The Heather Mountain Lodge team are getting excited about the upcoming winter season, having just wrapped up an exciting and eventful summer at the lodge. One new addition this summer was our brand new Live Fire cooking station, which met with great feedback from our happy guests. Our fantastic culinary team is led by Executive Chef Stephan Drolet and Executive Sous Chef Vanessa Huegel. 

Originally from the mountains of southern Austria, Vanessa has called the Canadian mountains home for the past eight years. She has wanted to become a chef for as long as she can remember – growing up with parents and grandparents passionate about growing, preserving and fermenting food, as well as foraging for edibles, and of course, cooking. 

Since then Vanessa has honed her talents in the kitchen while working at notable restaurants all around the world, many of them Michelin star rated. Vanessa’s experience goes beyond these achievements, stating: “my culinary growth is not only limited by how many Michelin starred kitchens I have worked at, or which title I wear. To me it is important to understand and value every product and its heritage and be part of its creation.”

Vanessa is known around the lodge for her outgoing personality and apparent endless energy for adventuring in the mountains in the area. She is particularly passionate about rock climbing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and foraging for edible plants in our backyard. 

Vanessa’s adventurous spirit plays a large part in her love for working at Heather Mountain Lodge. Her values align with those of the business, and she enjoys collaborating with Chef Stephan to execute their creative ideas. “I fell in love with the story behind Heather Mountain Lodge and making the experience about the people. I want to be a part of this story and I am super excited to create our culinary journey with everyone’s background.” 

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