Q&A with AIR BOUPHASIRY, head chef at CANMORE'S NEWEST RESTAURANT: the grande kitchen + bar

 Warning: All is takes is just one bite of Chef AIr's signature dessert, Tiramisu with Kahlua and Frangelico, and you'll be hooked!

Warning: All is takes is just one bite of Chef AIr's signature dessert, Tiramisu with Kahlua and Frangelico, and you'll be hooked!

The Grande Kitchen + Bar, Canmore's newest restaurant, opened in May 2018 at the Grande Rockies Resort at 901 Mountain Street - and local foodies are in for a treat.

Air Bouphasiry, former Executive Chef/Owner at critically acclaimed Calgary/Bragg Creek restaurant Infusion Contemporary Cuisine, will delight Albertan diners once more as he carves a new culinary niche in Canmore. We caught up with Chef Air to hear about what he's bringing to the table in the Bow Valley.

1. What are some of the most exciting dishes that guests can look forward to on the menu?

I would say our Chef’s Special Seafood Pescatore, Steamed Mussel with Thai Basil, and
Hens + Dumplings are some of the biggest highlights.

The Hens + Dumplings dish will be a dumpling pasta dish with slow-cooked chicken. It includes buttermilk dumplings, roasted sweet corn, kale, bourbon cream. You get that richness of the tanginess of the dumpling, then you have the sweetness of smoked corn and bourbon cream sauce. That will be a signature dish for us, I hope.

The Chef Signature Seafood Pescatore is very popular, served with mussels, prawns, scallops, olives, capers, chili, white wine, and tomato.

People also love my Tiramisu, which has a ladyfinger sponge biscuit layer with mascarpone cream cheese with Frangelico, kahlua and espresso. We dip the ladyfinger in the espresso coffee, it absorbs all the syrup and espresso, and we layer them between the mascarpone cheese, and kahlua and Frangelico.

Another twist on our fusion theme for dessert is the Japanese Cheesecake. It will be very light and fluffy, with strawberry coulis, glazed peach, almond crumb, and crème anglaise.

Our French Crepe dessert will have Thai coconut pandan custard, fresh berries, pistachio and almond crumble, crème fraîche.

We want people to look at our menu and think, ‘Wow! I’ve never tried that before.’ We want to offer something unique and different to what other venues are doing. I hope you will like it!
— Chef Air Bouphasiry, Head Chef, The Grande Kitchen + Bar
 Head Chef Air Bouphasiry draws inspiration from the rich culinary traditions of France and Laos, and is excited to be leading the food and beverage team at the new Grande Kitchen & Bar.

Head Chef Air Bouphasiry draws inspiration from the rich culinary traditions of France and Laos, and is excited to be leading the food and beverage team at the new Grande Kitchen & Bar.

2. What are some of the most exciting dishes that guests can look forward to on-menu at The Grande Kitchen + Bar?

I would say our Chef’s Signature Seafood Pescatore, Steamed Mussel with Thai Basil, and
Hens + Dumplings are some of the biggest highlights on our menu. Hens + Dumplings is a dumpling pasta dish with slow-cooked chicken and lots of rich flavours. It includes buttermilk dumplings, roasted sweet corn, kale, and bourbon cream. You get that richness of the tanginess of the dumpling, then you have the sweetness of smoked corn and bourbon cream sauce. That will be a signature dish for us, I hope.

The Chef Signature Seafood Pescatore is very popular, served with mussels, prawns, scallops, olives, capers, chili, white wine, and tomato. People also love my Tiramisu, which has a ladyfinger sponge biscuit layer with mascarpone cream cheese with Frangelico, Kahlua and espresso. We dip the ladyfinger in the espresso coffee, it absorbs all the syrup and espresso, and we layer them between the mascarpone cheese, and Kahlua and Frangelico.

Another twist on our Asian fusion theme, for dessert is the Japanese Cheesecake. It is very light and fluffy, with strawberry coulis, glazed peach, almond crumb, and creme anglaise. Another nice. selection is our French Crepe dessert, which has a Thai twist, with coconut pandan custard, fresh berries, pistachio, almond crumble, and creme fraiche.

 Thai salmon, Grande Kitchen & Bar style!

Thai salmon, Grande Kitchen & Bar style!

3. What dishes can fans of your former Bragg Creek/Calgary restaurant, Infusion Contemporary Cuisine, look forward to at The Grande Kitchen + Bar?

The Seafood Pescatore, and the Steamed Mussels, and the Tiramisu are returning from our menu at Infusion, along with our Thai Salmon. Everything else on the menu is brand new!

Our burgers are all very unique, and one nice example is the Alfredo Chicken Burger. I make my own chicken patty with fresh chopped chicken, seasoned and herbed to make a patty, and finish it off with a house-made alfredo sauce. It’s quite unique in taste and presentation.

Another burger our guests can look forward to is the Salmon Burger – we take fresh salmon, chop and mix it with herbs and seasoning to make a patty, then top it with smoked salmon for the perfect finish. Another selection is the Bacon Bacon Bacon Burger – instead of a BLT, it’s a “BBB”, with triple bacon. It includes a patty stuffed with cheddar cheese and bacon, topped with a bacon jam with bourbon, and another slice of bacon on top.

Grande dish.JPG

4. How will your approach at The Grande be different from your approach at Infusion?

Here at Grande Rockies Resort, we have a great location, and want to make a name for ourselves for functions, weddings, parties and conferences in Canmore. My goal is to offer something unique and different from everybody else. I have extended my menu from what we offered at Infusion – the menu is more upscale, and most dishes are now very shareable. This makes it perfect for groups as well as couples and single diners.

So, you can come in and have a drink and a couple of appetizers but you don’t need to pay the price of a full meal. You can have two or three shareable dishes, which is different from what we did before at Infusion. The way I divide them up, they’re almost like a slider. Everyone can have a nibble and enjoy the dish together. We want people to look at our menu and think, “Wow! We’ve never tried that before.” It’s very exciting. I hope everyone will like it!

How to enjoy a taste of The Grande Kitchen + Bar at Canmore Uncorked 2018

Chef Air and the team are excited to offer two special Set Price Dinner Menus during Canmore Uncorked. Foodies can look forward to a three-course meal for $37, or $49.

Find out what you can look forward to on the special Set-Price Dinner Menu here. Reservations are recommended: to reserve your table, phone 403-678-8880.

Kymberley Hill