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Top Chefs: Charles Penwell, Rebecca’s Casual Fine Dining

There are many reasons to visit Muskoka: the small town ambience; the pristine lakes; its world-renowned golf courses. These days, the region offers another excellent incentive thanks to the tremendous growth of its dining scene. We asked some of Muskoka’s most prominent kitchen captains about their restaurants, their cuisine and the area’s emergence as a foodie-friendly destination. Watch this space for a new chef every week of the summer!

CHEF CHARLES PENWELL
Rebecca’s Casual Fine Dining, Port Carling

Can you tell us a bit about your restaurant and its philosophy?
Rebecca’s Casual Fine Dining is located in a century-old home and we pride ourselves in providing consistent, quality service and food in this charming atmosphere. We use only the freshest and highest-quality ingredients to prepare our dishes daily.

Can you tell us about one of your signature dishes?
We are known for our Key Largo crab cake and large selection of fresh fish. I receive our fish fresh daily and hand fillet it. We also age and trim all our beef.

Our wild mushroom chaumont is also a very popular item that customers return for year after year. It’s a classic French recipe that I have carried with me for over 30 years. Made from a medley of nine varieties of wild mushrooms infused with fresh herbs and brandy, served au gratin, accompanied by garlic crostini.

Describe the quintessential Muskoka meal.
Other than a great meal at Rebecca’s, you can’t beat a barbecue on the dock with your friends and family, complete with cold cocktails and the beautiful Muskoka scenery.

Aside from indulging in fine dining, how else would you suggest visitors to the Muskoka region make the most of their time?
Visit our lovely local shops and merchants, and enjoy the beauty of the many Muskoka trails, golf courses and waterways. Visit the Muskoka Lakes Museum, too, and take a cruise on one of the historic steamships.

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