Meet Patrick, Bar & Beverage Manager
Meet Patrick Allard, our Marina Restaurant Bar & Beverage Manager. Patrick’s love of wines, craft beer, and saké is evident in his tastefully curated beverage list.
This charming French Canadian is also highly appreciative of locally produced BC wine, beer, and liquor.
Patrick’s lengthy career in the hospitality industry began in Canada where he attended the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality of Quebec.
“I learned a lot from teachers and mentors about old world wines – the French, Italian and German wines. At many restaurants, I took care of the wine lists, but everything exploded for me when I went to Australia – I worked in the orchards and the vineyards in Australia and New Zealand, conventional and organic and biodynamic producers. Vineyards were so prevalent there. Wineries were everywhere. I wanted to learn more, know more and taste more!
I took a position as a sommelier when I returned to Montreal and then moved to BC in 2005, working for almost four years with The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, the Pan Pacific, and the Four Seasons Hotels.”
In Victoria BC Patrick held the position of Outlet Assistant Manager at the Delta Hotel after which he managed Victoria’s celebrated Ca Va Bistro. Rated as one of the top ten new restaurants in Canada, Ca Va Bistro offered a fusion of west coast and Australian cuisine.
In 2015 Patrick took the Bar and Beverage management position at the Marina because, he said, “I wanted to work on a beautiful, massive wine list! I’m a wine guy.”
With 150 bottles of local and international wines in the Marina Restaurant cellar, Patrick has a large and beautiful wine list to offer the Marina’s discerning clientele.
But he also appreciates local craft beer, liquors, and saké.
“When I arrived I began to focus on local producers and suppliers of wine and beer, instead of major corporations. Local to us includes all of Vancouver Island and all of BC. I also include the west coast, Portland, Seattle, (Northwest geographic) as local.
In terms of wine, last summer my entire offering by the glass was from BC.
Vancouver Island has a lot of beautiful white wine and bubbly offerings.”
Patrick gets to know his vendors personally, too. “I like to work most with local people, local suppliers. That goes for anything behind the bar. We are pretty lucky in BC and on Vancouver Island to have a lot of hard liquor producers: gin, vodka. This is a very fast-growing market.
I’m lucky to work with and learn from people of different backgrounds. I love to talk to people about their products; they know a lot, and I like to learn about the products from them.”
The Marina Restaurant also offers seven different sakés, much to the delight of sushi lovers!
And boutique brewery fans can enjoy some of BC’s favourites at the Marina: Hoynes, Driftwood, and Category 12 are among the brews offered from the bar.
When asked how he decides on wine and food pairings Patrick explained. “I work in conjunction with the kitchen which changes menu offerings three or four times a year.
My wine offerings reflect what the chefs are playing with at the time – in the summer, for example, they love creating with fruit, so my offering by the glass would be more fruity, summer sipping wine – easy drinking. When we move into winter and heavier dishes, we move into a bigger red.
We also have a chance to organize pairings monthly with our three course menu of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, with wine pairings.
The Marina is mainly a seafood restaurant, but this particular three-course menu gives us a few more options, including meat. This is an attractive opportunity for the kitchen staff to create a new dish monthly and not serve the same food all the time. And it showcases their personalities in the different dishes.
When we all sit down to taste the wine we are trying to have a concept of what we want to express, so, for example, making sure the wine for the appetizer has a connection to dessert.
There’s a lot of communication among all of us to discuss what we want to do – what’s in season – what’s interesting.
We love to find those little gems – the food and wine that is not always available.
The wine is a reflection of who I am but the wine choices are focused on our menu offerings, and our guests – our clientele can change seasonally, and people have different tastes and requests.”
In closing, Patrick Allard expresses his enjoyment of the work and his crewmates.
“This is a lot of fun for all of us. There’s nothing better than sitting down to the table with a glass of wine and talking about food and wine. We are all very passionate people, so it’s exciting to be able to create dishes every month and to express ourselves this way. We enjoy creating together, and I think it shows in what we do.”