WHISTLER, B.C. — Effective April 15, Toptable Group will assume ownership of the iconic Il Caminetto, founded in 1981 by Umberto Menghi. After a brief closure for some fine-tuning, the summer season will see a ‘soft launch’ of the Italian restaurant under its new branding and management company.
“This was a very hard decision,” says Menghi. “We all have so many wonderful memories bound up in this restaurant — from the nights when my friend Tom Jones would thrill dinner guests by breaking into song, to something as simple as hosting out-of-town regulars celebrating a special birthday last weekend
Executive chef James Walt, who directs the food programs at Araxi Restaurant, The Cellar by Araxi and Bar Oso, will oversee the kitchen of Il Caminetto, while veteran restaurant director Neil Henderson will orchestrate the front-of-house operations for the four dining rooms at Whistler. With both established and new supplier relationships now secured (gained from his frequent trips to Italy), Walt will adjust the restaurant’s culinary direction to meld local and Italian ingredients to a contemporary, regionally inspired menu.
“The acquisition of Il Caminetto is pivotal for Toptable Group as we continue to develop our presence as destination restaurants within the Whistler community,” says Michael Doyle, president of Toptable Group. “At this time, there are lots of moving parts, but we are committed to building upon our successes at the mountain and to incorporate them into the launch of the new Il Caminetto. We look forward to working with the outstanding staff and management — after all, they are the face of this iconic restaurant who have shaped Whistler’s hospitality landscape.”