Executive Chef Paul Paboudjian

During Sun Peaks 16th Annual Winter Festival of Wine earlier this winter, I had the chance to meet with Paul Paboudjian, Executive Chef at Delta Sun Peaks Resort.

Paul has a mix of Maltese, Italian, American and Arabic heritage and was raised in a family that enjoyed eating great food and spending time in the kitchen. He began his culinary career at age 11, as a young chef-in-training, showing a keen interest in his Mom’s food articles she was writing at the time for the Toronto Sun.

16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine-11
[In-house smoked duck, cured proscuitto, ceviche of scallops, prawns with citrus aioli]

The following year, he helped out in a Greek restaurant, cleaning deep fryers and watching the chefs in action. He served an apprenticeship which elevated into watching some of the best international chefs work their magic. Back then, Canada wasn’t known for top-tier chefs. Once his schooling at Toronto’s George Brown College was complete, he began his professional career with CP Hotels, working at Chateau Lake Louise and later moving to Jasper Park Lodge.

Off-season, he worked with Swiss and German chefs, as they took him under their wings, allowing Paul to spend time in Como, Milan, and St. Moritz while honing his skills in some of the finest European kitchens. He also worked in the Caribbean. Upon his return to Canada, the Canadian culinary evolution had begun.

16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine-12
[Pepper-seared beef tenderloin with double-smoked bacon, horseradish jus]

“We’ve come a long way in a short period of time.”

In 1996, Team Canada competed at the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany and won an award preparing the mushroom soup recipe that we dined on during Sun Peaks Conversation With the Chef, where Paul’s culinary delights were served.

Paul also worked at Sooke Harbour House back when the restaurant had only 30 seats, and was considered the top dining spot in North America. He followed job openings that represented the best of the best, giving him the chance to work in a large variety of top-notch restaurants. Another major milestone was managing a buffet for over 12,000 workers who constructed the impressive bridge that spans from Prince Edward Island to the mainland.

16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine-13
[Evoking Canada: Warm apple and cranberry bread pudding, cinnamon crème Anglaise, caramel apple compote]

Paul bases his dishes on ingredients he enjoyed in his youth, then puts a creative twist on them.

The Delta Sun Peaks culinary team is focused on the amazing bounty that Canada has to offer. While encouraging their suppliers and partners to grow, Sun Peaks’ intention is also to become part of the innovative culture surrounding healthy, non-GMO products.

Alongside locally-grown ingredients, Paul incorporates kale, acai, blueberries flax, quinoa, whole grains and other super foods into the restaurant’s dishes. Paul explained that these ingredients are laying the course for culinary artists to use in aiding our bodies to fight immunity to viruses, avoiding the need for non-natural products in our food.

Delta Sun Peaks Resort is located at 3240 Village Way in Sun Peaks, BC.

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