Campbell River chef shares her passion for food and family

“The other night a resident came up to me after their meal to tell me that the apple pie I had made was just like their mother used to make them,” says Campbell River Chef Stephanie Martinolich. “It was rewarding to see how something as simple as an apple pie could make such a difference in their day.”

For Berwick by the Sea’s executive chef, cooking has always been a part of her life, including an early start working at a local fish-and-chip restaurant at 14. But her inspiration and love of food started with her mother who was always cooking up something new.

“My mum is Polish and has always been a fantastic cook. Growing up in a big family, we enjoyed large family meals and frequent get-togethers and she’d bring home unusual exotic fruits and vegetables for us to try. She is where my love for food and cooking started,” Stephanie says.

Her parents were also the ones who gave her a gentle nudge to continue pursuing the culinary arts.

“My parents saw my passion for cooking and encouraged me to follow that path and see where it took me,” she says. “I attended North Island College’s Culinary Arts Program for three years, then pursued my Red Seal at Vancouver Island University. I’ve been with Berwick by the Sea for the past two years and I’ve loved every minute of it!”

As Executive Chef, Stephanie oversees various specialty dining experiences and day-to-day operations between the dining room and bistro.

“Our dining room offers full table service while the Bistro offers a casual dining option with more of a cafeteria-style approach. We also have a private dining room that provides a more intimate setting to host friends and family. But one of my favourite parts of the job is overseeing our ‘pop up’ dining experiences,” she says.

A look at what Berwick by the Sea residents are enjoying on the daily.

A look at what Berwick by the Sea residents are enjoying on the daily.

From master classes in fresh pasta making to themed dining experiences and high tea on Mother’s Day , residents can always look forward to more immersive, educational and experienced-based dining opportunities. These specialty events also let Stephanie and her team share their individual passions and interests with residents.

“One of our regular dinner specials is ‘fish-and-chip night’ – we sell out every time,” Stephanie says. “We cut, batter and make the entire meal by hand. People are often surprised when they learn that 90 per cent of every meal we serve at Berwick, is made completely from scratch. But that attention to quality and detail is what our residents have come to expect – it’s what makes comfort food such as fish and chips something everyone looks forward to and raves about afterwards!”

As part of menu planning in Berwick’s kitchens, Stephanie regularly checks in with registered dieticians to ensure the menus have been reviewed and approved. All of Berwick’s locations follow strict guidelines for quality and nutritional content, giving residents confidence that every meal they enjoy is created with their health, comfort and happiness in mind.

Looking for a community that puts residents and their Island home first? Learn more about Berwick Retirement communities online at or book a tour with Loren today at Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River.

READ MORE from Berwick by the Sea:

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What’s on the menu? Life’s a buffet at this retirement community!

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