A chef with a taste for Asian-fusion has taken over the restaurant at Champion Lakes Golf Course for the summer, serving up big-city flavours done his way.
Brian Moisey has settled into the Eagle’s Nest Grill with a goal to bring the classics to the table all while introducing residents to some global cuisine.
“I love making people happy, I love when people come out and leave here and go ‘Wow that wasn’t just a great dinner, that was a great experience,’” he said from his patio that seats 80. “One of my happiest times here was the ladies’ open, when I pleased 58 women at once!”
Ensuring there is an option for every customer that walks through the door, the Eagle’s Nest offers hearty breakfast, a selection of tapas, salads, sandwiches, burgers and a dinner menu.
Crispy Calamari tossed in garlic butter, tomatoes and red onions; “Ocean Wise” halibut nuggets; and gyozas, Japanese style pot stickers stuffed with pork and vegetables served with a sweet chili sauce, were just some of the delicious appetizers Moisey shared at a taster special to the Times.
“Our No. 1 focus is that the customer has to have the greatest dining experience and that the service has to be impeccable to match the food,” he said.
Beyond following the local concept by ordering from businesses like Trail’s City Bakery, Moisey likes to keep his food simple while still achieving a depth of flavor in his dishes.
His food is far from pretentious, from his three cheese “Griller” (mozzarella, cheddar and asiago grilled cheese) to the original Coney Island hot dog, the world-famous eight-inch beef dog served on a bun with grainy mustard and grilled onions.
But like his passion to travel during the winter, his menu also touts favourites like the Baja fish taco that he tasted again and again before mastering his and brining it home to share with his customers.
Realizing no one else does Thai in the region, Moisey is now introducing Thai Thursdays, along with other cuisines from across the world during special events or on his weekly fresh menu.
The man with nearly 30 years experience in the hospitality business says it’s in not an easy industry but he can’t deny the natural high he gets from the kitchen rush on the line and the satisfaction he feels from sharing his passion for food.
“It does burn you out, I just worked 29 hours in the last two days without a break in a hot kitchen but at the end of the day, I felt so wonderful because I pleased another 84 women,” he laughed.
The former co-owner of Red Fish Grill in Nelson nearly gave up cooking when his business of 10 years caught on fire last year.
“It was devastating, even more so for my partner (Robyn Gold), she put everything into that restaurant,” he said. “It was a really trying time. I couldn’t go to Nelson for months and when I finally did, I walked through the back alley and couldn’t even go by it.”
Just like that, the successful restaurant was closed and family-like staff was out of work. They lost everything but the odd painting that still smells like fire and proudly hangs on the golf course restaurant’s freshly painted walls.
“I thought that’s it for the hospitality business, I’m going to something else with my life but it kept pulling me back in,” he said.
The departure from a restaurant in Nelson to a destination dining experience at the golf course was easier than expected, though the initial hit of hungry customers off the green may was surprising.
“He was thrown a curve ball,” said Teresa Thompson, who sits on the board of directors for the golf course. “I don’t think he knew what was going to hit him and it hit him full tilt.”
The seasonal work fits perfectly with the couple’s lifestyle. During the winter, they go somewhere warm to paint and explore different flavour profiles. By late October, they’ll leave their acreage on Slocan River with their three SPCA dogs and head to Todo Santos, a coastal village close to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
While travel plays a role in Moisey’s culinary development, he attributes much of his success to his rock, Gold, who also shares passion for food and spends much of her time developing flavour profiles.
“I love food,” he said. “You really realize that when you go home and you’re exhausted from putting in an 80-hour work week and what do you want to do when you get home? Tonight I have salmon waiting, and I plan on making the world’s greatest dinner.”
Eagle’s Nest is open from 9 .am. to 9 p.m. every night and can be reached at 367-7015 or via email at email@example.com
To find out more about the restaurant and Moisey’s vision, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.