Michael Crane brings Olympic experience and a passion for authentic world flavours to the Whistler Blackcomb food and beverage experience

WHISTLER, BC, Sunday, December 27, 2009 – In a season with plenty of excitement, Whistler Blackcomb adds something for skier’s and riders’ taste buds as new Intrawest Corporate Chef Michael Crane is welcomed. In a resort that boasts world-class dining facilities, Whistler Blackcomb food and beverage is a key component to guests’ overall resort experience. Building on the established “sacred cow” menu items, Crane has big plans in mind which guests of Whistler Blackcomb are now able to experience.

“Much like Crystal Hut is known for its waffles and Dusty’s for its BBQ, I want to create products unique to each location.” says Michael. ”Instead of being content with eating meals at one location, I want guests to be inspired to venture around the mountains to try out that special item that each location will become known for.”

As a dedicated culinary professional with over 20 years experience, which includes running the Athlete’s Village food and beverage service at three Olympic Games, Crane joined Intrawest in 2006 and has been committed to elevating the quality of the Food & Beverage experience for mountain guests. Previously influencing at more of an arms-length distance, one of the elements of this job that excites Crane is his ability to help move from concept to execution faster.

With the eyes of the world on Whistler this year the Whistler Blackcomb food and beverage department is looking to feature dishes from around the world. The food and beverage department is striving to source and incorporate fresh, wholesome ingredients into recipes while cooking in an authentic style.

Hitting the ground running, with the assistance of the food and beverage department, Crane has quickly reinvigorated items at both the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain and the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. Referred to as “marketplace” in the Roundhouse Lodge, a global inspired feel will be established by menu items. Naan Rice Bowl with mango chutney and garbanzo beans is offered with the choice of roasted chicken, peppered prawns or tofu with vegetables and either a butter, masala or vindaloo sauce. At the noodle bowl station guests will enjoy Vietnamese PHO (pronounced “fuh”) served with traditional rice noodles in vegetable broth scented with star anise, ginger and Thai basil and a choice of roast seasoned chicken or tofu with mixed vegetables.

At the grill a Chimichurri Steak Sandwich with caramelized red onions joins the classic Alberta Angus Beef Cheeseburger. If lighter fare is sought the sandwich bar offers a Cobb Chicken Caesar Wrap or a Roasted Pear and Brie with Spinach sandwich with candies pecans and whole grain mustard.

“Customers are much more educated about food and thus expect more,” says Michael about the importance of authentic international dishes. “Whistler Blackcomb is a world-renowned four season destination resort and our food needs to reflect this.”

Guest experience is of paramount importance at Whistler Blackcomb and the food and beverage experience is no exception. “It begins with the ingredients and the recipe,” says Crane “but it’s also about presentation and passionate, educated staff to deliver the overall experience consistently. Educating the staff, getting them excited about what they’re creating and serving is important.” Crane stresses just as much importance to the staff on the intangibles as he does with the food itself.

For more information on dinning at Whistler Blackcomb, including menus, restaurant reviews as well as the latest vacation deals and packages, please visit whistlerblackcomb.com.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Consistently ranked as North America's top ski and snowboard resort, Whistler Blackcomb continues to raise the level of mountain excitement for its guests. With the landmark PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola opening in December 2008, the return of the popular Symphony Amphitheatre, and a host of other on-mountain improvements, this winter promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Located a scenic two-hour drive north of Vancouver up the spectacular 'Sea to Sky' Highway, this resort is home to Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, which boast one vertical mile of incredible skiing. With over 17 alpine bowls, four glaciers, 200 trails, 8,171 acres of skiable terrain and a one mile vertical rise, the choices of where and what to ski/ride at Whistler Blackcomb from beginner to advanced terrain are staggering. Joined at the base by a vibrant pedestrian village filled with restaurants, patios, cafes, shops, galleries and spas, and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, this four season resort is spectacular. Check it all out at http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

About Intrawest ULC

Intrawest is a world leader in experiential destination resorts. The company has interests in ten resorts at North America’s most popular mountain destinations including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Intrawest network also includes Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and Club Intrawest—a private resort club with locations throughout North America. In addition, Intrawest develops real estate at its resorts and at other locations across North America and in Europe. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit http://www.intrawest.com