Meet Chef Ashley Gurakowski of The Bistro at Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa.
Ashley Gurakowski was born in the beautiful town of Summerland, British Columbia in the year 1983.
She has spent her entire life in this quaint and charming town, which has played a significant role in shaping her life and her love for food.
Ashley developed a passion for cooking at the young age of 12 when she started making Swiss rolls in many different flavor combinations.
After school, she would work tirelessly in the kitchen to perfect her dessert recipes and present them to her mother and brother.
From then on, Ashley's interest in cooking grew, and she became fascinated by the art of cooking.
Whether it was at her grandmother's church or in her kitchen, Ashley was always eager to learn and experiment with different dishes.
Growing up, Ashley's mother was an excellent cook but worked a lot. Therefore, food was treated as a symbol of love in their family.
They showed their love for each other by preparing meals for one another, and it became a beautiful tradition.
Even if there was something Ashley didn't like, her grandmother's meals always tasted like love, and it made her feel good and loved.
Her adventurous taste buds allowed her to try new and unique dishes, making her more open-minded toward different cultural cuisines.
Food and cooking for others have certainly influenced Ashley's young life and led her to pursue a career as a professional Chef.
Amidst a break in the action at The Bistro, we asked Chef Ashley - in your own words, what does cooking mean to you."
She smiled and didn't miss a beat replying - "cooking is about doing something that makes people feel good and when they feel good, I do too."
She went on to share, "I truly believe that people can taste the love and care in the food they eat. It's something that has been instilled in me from generations of family cooking, and it's now bringing people together around me. I'm so grateful to be able to share my passion for cooking with others and to make them happy through my food."
Well, let us say, it shows, Chef Ashley, it shows.
Today, Ashley Gurakowski is a well-known professional chef who loves to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create new and innovative dishes.
Chef Ashley's cooking philosophy has evolved over time. She now prefers to let the food do the work. She says, "I believe that the most simple preparation of good quality ingredients is a no-brainer."
A tomato, peach, or apple right out of the Okanagan gardens and orchards are some of her favorite foods.
"Growing up here in Summerland, these three things came quite easily every year, and I feel so lucky to have had access to such fresh and delicious produce,", she shared with excitement.
Chef Ashley loves seeing the joy on people's faces when they enjoy the food that she has prepared for them. It's why she continues to do what she does. She is excited to expand and share more of her culinary creations with the Resort guests and locals in Summerland.
The Bistro at Summerland Waterfront Resort, just off the lobby in the main Resort building is open every day.
Operating hours from fall to spring are from 7 am to 1 pm and in the summer from 7 am to 3 pm.
It's the perfect spot on Okanagan Lakefront to grab breakfast, a coffee, tea, or specialty coffee, lunch, snacks, and amazing fresh-baked pastries.
There is a spot to dine in or you can always grab-n-go.
Check out the menu and more information here.