Silvertip Resort is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Laura Hansford to the position of Executive Chef. Ms. Hansford, who has been serving at Silvertip in the capacity of Executive Sous Chef, now heads up the culinary team, a significant next step in an already stellar culinary career.
Recent changes to the Silvertip Rustica menu reflect Hansford’s dedication to first-class quality, and her intention to offer a variety of outstanding culinary experiences to Silvertip Rustica’s loyal local clientele in the off-season as well as summer visitors. “Our table d’hote menu is popular, but we also recognize that people enjoy diversity,” says Hansford. “We’ve added more appetizers, main courses and desserts to tempt the palate.”
Sun-dried apricot raisin stuffed chicken breasts and wild mushroom dusted pork tenderloin are new menu additions. “Our sauce for the pork is an apple cider demi-glace. We’ve worked with it quite a bit – it’s delicious! And our Silvertip PRIME beef now includes the New York strip loin seafood special. We also have scallops and a wonderful meatball and Stilton cheese appetizer, and we’ve added a bit of a twist on the salad.”
No worries about gluten free or dairy free at Silvertip Rustica. “Everything is produced from scratch – soup, sauces and all our sides. We are very aware of gluten and dairy restrictions. None of our soups and sauces contain gluten, and we have the ability to easily make an item dairy free. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of our Rustica menu is gluten free, so you don’t have to worry,” she says.
Hansford is from the tiny town of Crampton outside London, ON. She laughs when she says her family all cooked out of the same cookbook. Her grandmother wanted her to become a pastry chef because she did the baking in the family. Hansford’s trajectory from family baker to Executive Chef has no doubt delighted and surpassed her family’s dreams.
“I also owe many thanks to Executive Chef Stefan Mahon,” says Hansford. “I worked with him here at Silvertip. His passion for food is at the highest level.”
Hansford began her career at Delta Lodge at Kananaskis in 2000 as a co-op student and moved up the ranks after culinary school to the position of Banquet Sous Chef. She has worked at Silvertip since July 2010 when she was recruited by a previous Silvertip Sous Chef to be a Chef de Partie. As her managerial and culinary talents became evident, Hansford was promoted to Executive Sous Chef a year later and appointed Executive Chef in October 2013. Silvertip’s policy is to hire from within whenever possible.
Hansford moved to Kananaskis in 2000 and then to Canmore in 2007. “I love to see Three Sisters peaks from the front window, and when I walk down the street everyone says ‘Hi’. I love the atmosphere in Canmore. I know very few people who were born here so we’ve all chosen to live here – it’s our home.”
Silvertip Rustica is fortunate to have a loyal local clientele that fills the tables even when roads are close to impassable. “Our locals are awesome,” says Hansford. “They come up to Silvertip at least once a month even when the snow challenges our staff to make it up the Silvertip hill. But even then, we’re busy for lunch. We’re blessed that our locals like us that much.”
Hansford’s small town roots in Ontario have not been lost. Her favorite family meal? “Definitely my mom’s Lazy Man’s Cabbage Rolls would rank way up there.” However, she also recalls a handmade sage and butternut squash ravioli topped with a flavourful Sambuca sauce she sampled some six years ago. “It was just that wonderful,” she says, “but when it comes to beef, we’ve been totally spoiled by Rustica’s top quality PRIME beef. I can’t go back to eating anything else.”