Born and raised in St. Albert, AB, Sheila Cassels’ initial vocation was school teaching. However, it was her first love, climbing that in a round about way led her into the culinary world. Sheila learned to cook while working at tree-planting camps, tucked back in the secluded forests of Alberta and BC. The lifestyle of working hard for months on end, then hightailing it to the mountains to climb freely for the months following, was the perfect balance.
It was also climbing that led Sheila to the Sea to Sky corridor, 18 years ago. When local climbing partner and friend, Kinley Aitken, decided to move on from running the Whitecap kitchen, Shiela jumped in and found herself planted in powder paradise. Sheila had tried her hand at telemark skiing back in the 90s, but the sport hadn’t stuck. It was not until 3 years into her Whitecap residency that she decided it was time to give skiing another crack. When asked how she would spend her winters if she had no occupational responsibilities, she replied “skiing and mountain biking around the world with my 10 year old son Corbin.” It seems that she’s now a convert.
Sheila not only heads the Whitecap kitchen, but also owns and runs a catering and craft service company that provides food to film, TV and print production crews. Her schedule is far from relaxed. Yet, she somehow finds time to fit in the odd DJ-ing gig.
With Gordon Lightfoot spinning in the background and the smell of après snacks soon to be served, Sheila curates the atmosphere that guests and guides have come to rely on, to relax and kickback after a long day in the mountains.