Fine dining meets ranch lifestyle at Tod Mountain Ranch.
Hidden in the Louis Creek Valley of British Columbia, lays Tod Mountain Ranch, a quaint guest ranch that offers more than just horseback riding and an experience outdoors. At Tod Mountain, the dining experience is like no other.
The dining area is dominated by a 100 square foot dining table that was designed and handcrafted by a local craftsman, Jeff Pool. The purpose of the large table is to welcome guests and staff to eat together, making for a comfortable, relaxed environment where conversation tends to be inclusive, light-hearted and full of story telling.
The dining room at Tod Mountain features a 100 square foot dining table where guests and staff shares stories of the day's adventures.
Menus at Tod Mountain are pre-planned by local Chef Ken Reynolds, a certified Red Seal Chef and graduate of George Brown Culinary College in Toronto, Ontario. Before guests arrive, they are asked if there are any allergies or specific dietary requirements the ranch and staff need to be aware of. Once this information is obtained, Chef Reynolds can put together a delicious and diverse menu, keeping in mind any dietary needs. Tod Mountain describes their menu as “gourmet with a ranch twist.” Guests can be sure to find a wide range of dishes and cooking styles. Prime rib, pork tenderloin, rack of lamb, wild salmon, venison and bison are all featured on the menu, and don’t forget the classic juicy steak that is grilled every week! Keeping in mind that not all guests eat meat, Tod Mountain offers a variety of vegetarian dishes.
All meals are cooked from scratch, using mostly locally sourced, fresh seasonal produce.
The kitchen is open through to the dining room so guests can interact with the Chef and watch him prepare meals. This is where recipes are swapped and new skills and techniques learned.
A hearty breakfast is served in the dining room every morning before rides depart. There is always a selection of cereals, toast, bagels, muffins, pastries and fresh fruit. For energy to last you on your rides, the Chef will also rustle up a hot plate of bacon and eggs and sometimes even pancakes.
Lunch is usually an outdoor feast, either taken on the ride or enjoyed on the deck. Guests can expect a variety of soups, pasta dishes and salads when eating at the ranch, all served with fresh home baked bread. Out on the trail picnic lunches are carried in saddle bags and might include sandwiches, fruit and cookies.
To wind down and relax after days activities, dinner starts with happy hour. Complimentary Canadian beers, BC wines and snacks are served. Then to satisfy that huge appetite, dinner features a three-course feast of home-style cooking.
Combining healthy with the hearty, the dining at Tod Mountain is like no other.
Guest Favorite ~ Tracey’s Asparagus Quiche with fresh Olive Bread
1 9inch deep-dish pie shell
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup half n half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4oz cheese grated (I use 2 oz Gruyere & 2 oz Emmentaler)
About 10 spears of asparagus
Preheat oven to 400°F
Bake pie shell for about 7 minutes – you only want to part bake it to set the bottom so it doesn’t go soggy when you add the quiche mixture.
In a small saucepan, combine milk, half & half, onion, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to boil and then simmer for a few minutes.
Sprinkle 2/3 of the cheese into the pie shell.
Wash & trim the asparagus and blanch in hot water. Place the asparagus on top of the cheese, trimming to fit into the pie dish.
In a medium sized bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then stir the milk mixture into the eggs. Pour the mixture over the asparagus and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake for around 25 minutes. You can test for doneness by sticking a knife into the centre, if it comes out clean, it’s done!
Olive Bread (Makes 1lb loaf)
500g bread flour
500 ml warm water
1 teaspoon salt
15 g fresh yeast (or 10g dried yeast)
Handful of Black Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
Dissolve the yeast in 100ml of the warm water, and keep the remaining water to one side. Once the yeast mixture has more than doubled in size, it is ready to use.
In a large bowl (of if you are brave, you can do this on the work surface) mix the flour and salt together. Add in the olives. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Using your hands mix the yeast mixture into the flour. When it’s all worked in, then start to pour in the rest of the water, mixing it in well. Mix until you have a ball of dough that can easily be worked.
If it’s too wet, just add a little more flour. If it’s too dry and not all the flour has mixed in, then just add a little more water.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and put back into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise for about 45 mins or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, you need to knead it again for about 5 minutes making sure all the air has been knocked out of it. If you want a rustic style loaf, shape it into a round shape and put onto a baking tray, or you can put into a loaf tin, or indeed you can shape it however you want. Cover, and leave to proof for another 45 mins or until it has doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread in the oven for about 40 mins or until cooked.
You can test for doneness by tapping the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow it’s cooked.
Once cooked, place on a rack to cool a bit before serving. Delicious served warm.