Modern Peasant serves up bistro-style bites in Powell River

Chef John D. Walls puts new spin on old-world fare

Known for its low and slow approach to European rustic cooking, The Modern Peasant has been serving up the best of old-world bistro fare for the past year. 

Chef John D. Walls opened The Modern Peasant, located at 4463 Marine Avenue, in November 2018.

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“The Modern Peasant is a European bistro with a French foundation,” says John. 

He describes his dishes as fast food from 150 years ago. The dinner menu includes French entrées such as chicken a la crème vol-au-vent, boeuf bourguignon and seafood bouillabaisse, and mouth-watering appetizers including duck rillettes, wild mushroom ragu with pan-fried baguette, and the timeless classic French onion soup, among many others. The Modern Peasant is open for brunch and lunch and offers omelettes, smoked salmon crêpes, as well as braised beef short rib sandwiches. 

“I serve some Italian and Swiss dishes but it’s primarily a French bistro that is super affordable,” he adds.

John says he keeps the menu fresh, making seasonal adjustments four times per year and the restaurant always has daily specials. Everything, except the bread or ice cream, is made from scratch in-house. As a chef food quality is John’s top priority in his kitchen. All dishes are available gluten-free, he adds. 

Hailing from White Rock, BC, John fell in love with cooking at a young age. He has had an extensive, exciting career that has allowed him to work in award-winning fine dining restaurants around the province, develop his culinary skills as a chef on a live-aboard yacht, open and run his own catering service where he mixed his passion for magic with his cooking, and operate a culinary school in Lund where he continues to strive to impart his knowledge on younger chefs. He also provides hospitality and culinary arts training for Powell River Educational Services Society. 

Opening The Modern Peasant, John brings together the best of his experiences to build a restaurant that gives diners amazing, fine-dining experiences. 

“My goal is to give my guests a great personal dining experience, pique their curiosity and have them come back to keep exploring the variety of tastes The Modern Peasant’s menu provides,” says John. “This is fine dining, but it is accessible and affordable.” 

John says he is a people person and does not confine himself to the kitchen. He makes a point to come out to the dining room to connect with his guests and answer any questions they may have about his dishes. 

“I enjoy connecting with my guests,” he says. “I like to provide table-side service.”

He explains that he will come out with a whole ribeye on the board and show his guests all the different cuts of meat he will cook, or a whole fish so they can see how fresh the seafood is. 

The Modern Peasant is fully licensed, has Townsite Brewing’s beer on tap, and a robust wine and spirits selection. 

“We have the most extensive wine list and whiskey scotch list in town and we’re always adding to it,” he says. “We've got 26 or 27 bottles of scotch and about the same amount of bottles of wine all available by the glass, except for three. It’s quite the range.” 

John encourages the public to stop by the restaurant for a light meal and some beverages to get their evening plans going in the right direction. He explains that his mixed drinks are competitively priced and made with premium spirits. 

“Come visit us at The Modern Peasant for a great fine dining experience,” says John. “It’s really warm and intimate here.”

The Modern Peasant is open from 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm from Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, John can be contacted by email at

Follow The Modern Peasant on Facebook and Instagram at The Post Modern Peasant.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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