Cooking with Chef Terry Pichor of Sonora Resort

left: Sonora Executive Chef Terry Pichor right: The finished product Dungeness crab ravioli with summer ragout. Photos by Anya Levykh



Dungeness Crab Ravioli with Summer Ragout


If you’ve never explored the Discovery Islands, make a note this summer—and go for the food. Sure, the islands—which include Quadra, Cortes, East and West Redonda, and Sonora—are beautiful, peaceful escapes from city life, with stunning vistas of deep water, forested hills, and plentiful wildlife. But the real draw is the resort on the latter island, and, more specifically, its amazing executive chef, Terry Pichor.



Aerial view of Sonora Resort (courtesy of Sonora Resort)

Sonora Resort is a Relais and Chateaux property, one of only three in B.C., and the only one situated in the middle of a wilderness, accessible only by sea or air. Despite the wild setting, the resort is all about the perfect blend of luxury and comfort, and that ethos extends to the food. Top quality local ingredients, and wild game and fish, are complemented by exotic spices like golden saffron from Turkey and ras el hanout from Morocco, delivered fresh via the travels of the resort’s owner.


On a recent visit, Chef Pichor was kind enough to give a small group of us a lesson in how to make Dungeness crab ravioli with a summer ragout. We started with the ragout, combining San Marzano tomatoes, summer squash, shallots, artichokes, capers and olives with fresh herbs and a little Pernod to deglaze the pan. Any summer vegetables can be used, however, and since local tomatoes aren’t available yet, canned is perfectly fine. If you don’t have any Pernod on hand, ouzo or another anise-flavoured liqueur will work as well.


Here’s what you’ll need:


Summer Ragout

Making summer ragout adding San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clam shell baby gem heirloom tomatoes

1 cup small diced green summer squash

1 cup small diced yellow summer squash

1 cup sliced shallots

1 cup quartered olive oil marinated artichokes

1/4 cup capers

1/2 cup pitted and sliced olives

1/2 orange zest

1/4 cup packed fresh basil

1/4 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley

1/8 cup pernod

Grated parmigiano reggiano


Pichor suggests using grapeseed oil as your “workhorse”—the higher smoke point for grapeseed makes it better for cooking—and use olive oil for finishing.


To make the ragout, in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium low heat, sweat the shallots in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the squash and cook until tender. Deglaze the pan with Pernod. Add the rest of the ingredients, then turn down the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.


Now for the fun part! If you’ve never made pasta before (and even if you have), Pichor suggest using the pasta attachment that can be purchased for any stand mixer. Rolling out the pasta by hand is possible, but takes a lot of time, and you need to get it to a uniform thinness without being so thin that it will break.


Dungeness Crab Filling

500g of picked crab meat

1 tbsp each of chopped tarragon, chervil, chives

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

Zest of one lemon

Splash of Pernod


Add all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and combine using your hands. Note: Use rubber gloves when working with fresh seafood to extend the shelf life. Set aside filling until ready to make pasta.


Basic Pasta Dough Recipe

Makes enough for one recipe of pasta dough.


1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (Chef uses “00” or very fine-ground flour)

6 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1 tbsp olive oil


This is the basic recipe the restaurant uses for all of their filled pastas. Chef Pichor has offered up both the traditional “well” method, as well as the faster method with the electric mixer. If you’re using the mixer, it will do some of the kneading for you.


Traditional Method

Pour the flour onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre of the mound of flour. Make sure the well is big enough to hold the eggs and olive oil without the liquid spilling out. Working from the centre, use your fingers to slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture in the centre of the well. Make sure you incorporate the flour from the centre outwards, so the well doesn’t break. Once the eggs have absorbed all the flour, it will look like a shaggy dough. Bring everything together and start kneading the dough with the palms of your hands. Keep kneading in a forward motion until the dough becomes silky and smooth. This will take 5 to 7 minutes. Once the dough is kneaded, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before you begin rolling it out.


Fast Method

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer. Process with a dough hook attachment until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes to develop the gluten in the flour. Wrap well in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before rolling out the dough.


Chef Pichor folds dough over filling using hands to remove any air pockets

How to Make Ravioli

  • Remove the pasta from the plastic wrap and cut it into 6 equal pieces. Use one piece and wrap the other pieces in plastic wrap so they do not dry out.
  • Roll out pasta on the wide setting of your pasta machine. Once it is rolled out, fold the pasta in half and roll it through again. Repeat this step 6 to 8 times. This will work the gluten in the flour, giving the pasta a nice chewiness once it is cooked.
  • Continue to roll the pasta through each number on the machine, making it thinner each time.
  • Roll out the pasta until you reach the second to last number on the machine. The last number often makes the dough too thin and delicate.
  • Transfer the pasta to a lightly floured work surface.
  • Using a ravioli press, lay the pasta over the top of the ravioli mould and press down with the top piece, making indents in the pasta. (NOTE: We just used a pizza cutter to hand-cut the pasta into long, wide strips that we then cut into squares.)
  • Remove the top piece of the mould and check the pasta for any holes or rips around the indents.
  • Press the indents down lightly with your finger and pipe in the filling. (We rolled the filling by hand into one-inch balls.)
  • Cut the pasta at the end of the mould, leaving a long enough piece to use for the top.
  • Lightly brush the top piece of pasta with egg wash.
  • Lay this piece of pasta over the filling. Using your fingers, press the pasta around each circle of filling, removing any air pockets.
  • Cut the ravioli using a rolling pin. The pressure from the rolling pin over the little cutters on the mould will portion the ravioli. Remove the excess pasta around the mould.
  • Flip the ravioli mould out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that has been lightly floured.


To Finish

The finished product Dungeness crab ravioli with summer ragout


Bring a large pot of slightly salted water up to a boil. Add the ravioli to the pot and cook for about 4 minutes until the pasta is warm in the center but the dough is still al dente.


Place the ravioli in a bowl and spoon sauce over top. Finish with extra virgin olive oil and grated parmigiano reggiano.




Sonora Resort

Phone: 604-233-0460

Toll Free: 1-888-576-6672

Fax: 604-233-0465




Written By:

Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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