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We are thrilled to welcome Chef Lucas Istace to Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, as our executive chef for the 2024 season. Lucas is a seasoned chef (delicious pun intended) and has already wowed our team and guests with his culinary creations, like local asparagus soup finished with celery leaf.

Chef Lucas Istace preparing dinner on stove

Chef Lucas Istace plating mealsLucas graduated from NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) with a Red Seal Chef certification and went on to a culinary exchange program in Portugal; he then moved to Australia to continue pursuing his culinary adventures. We’re thrilled that he returned from Down Under to join our team in Echo Valley.

While fond memories of cooking with his mother at a young age may have been the spark for his career choice, his love for cooking goes deeper. Chef Lucas expresses his ideas and identity through the meals he creates, and he loves how food brings people together to build community. With our option of family-style dining in Echo Valley, we certainly agree with that.Chef Lucas Istace green soup

At Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, Lucas is close to nature and to growing the food he serves, with our greenhouse already brimming with seedlings waiting to be planted in the ranch gardens. All this freshness is part of the meals Chef Lucas will serve, aiming to contribute to a relaxing and mindful guest experience. He is excited about showcasing fresh vegetables from the ranch gardens – his favourite food category due to their versatility and beauty, even with imperfections. That sounds imperfectly perfect to us and we can’t wait to share more of his amazing creations with you.

Welcome to Echo Valley, Chef Lucas!

Chef Lucas Istace

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