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

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.

ChefDiningFashionFoodInterviewLifestyleRecipe

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Viking Air Twin Otter takes off midway down the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021 during a series of training flights. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
New plan recognizes industrial strengths of Alberni Valley airport

Strategic plan identifies AVRA as Vancouver Island’s premier industrial airport

A piece of artwork from Port Alberni artist Jim Sears. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artist shares watercolour images of the coast

Rollin Art Centre holding a garden clean-up on April 18

The Alberni Golf Club is located on Cherry Creek Road. FILE PHOTO
ALBERNI GOLF: Parhar picks up win in Partner with a Pro

Next Sunday, April 18 is a two man best ball

Two of the heritage buildings from McLean Mill National Historic Site that have been restored at the Port Alberni tourist attraction. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
McLean Mill application breaks new ground for ALC

Process just another ‘misstep’ by city, says critic

Coulson Aviation’s newest Chinook helicopter, N43CU, takes to the air above the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following a complete airframe conversion into a helitanker, April 8, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)
Coulson Aviation’s newest helitanker takes flight

Converted Chinook helitanker off to U.S. for new paint job

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read