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Eric Pateman is pairing Top Cuisine with Luxury Travel in a way that brings new Flavor to Adventurers

Sailun Tires

On a cold night next to the Sylvia Grinnell River near Iqaluit recently, Eric Pateman wasn鈥檛 sure if he was about to stage one of the best dinners of his career, or the worst.

With winds blowing and a temperature of minus eight degrees celsius, Pateman had his guests go back to their hotel rooms to layer up before getting on a bus and taking them to the riverbank. As throat singers performed, he and his team of chefs served a rich feast that included snow goose eggs roasted over a fire pit, seal meat, elk and caribou, a bread bowl stuffed with fois gras and turbot soup.

Edible Canada's Across the Top Trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Welk, Bison Bresaola, Muktuk – at Raymonds, Nfld – By Chef Jeremy Charles of Raymonds

鈥淚t wasn鈥檛 fine dining, it wasn鈥檛 white table cloths, but people were saying it was the best meal of their lives,鈥 he told Swagger. 鈥淢ost people consume their meal in front of the TV set or a fast food restaurant, but a quality meal is not just the ingredients — it鈥檚 the setting, the people you鈥檙e surrounded with and the stories that surround the meal.鈥


Pateman鈥檚 mission might be described as stirring together those elements into experiences that combine exploratory travel with fine cuisine. As the force behind Edible Canada, he has turned two decades of working as a chef and hotel consultant into an enterprise that opens his guests鈥 eyes while introducing new flavours to their palettes.

Edible Canada's Across the Top Trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Duck Two Ways by Chef Stephane Modat from the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac (in Whitehorse)

Edible Canada鈥檚 culinary adventures include 鈥Across the Top of Canada,鈥 which whisked guests on a private chef with top chefs from across the country. Besides Iqaluit, the trip continued across Yellowknife, Whitehouse and stretched all the way to St. John鈥檚 Newfoundland, offering a unique way to celebrate the country鈥檚 recent 150th anniversary.

Beyond merely entertaining and satisfying guests, Pateman says Edible Canada鈥檚 goal is to also help develop a deeper appreciation for Canadian cuisine, which he defines as 鈥渓ocal, seasonable and sustainable in the hands of many cultures.鈥 While some of us might default to, say, poutine as a Canadian-specific culinary invention, Pateman points out that Canada is the largest grower of mustard seeds, and much of the world鈥檚 best pasta comes from Canadian wheat.

Edible Canada's Across the Top Trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Snow Crab Chawanmushi, cod floss, pickled pulse – Raymonds, Nfld ( by Chef Wayne Morris from Boralia in TO)

Canada鈥檚 other unique culinary quality is the innovation of its chef, who Pateman suggested have more latitude to experiment them their peers in other markets.

鈥淲e have no rules — you can combine Thai, Japanese and Italian and nobody bats an eye,鈥 he says. 鈥淚t just tastes really good, whereas there are things we do where you would be lynched in Italy or Japan.鈥

Edible Canada's Across the Top trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Lot 40 Cocktail by Grant Sceney (Fairmont Pacific Rim)

Like many stars of the culinary sector, Pateman鈥檚 interest began early. A fourth generation Vancouverite, He references a picture of himself as a white with a waiter towel over his arm as he serves his grandparents lunch. Though he鈥檚 gone to many other countries and climates since, he says a pride in his heritage — and a talent for business development — brought him back to his roots to launch what has become Edible Canada. The same pride works the other way, too, fuelling his wanderlust.

鈥淭o be able to translate that love, passion and sense of place through food, that鈥檚 what really drives me to travel around the world,鈥 he says. 鈥淚 love it when I can go to Japan or Italy and say 鈥業 don鈥檛 care what (the ingredient) is — if it鈥檚 Canadian, I鈥檒l buy it.鈥欌

Edible Canada's Across the Top Trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
On the lakes in Yellowknife

Pateman isn鈥檛 restricting himself to Canada, however. Among his other plans is a trip through the Southern U.S. where he can take guests down the 鈥Bourbon Route鈥 from Louisville to New Orleans on a super-luxury bus with bucket seats, a full kitchen and an in-house mixologist. Stops could include everything from the Grand Ol鈥 Opry to one of the oldest juke joints left in the world.

Edible Canada's Across the Top trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Walking on the ice in Iqualuit

And for those who can鈥檛 join him for the ride, Pateman says it鈥檚 still possible for the average guy to take his date on a culinary adventure without even leaving home.

鈥淲hen you buy good quality ingredients don鈥檛 have to do a lot. I would rather go with a lobster tail or a steak from a butcher and pan sear it with some butter or fresh herbs — not a ton of sauces,鈥 he suggested. 鈥淐ooking for dates is really about providing that great social experience, where you鈥檙e able to have the time to have the conversation.鈥

Edible Canada's Across the Top Trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Sitting by the fire at Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi, Nfld – Left to Right – Lacy Morris, Grant Sceney, Allyson Donahue, Eric Pateman
Edible Canada's Across the Top trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Amenity Kits on the Air North flght (including a classic Hudson’s Bay Blanket and much more)
Edible Canada's Across the Top of Canada trip - Eric Pateman | SWAGGER Magazine
Above: The whole gang on the tarmac waiting to depart on their “Across the Top of Canada” trip. Headline/Feature photo: Left – Eric Pateman and Allyson Donahue at Miles Canyon in Whitehorse, Right – Carved Elk Tenderloin by Chef Wayne Morris (Boralia) – served in Whitehorse at Inn on the Lake.


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