Each day is an exploration for Tim Barath, chef at Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen. Between work and play, he's inspired by all that surrounds this unique restaurant—the history of the area, it's plants, animals and geography.
So when he and his team welcome people into the cozy restaurant in the woods outside Jasper and next to the iconic Maligne Canyon, it's like welcoming people into a home, he says.
"We’re essentially like this big cabin in the middle of the forest," Tim says. "So arriving here after hiking the canyon is a really welcoming experience that I don’t think most people expect. I think we take what people would expect to be here and take it to another level."
If you've been out exploring with friends, Tim says your choice from the Wilderness Kitchen's menu is clear—the signature Wilderness Platter lets you sample the best the kitchen offers, and also to share. It's a way to sample the highlights from the menu—including the signature smokehouse meats the kitchen is known for. There are smoked and glazed baby back pork ribs, hickory-smoked chicken, 16-hour slow booked brisket, grilled venison sausage and sides including mac and cheese, baked beans, fresh vegetables and fries. It's all topped off with a sampling of house-made condiments including mustard, horse radish and Canadian whiskey barbecue sauce.
By ordering the platter, diners can bring that sense of exploration and adventure to their meal. Sharing plates cap off the shared adventures people have here in Jasper, he says. After all, spending time exploring the wilderness brings people closer. Not only on the trail do they build connections; it's the post-adventure tale-swapping and the memory-gathering that forges deeper bonds.
"Whether you’re hiking, or kayaking, or rafting or taking in one of our ice walks, that’s a shared experience," Tim says. "Coming here to cap that off, I think, should also be shared. And that gives a lot of space for interaction and sharing stories while you pass around and share the meal."
"Working with local suppliers just makes sense," Tim says.
The Wilderness Platter also strongly features the kitchen's local suppliers including venison sausage from Valbella meats in Canmore, Alberta, and beef brisket and chicken from Sunrise Farms. It's really a celebration of our region. Working with producers in the area means Tim and his team have a stronger sense of control over what they're serving and the story his team is telling through food. It's also essential to shortening the supply chain, a lower carbon footprint and honouring place.
And, of course, you can enjoy the Wilderness Platter on your own as well!
Chef Tim's motto is "work hard, have fun, help out". It's that spirit of connection, empathy and adventure that he brings to each dish at the Wilderness Kitchen, and is celebrated in the Wilderness Platter.
"We’re essentially like this big cabin in the middle of the forest," Chef Tim Barath