Sophie Fenlon, Executive Chef at Vis a Vis Bouchon Bar and the Penny Farthing Public House. (Don Denton/Boulevard Magazine)

Meet Sophie Fenlon, Executive Chef

Try her food at Victoria’s Vis À Vis bouchon Bar and the Penny Farthing Pub

  • Aug. 23, 2018 11:00 a.m.

Quick Facts:

• Born in Stroud, England — a small town in the Cotswolds — and moved around around a lot as a child, eventually settling in Canada.

• Trained at Vancouver Culinary Institute, and apprenticed for three years under Chef Lee Parsons at the Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver.

• Nearly two years at Vis à Vis and Penny Farthing.

• Before that: “After completing my Red Seal, I moved to London, England where I worked at the Ritz, and most memorably, Trinity Restaurant in Clapham. Coming to Victoria I tried to find what to do next. I worked at OLO (back when it was called Ulla), Wild Mountain and even tried building my own business of in-home dining called Duet Dinners. Eventually I decided it was time to take a big step, and challenge myself. So here I am.”

1. What are you best known for as a chef?

I move fast. I’m loud. I sing — a lot.

2. What are the 10 or so most important ingredients in your pantry?

My top 10 thing to always have on hand, and which I believe are the basic ingredients to almost all well-balanced dishes are: butter, kosher salt, lemons, fresh herbs, chicken bones, onions, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil and sherry vinegar.

3. Favourite dish to cook and eat on a warm, FALL day?

A big pot of mussels and spot prawns, with ridiculously crusty bread and way too much butter.

4. What’s your go-to item when sampling other chefs’ fare?

When I dine out I usually go for anything I can share; therefore, I can try more things on the menu. I love quality in food, so I do tend to seek out restaurants that are trying to bring more business to the local farms here on the island.

5. Hobbies?

I really like to incorporate as much music as possible into my free time. On top of that, I enjoy the time I have with friends and family, and my most valued hobby — the art of conversations.

6. Can you share an easy, seasonal recipe for a quick bite in the fall?

Roasted Squash Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

  • 1 squash of choice
  • white pepper to taste
  • 1 shallot, brunoise
  • a few basil leaves – cut
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar chiffonade
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a few pieces of your favourite crusty bread cut into crostinis
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • quality goat cheese

Roast the squash pieces in a splash of olive oil and salt until golden and soft. Let cool to room temperature and mix with the shallots, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, oil and basil. Spread the goat cheese on your crostini, and top with the squash mixture.

– Story by Susan Lundy

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Just Posted

CRD opens survey on 2018 wildfire response and impacts

The CRD closed its emergency operations centre this week

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

Cody Dillabough drops out of race for Quesnel City Council

The deadline for the withdrawal of candidates is Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.

Calling all artists: the Quesnel Art Gallery is looking for submissions

It can take between 20 and 30 individual pieces to fill the gallery

Quesnel bull rider as tough as they come

Lane Cork fights through injuries to take top spot in B.C.

WATCH: Correlieu students simulate driving heavy machinery

Local students given the chance to test out a career in the forestry industry

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read