5 QUESTIONS WITH Chef LAURA HANSFORD: the rebirth of RUSTICA AT SILVERTIP RESORT

 Serving only 100% Canadian Prime beef (Canada's best), a Rustica steak is always memorable.

Serving only 100% Canadian Prime beef (Canada's best), a Rustica steak is always memorable.

Silvertip Resort isn't just golf heaven, it’s a paradise for local foodies. And for Rustica, its local-gem, on-site restaurant, 2018 is a year of rebirth.

Whether you enjoy a hearty lunch after a gorgeous morning on the golf green, or visit for the fantastic food and scenery, there’s never been a better time to enjoy true Rocky Mountain dining at Rustica.

Located at Canmore’s renowned Silvertip Resort, Rustica has undergone some big changes this year, and their team recently welcomed the return of outstanding Chef, Laura Hansford. We caught up with Chef Laura to hear all the latest news from this must-visit dining spot.

1. What’s new in 2018 for Rustica?

We have redesigned the entire restaurant! We’ve taken a step back from our steakhouse-style menu, so more people can enjoy the food offered in a more casual setting. We have updated all our furniture, plate-ware, and have made the atmosphere even better than before. We want people to make a name for ourselves as a great local hangout spot, as opposed to just that special event dining option.

Our full summer menu will come out on May 16, and we are offering not only our signature prime beef steaks, but also fun lighter fare. We’re looking forward to offering some heartier salads and flatbreads, so you can expect more great variety.

 Fish tacos: a signature dish at Rustica.

Fish tacos: a signature dish at Rustica.

2. Can you tell us about your history as a Chef with Rustica?

I started in 2010, then left for the last 2 seasons to be with my husband, who was working at Cabot Links Golf Course in Cape Breton. We returned to Canmore in November 2017 and I’ve been back at Silvertip since. We’re incredibly happy to be back in the mountains! There's nowhere quite like Canmore.

3. How would you describe the Rustica experience, for those who haven't visited before? What makes it unique?

We have an incredible patio that looks over our beautifully manicured golf course, and it's often the perfect place for sighting elk, deer and bears. The Rustica experience is varied, you can come to eat a delicious house-made burger and enjoy a beer on our patio, or join us for a three-course dinner menu with prawns, steak and wine. We aim to provide a diverse enough menu that everyone can find something that really appeals to them, and we’re proud to use local ingredients whenever possible.

 Patio paradise: You don't need to be a golfer to enjoy Silvertip Resort's spectacular views. Dine at Rustica and the scenery is the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

Patio paradise: You don't need to be a golfer to enjoy Silvertip Resort's spectacular views. Dine at Rustica and the scenery is the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

4. What are Rustica's most popular dishes on your regular menu?

For lunch, our most popular items are our prime beef burger, beef dip and signature fish tacos. For dinner, our prime beef 5oz tenderloin is a must! My favourite things to cook are our signature steaks: we use 100% Canadian Prime, which represents the top 0.3% of beef in Canada, and is renowned for its outstanding flavor and tenderness. We use a 1500-degree broiler grill to cook it to perfection.

5. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Rustica’s special offerings for Canmore Uncorked 2018?

We are excited to be offering a 3-course Set Price Dinner Menu for $49, which includes a glass of wine and 4 of our featured $12 all-day dining options! We are trying out a few menu items for Canmore Uncorked which may also be on our summer menu, and we also wanted to showcase a few new dishes that we are excited to share, such as our tasty vegetarian burger. We can’t wait to share them with you!

Kymberley Hill