Jason and Miranda Harper are the new operators of the Royal Cafe and Wellington Local House. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Jason and Miranda Harper are the new operators of the Royal Cafe and Wellington Local House. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chilliwack chef comes home to offer ‘super-addicting’ flavours at Royal Hotel

Jason and Miranda Harper took ownership of the Royal Hotel Café and Wellington Local House in August

There’s a new home-grown chef back in town.

Jason Harper, who was born and raised in Chilliwack, and his wife, Miranda, recently became the new operators of Wellington Local House and Royal Hotel Café.

At 31, Jason has now been involved in the food industry for more than half his life, and studied culinary arts at Vancouver Community College.

It began when he was just 15 years old working at Bravo Restaurant when it first opened. From there, he’s hopped from one restaurant to the next working in Chilliwack, Hope, Agassiz, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Toronto and Vancouver, typically staying long enough to open up a restaurant or build a kitchen from the ground up before moving on to the next location.

“I was constantly bouncing around as I was building my career and my reputation,” he says. “I have worked everywhere.”

He’s carried titles of sous chef, head chef, chef de cuisine and restaurateur. He’s worked in a prison and bought his first restaurant at the age of 23.

Now he’s brought all of that experience and research back home to Chilliwack and is serving it up to folks at the Royal Hotel.

Jason and Miranda currently live in Vancouver where he’s the executive chef at Honey Salt (located in Parq Vancouver casino), and she’s a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at B.C. Women’s Hospital.

The two of them travel from Vancouver to Chilliwack about two to four days a week on their days off to operate the Wellington Local House and Royal Hotel Café where they’ve created brand new menus for each location.

“Ultimately we want to offer premium local ingredients,” he says.

They get their chicken from Kent’s Chicken Coop here in Chilliwack and dairy from Meadowfresh in Port Coquitlam.

“What we want to create is super-addicting flavours,” he says. He offered examples like their coconut curry, which is gluten-free and vegan, or their Korean barbecue “drums” using chicken drumsticks instead of wings.

“While creating those addicting flavours that people will remember, we want them to want to come back for them.”

They make all of their sauces, dips and stocks from scratch including gravy, soups, salad dressings and salsas. No pre-packaged or powdered mixes are used.

“We make virtually everything in house.”

Their Hollandaise sauce and poached eggs are made sous-vide, and “it’s perfect every single time.” Sous-vide is a modern cooking method where food is cooked under pressure in a warm water bath at low temperatures.

“The Hollandaise has been a hit,” he says.

They added a seniors’ menu as well, which they call the Big Kid Menu.

The two took ownership of the Royal Hotel Café (open daily at 7 a.m. for breakfast and lunch) and Wellington Local House (3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday) at the beginning of August. Food is from the same kitchen but it’s “two different concepts, two different menus.”

For the Wellington Local House the menu went from 75-plus items to 25.

“I’d rather do less dishes well than a million things mediocre,” says Jason.

Their most popular item is the buttermilk fried chicken, served with creamed corn, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy. Other items include bacon mac and cheese, Montreal smoked meat sandwich, and chicharrons (fried pork belly). The happy hour menu (3 to 6 p.m., and 9 to 11 p.m.) consists of seven drinks and five appetizers, all at $5 each.

Jason has worked with countless chefs at numerous restaurants over his 16 years.

“That mentorship has been such a big part in my career,” he says. “I really value the relationships that I’ve been able to build with my team because that’s been what has helped me to be successful.”

Wellington Local House and Royal Hotel Café are located inside the Royal Hotel at 45886 Wellington Ave.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emergency crews were called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Two people involved in ATV rollover 100 feet down ravine in Harrison, at least one injured

Incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. on Harrison East Forest Service Road

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

Alvin (left) and Theodore, seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, are looking for their ‘furever’ home. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Theodore and Alvin at the Chilliwack SPCA

Don’t overlook senior pets when wanting to adopt an animal says Chilliwack SPCA branch manager

The City of Chilliwack is looking for proposals to install a piece of public art in this area in front of 46115 Yale Road as seen on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Artists sought for Five Corners public art project in downtown Chilliwack

Goal of project to increase foot traffic on street, animate Chilliwack’s historic downtown

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read