For a man who doesn’t fish, and isn’t terribly fond of the water, a remote fly-in lodge on one of the world’s deepest lakes would seem an odd place to work. But Gaetan “Guy” Dallaire has been a fixture at Frontier Fishing Lodge on Great Slave Lake’s East Arm every summer since 1973.
“I was a trained electrician in Québec, but when I came out west I couldn’t pass the test because I couldn’t speak English,” he says. “So I became a cook. When I met with [former owner] Jerry Bricker about a job at his fishing lodge, he said I was just the man he had been looking for: a handyman chef.”
Chef Guy has served up his famous lake trout chowder for the likes of Charles, Prince of Wales, Wayne Gretzky and Jean Chrétien. But this will be the first summer in 45 years where he won’t be sitting on the deck of the lodge that overlooks the lake, having a smoke and talking to whoever wanders over. And that’s what he’ll miss most—the old friends who return year after year and new ones visiting for the first time. “Frontier has always been a second home for me.”