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.

ChefDiningFashionFoodInterviewLifeLifestyleRecipe

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

Just Posted

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Bridesville civilian helped Midway RCMP nab burglary suspect

Cpl. Phil Peters said the civilian helped police track, apprehend and eventually rescue the suspect

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Boundary Mountie and suspect airlifted from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

Reiner Jakubowski American Peony Society Registrar Nomenclature has named his latest Creation Castlegar. Photo: submitted
New peony hybrid named for Castlegar

Reiner Jakubowski has named his latest peony creation after Castlegar.

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

From the left: Grand Forks sculptor David Seven Deers, Rotary Club President Grant Hill and Shinning Raven Woman Council member Regina Burrows pose for The Gazette at Seven Deers’ 9th Street studio Friday, Nov. 27. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks Rotarians raise money for Shining Raven Woman project

President Grant Hill said the Rotary Club “had to be a part of it”

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read