Westbank-West Kelowna History

Peter the Great, The Angel Master Pastry Chef

© Carol Ellison
Magazine: Beyond 50 Winter Issue – 2010/11, page 8.
Article/Magazine archived: https://issuu.com/csekcreative/docs/beyond50winter2011

My Brush with Greatness

Article by: Carol Ellison

Some of us wait all of our lives for the chance meeting with someone famous, maybe a movie star, singer or world leader. For me, that encounter came when a man and angel among us call Peter Klein.

Many of you may know him as “Peter the Great”, who lives here in West Kelowna. He is the master pastry chef who is famous for his wedding cakes, tortes and slab cakes for special occasions.

Peter is best known for making a 6 X 4 foot Canada Day cake be enjoyed at Westside Daze, something he has done for 12 years.

He was the mastermind behind the 10 x 4 foot cake, complete with a chocolate replica of the bridge on it, a major attraction at the W.R. Bennett bridge opening ceremony. And more recently, he baked the cake to celebrate the opening of West Kelowna’s new police station.

There is no doubt that all these undertakings mark a chef worthy of the title “Peter the Great”, however, what lies beneath all the flour and eggs is what defines his greatness.

In 2007, I met Peter when I was looking for someone to bake cookies for Success By 6’s Milk and Cookies Events. I needed someone who could take special care to make sure the cookies met certain dietary and allergenic needs.

A friend recommended Peter, so I phoned him. I recall him asking a few questions about the events and as soon as he found out it was for children aged six and under, he was in.

The first year, he made 48 dozen, and, of course, a few extras so no child went without. The next year it was 85 dozen, neatly wrapped and stored with tender loving care.

The other day I asked him why he agrees to bake more than 1000 cookies for Success by 6 each year. He simply said, “That’s me, if someone asks me to do something, and if I can do it, I will.”

There is no doubt that Peter has a very generous heart who is worthy of angel status. He is an avid Westbank Rotarian, in fact, he is the longest serving member dating back to 1977, and a distinguished recipient of a Paul Harris membership.

He and his wife, Christa, also raised three children while hosting exchange students from all over the world, many of whom they have stayed in touch with and call family.

He is an accomplished businessmen who ran two bakeries in a 1970s while raising his family and volunteering in the community.

In closing, Peter Klein is the “greatest” of all the angels I know. He doesn’t do it for recognition.

He does it because that’s what you do.

He cares about others above himself, which is why he is an angel I am proud to know. On behalf of the hundreds of young children who enjoy his special cookies at our events thank-you!