Wilderness British Columbia restaurant on the Pacific Ocean has a food garden
“Behind the kitchen was Monique’s ever-expanding organic garden where she grew all her own produce.”
Extra Hot, No Water Blog
Sept. 30, 2009
Monique’s is a motley collection of tarp and wood structures and outlying tents, nestled at the foot of the forest right on the beach amidst the driftwood logs littering the length of the coast. As we walked closer, I realized there was a more permanent wooden structure set behind that turned out to be her house.
Monique is an extraordinary woman. She’s French Canadian and her husband, Peter, is a Ditidaht. She’s been living on the West Coast Trail for 20 years! She and Peter starting out selling snacks and drinks to hikers, hauling their wares each day the few kilometers to get to the coast but over time built their home directly on the WCT, expanding their offerings as they expanded their property.
All of their supplies — foodstuffs, fuel, building and planting materials — and family as well, are brought in by Peter in his hand-held motor boat from Port Renfrew, including our planned food drop which arrived just after we did.
Behind the kitchen was Monique’s ever-expanding organic garden where she grew all her own produce, including all sorts of things her horticulturist instructors told her that she wouldn’t be able to grow there but did and successfully so! (Besides studying horticulture, in which she was the top student, she was a self-taught computer expert! This woman has skills.)
Video of Chez Monique.
West Coast Trail – Chez Monique
By Gary Ward
November 16, 2010
Chez Monique is a great pitstop in the middle of the West Coast Trail hiking trip. You can get burgers, pop, beer, candy, and conversation there. Monique and Peter give welcome relief to weary West Coast Trail hikers at the 45 km mark, providing camping on the beach near the restaurant, as well as giving good conversation. Breakfast at Chez Monique, along with coffee or hot chocolate, tops off the stop, but makes it really hard to leave. Peter is a member of the Ditidaht band and Chez Monique is on one of their more remote reserves. Few of the Ditidaht people live on these remote reserves for more than a few months at a time, but Monique and Peter have been here year round on the West Coast Trail for many years. Monique is Metís, originally from the east, from French Canada, but has made her home on Vancouver Island, contributing significantly over the years to the Ditidaht and all the First Nations peoples. Each year now is a question of whether this amazing restaurant will continue to exist as the couple gets older. They are hoping their children and grandchildren will continue their home and legacy.