Lukas Gurtner promoted to Executive Chef

Sonora Island, British Columbia, September 19, 2016 – Sonora Resort, one of Canada’s top wilderness luxury destinations, has a new executive chef leading its talented kitchen team. Vancouver Island native Lukas Gurtner served as sous chef at the award-winning Relais & Châteaux property for the past five years and has a passion for harvesting the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest in his cooking.

Gurtner trained under departing executive chef Terry Pichor and moved up the ranks from chef de partie to executive sous chef. He previously worked with Chef Daniel Vezina at the celebrated Laurie Raphael in Montréal and launched his culinary career with an apprenticeship at Victoria’s Hotel Grand Pacific in 2008. Cooking is in his genes. Half Swiss, he grew up under the tutelage of his father, who is also a chef.
“This is an exciting time for all of us at Sonora Resort,” said Wynne Powell, Sonora Resort president and CEO. “Chef Terry Pichor has provided our guests with tantalizing dishes since he started at Sonora in 2009. We wish the two-time Gold Medal Plates recipient much success in his next role and whole heartedly welcome Chef Lukas Gurtner as our new executive chef.”


Gurtner is a true outdoorsman who loves to travel and explore, with cooking and learning about new foods always at the forefront. Guests may often see him foraging for salmon berries in the spring or wild mushrooms in the fall, taking in all the wild west coast has to offer: blackberries, huckleberries, fiddle heads, wild greens. Like Pichor, his cooking philosophy is based on utilizing as local and fresh of ingredients as possible and combining it with international flavours; precisely what a Relais & Châteaux property is renowned for.

“I’m excited to continue the exemplary dining experience that guests have come to know and love at Sonora Resort,” said Gurtner, who graduated from Camosun College’s prestigious Red Seal program. “The Pacific West Coast has so much to offer our guests from around the world. Every aspect of a plated dish at Sonora has a story to tell, and I so very much look forward to leading the conversation through flavours, textures and more with my team next season.”

Sonora Resort has enjoyed a stellar 2016 season so far with the highest number of guests on record. Highlights from the season included tremendous grizzly bear viewing at the Holmalco First Nations Orford River site, complemented by the new Holmalco special cultural tours held in the summer months. Good fishing brings the best of the bears.

Sonora officially closes October 15, 2016 and reopens for its next season in May of 2017.

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About Sonora Resort
Sonora Island is located within the Discovery Islands at the mouth of Bute Inlet, one of the deepest inlets in North America. Guests reach Sonora Resort by boat or air, approximately 50 minutes by private helicopter from Vancouver. Sonora is a Relais & Chateâux property and unique in the world because of its secluded location, abundance of natural beauty and wildlife, with luxury accommodations and gourmet cuisine. Sonora welcomes guests from May to October each year. The guided grizzly bear tours at the nearby Orford River are offered in partnership with the Homalco First Nation, from August to October. Additional Sonora Resort highlights include a tennis court, conservatory, and the Island Currents Spa with five treatment rooms including a Couple’s massage room, outdoor hot and cold mineral pools, fitness facility and relaxation room. Sonora Resort was recently named to the prestigious 2016 Conde Nast Traveller UK Gold List.
For media enquiries, please contact:

Wendy Hartley
Sonora Resort
C: 604 817 2758
E: wendy [at]
Twitter: @wendyhartley