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On the Waterfront

Nestled snugly on the shore just outside the centre of Tofino, within walking distance of popular coffee and surf shops, the newly renovated Tofino Resort and Marina opened this past summer, bringing a glittering new profile—and an outstanding local ingredient focused restaurant and pub—to the town.

The old marina had grown a bit long in the tooth over the past decade or so, though it was a popular if decrepit watering hole for locals. (Some of who are not too pleased with the gentrification.) Multiple millions—invested by Vancouver Island businessman Andrew Purdey, along with former NHL hockey players Willie Mitchell and Dan Hamhuis—went into the expansion. Tofino R and Marina now boasts a 62-room luxury guest rooms, multiple berths for passing yachts and a new adventure centre providing the usual water-based experiences (whale-watching, diving, etc.).

Another big change at Tofino Resort and Marina: a high-powered food and beverage program. With former stints at West (under then-executive chef David Hawksworth) and the two-Michelin-starred Hotel Le Negresco in Nice, chef Paul Moran leads the resort’s 1909 Kitchen and its renewed focus on ingredient led local cuisine.

Coming from a family of avid foragers in the Okanagan, Moran is an obsessive gatherer (stay for a few days, and you’ll run into him walking back to the marina with arms full of various found edibles).

Dishes reveal a gentle touch with seafood and a love of pristine vegetables. A simple pizza studded with spot prawns (in season, of course) and cooked in a wood-burning oven is an irresistible treat (we ate four over the course of a couple of days).

Wines from the province and a short list of intriguing cocktails, accented with more foraged things, round out an ambitious new player on Tofino’s culinary team. —D.S.