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New Kamloops farm-to-table restaurant dishing up rustic flavours

Head chef at Isagani-Farm-to-Table restaurant in Kamloops Waltham Mendez (right) with assistant chef Yash.
Head chef at Isagani-Farm-to-Table restaurant in Kamloops Waltham Mendez (right) with assistant chef Yash.

A new restaurant in Kamloops offering creative takes on rustic farmhouse dishes is in full swing after a soft opening.

Isagani Farm-to-Table serves up small, dishes made of locally sourced ingredients in a lounge-style atmosphere at the Prestige Hotel.

“We’ve been trying to train staff and do more of a soft opening, serving hotel guests and getting feedback,” director of operations and chef-by-trade Jeremy Luypen said. 

Since opening in November,  he's been working to find the perfect niche for the restaurant in the community, serving breakfast and supper using locally sourced ingredients and keeping food waste to a minimum.

So far, he said, feedback has been positive.

“We’re finding what the favourites are and getting into the swing of things,” Luypen said. “We don’t want to be a classic hotel restaurant. I did a lot of research on restaurants in Kamloops and people are doing great things for breakfasts and lunch. We are finding how our menu can fit best.”

The menu is based on farmhouse cooking and offers creative fun twists on classic country breakfasts such as s'more crepes and banana split waffles.

“We offer great flavours that are refined but not beyond fancy,” Luypen said. “The chicken cannelloni is really good and the duck confit. The s'mores waffle is a huge hit in the morning and I really love the olive tapenade eggs Benedict.”

Isagani-Farm-to-Table restaurant in Kamloops.
Isagani-Farm-to-Table restaurant in Kamloops.

The venue also offers cafe items, local brews, custom cocktails and B.C. wines.

It's important to Luypen to source local ingredients and keep food waste minimal.

“Our goal is to source everything from the Thompson-Okanagan area, and when we have to, from areas in B.C.,” he said. “We work with farmers and suppliers to help keep inflation costs down. With our concept we can serve proteins such as duck and bean dishes to create complete protein dish that's affordable.”

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When creating the menu — that will rotate to showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients — Luypen’s team plans ahead to freeze and preserve unused ingredients to create other dishes with.

“It's all about decreasing our carbon footprint and keeping costs down by not carrying the cost of wasted food,” he said.

While some business in the province are struggling with staging shortages, so far it hasn’t been an issue at Isagani.

“Because we are only serving breakfast and dinner our crew is quite small with just four cooks and four servers," he said. "When we did a market survey, we saw staffing is difficult so instead of going huge we thought to do something around the 40 seat mark and keep a good cohesive team.”

READ MORE: Thompson-Okanagan farm to table doesn't just happen

Luypen said the team has fun together and is passionate about creating good, fresh food.

“We had a busy month and we’ve had good feedback and reviews,” head chef Waltham Mendez said. “Everyone on the team is passionate about cooking and giving the guests an amazing experience.”

Isagani Farm-to-Table is located in the Prestige Hotel at 1810 Rogers Place in Kamloops.

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