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It's a chilly May morning on the patio at The Bear, the Fish, the Root and the Berry, and while a few of us are huddled and wrapped in blankets, chef Murray McDonald, wearing only a short sleeve shirt and jeans, leans back in his chair and offers a hearty chuckle. “When you spend five years on Fogo Island where the majority of days are either cold, windy or foggy, save for that one day in August where summer happens, 14 degrees feels pretty darn good.”

It's a chilly May morning on the patio at The Bear, the Fish, the Root and the Berry, and while a few of us are huddled and wrapped in blankets, chef Murray McDonald, wearing only a short sleeve shirt and jeans, leans back in his chair and offers a hearty chuckle. “When you spend five years on Fogo Island where the majority of days are either cold, windy or foggy, save for that one day in August where summer happens, 14 degrees feels pretty darn good.”

The Okanagan legend of the four food chiefs is taking form at Spirit Ridge with their new restaurant which explores, shares and honours Indigenous cuisine and culture. The Bear, The Fish, The Root and The Berry, is a curious name to the uninitiated, said Murray McDonald, the new executive chef. Based on four food chiefs, the Black Bear, the Salmon, the Bitterroot and the Saskatoon Berry, the restaurant explores more than just the name.

Long ago, when the Okanagan people wintered in the place where Spirit Ridge Resort now stands, they gathered around campfires and told stories. These were known as Chaptiks and were passed down from generation to generation. Through Chaptiks, the young learned their people’s history and legends and how to care for the environment. One of these legends was The Four Food Chiefs. It featured: Chief Black Bear (skəm̓xist), chief of all creatures o the land; Chief Spring Salmon (n’titxw), chief for all creatures in the water; Chief Bitterroot (Speetlum) chief for all things growing underground; and Chief Saskatoon Berry (Siya) chief for all things growing on the land. A story of tolerance and kindness, it explains how The Four Food Chiefs sacrificed themselves in order to feed the People-To-Be. As a tribute to this legend and the generous spirit behind it, the resort’s restaurant has been reimagined and named The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry. Here, in this beautiful space, Daniel Bibby, the resort’s GM and executive director, hopes guests will create new stories.

The spring sun was beaming through the car windows, as my wife and I, along with our two dogs, Caramel and Cupcake, headed south of Kelowna, BC to Osoyoos. In this town of just over 5,000 residents, a few miles north of the US border, sits Spirit Ridge, a resort that is part of the Unbound Collection, a select group of hotels and resorts that are part of the World of Hyatt. The luxury resort, nestled within the gently sloping vineyards of Nk’Mip Cellars was hosting a special event - "Journey of the Four Food Chiefs." I travelled here, a high-end destination that is the first property in Canada to join the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, to document Chef Murray McDonald, as he begins to rebuild, renew and re-focus the resort's main restaurant.

Winter shook for the last time, laying a fresh blanket of snow across the landscape, as I drove up the drive leading to Spirit Ridge Lake Resort, Winery & Sacred Land. Long, sleeping vines took my eye up to the resort, as the dramatic Okanagan Range, part of the Cascade Mountains, surround the luxury property. Situated in Canada's only desert, this is a sacred place, home to the Osoyoos Indian Band. I travelled here, a high-end destination that is the first property in Canada to join the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, to document Chef Murray McDonald, as he begins to rebuild, renew and re-focus the resort's main restaurant.

There’s a new person in charge of the kitchen at Spirit Ridge. Spirit Ridge Lake Resort, Winery & Sacred Land announced that Murray McDonald will be taking the helm as executive chef. McDonald comes most recently from the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto where he served as executive chef. “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome an executive chef of Murray McDonald’s caliber to the Spirit Ridge team,” said executive director and general manager Daniel Bibby.