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My Trentino with Lucais Syme

The chef and owner of La Pentola della Quercia shares his Italian inspiration.

Edmonton-born chef Lucais Syme has a thing for Italy. When he and Adam Pegg opened La Quercia in a sleepy section of Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood, few could have imagined that the small room would transform how West Coast diners approach Italian cuisine. And while Pegg continues to hold down the fort at La Quercia, Syme has moved downtown. His La Pentola della Quercia, in the Opus Hotel, sticks with the authentic-Italian trend, while his brand-new Cinara at Pender and Homer channels a casual wine bar vibe. Here are some of Syme’s secret spots for finding inspiration in the Italian province of Trentino.

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1. The mountain town of Moena is excellent for a winter visit: snow-covered mountains, ice sculptures and the perfect cuisine for warming up after skiing.

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2. I love the Michelin-starred Malga Panna. Located on the hillside overlooking Moena, it has beautiful views, attentive service and a fantastic wine list.

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3. A little down the price chain and just down the road from Moena is Ristorante Foresta. It serves traditional Trentino cuisine perfectly.

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4. In the town of Ravina is the Ferrari winery. Ignore the name—it’s not named after the car—and focus on the excellent spumante brut.

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5. Skiing in the Val di Fiemme in Cavalese is awesome. Long runs and great lodges (loaded with great food).

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6. Also near Ravina is the Navarini museum, an amazing collection of all things copper. Every inch holds some type of copper piece—from plates and pots to kettles and masks. WL

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