.

Easy Eats was born in Banff Jasper Collection kitchens in late March and rolled out in early April. It's a solutions-based effort to assist the community, says Richard Cooper, Director of Hospitality for Pursuit's Banff Jasper team.

Food and Beverage teams are offering healthy, hearty meals and making them available at cost. They're nutritious, delicious and super easy to prepare—meals are provided in bags that simply have to be boiled in water to prepare.

"It's a cool opportunity to be part of the community"

a selection of pre-packaged dishes ready to be bagged

Gourmet at Home

Given that the effort is being spearheaded by local chefs like Scott Hergott, Stu Allen, Terry Port and Tim Barath, the level of cuisine is higher than most would expect for such rock-bottom prices.

In Jasper, there's herb-roasted chicken, mustard and herb-crusted salmon and Southern smoked pulled pork. You can get sides like garlic mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and salads. In Banff, chili comes with Focaccia bread from the local Uprising Bakery, and there's teriyaki salmon and chicken gremolada.

Volunteers Pitching In

"The idea was to keep it simple and easy," says Chef Scott Hergott. A call went out for volunteers to help prepare, package and distribute the Easy Eats meals. Then, the menus were released twice a week, at the beginning to team members who could come to the Elk + Avenue Hotel in Banff and the Chateau Jasper to pick up their meals, and as of April 24, to the community at large.

"I figured we'd get some interest in volunteering from our colleagues, but the response was even more than I'd hoped," Chef Hergott says.

Richard Cooper Smiling

Photo: Chef Scott Hergott

Callum Logvyn was one of the first to step up. He says he moved to Banff about a month ago and only got in a few shifts as a dishwasher at Sky Bistro before the crisis hit and the restaurant closed. He's now volunteering alongside Chef Scott.

"It's a cool opportunity to be part of the community," he says. "I'm just helping out. We're all just doing what we can."

A volunteer smiles with a face mask pulled down

Photo: Easy Eats volunteer Callum Logvyn

Together We Win

Right from the get-go, the team responded eagerly. As of mid-April, more than 1000 meals had been picked up in Banff and nearly 500 in Jasper. That's a lot of delicious dinners!

"The response has been hugely positive," Richard Cooper says. "This is a project that comes from the heart and nowhere else. Together, we win."

a woman with gloves bagging potatoes in a to-go bag

Easy Eats is now available to members of the community in Banff and Jasper. For more information, please see Pursuit Easy Eats.

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