Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao are thrilled to announce that longtime friend and colleague Bernard Casavant will be joining RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. (RCC) in a newly created role of Director of Operations. In this position he will be working closely with Rod and Audrey and overseeing the operation of all of the RauDZ Creative Concepts restaurants while curating an impressive team of professionals through recruitment, coaching, mentoring and development. His passion for the restaurant business and the Okanagan Valley community will allow the RCC brand to continue to grow and thrive. With the addition of Casavant, the award winning culinary, service and bar teams of RCC will have an unbeatable mix of skills and experience in both front and back of the house.
“I have worked with Bernard over the past 30 years in Hotels, Restaurants and on philanthropic projects” explains RCC co-owner Audrey Surrao. “His depth of experience and culinary expertise is something I have come to trust and rely upon for my entire career. It is a true pleasure to have him join our team and work with Rod and I taking our company to the highest level.”
“To welcome an industry icon to our company is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Bernard and I have known one another, worked together and collaborated for the past 30 years. I’m looking forward to working with him to continue our company’s focus of being a leader in the restaurant sector. His experience and respect will only add to the powerhouse team of RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd.” states RCC co-owner Rod Butters.
“Over the years I have admired the high level of professionalism and commitment to supporting local that their team has demonstrated” shares Casavant. With my past experience and ongoing passion for our industry, I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of the company.”
Casavant has been at the forefront of improving the standards of the hospitality industry throughout his career. He was one of the first chefs in Canada to earn the Chef de Cuisine Certification (CCC) and became the first West Coast-born and trained chef to represent Canada in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or Competition, France. Alongside Rod Butters, they are members of the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame and CCFCC Honour Society. Starting in 1989, Casavant helped make Whistler a culinary destination, first as the executive chef for the newly built Chateau Whistler and later his own restaurant Chef Bernard’s Bistro. In 2006, he relocated to the Okanagan and becoming Executive Chef at the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Winery, later moving to Wild Apple Restaurant and Lounge in Kelowna. He joined Okanagan College in 2014 as Culinary Manager of the Wine, Food and Tourism program
Casavant will be joining the RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. team on March 19.
About RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd.
RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. own/operate a selection of Okanagan Valley’s premiere dining venues and are recognized as industry leaders. Award winning farm-to-table restaurant RauDZ Regional Table, and internationally-influenced micro bar & bites are located in downtown Kelowna with Italian inspired Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ in Oliver. Sunnys – a modern diner will be added to their portfolio of eateries in Spring 2018. Further expanding their culinary influence RCC co-owner Chef Rod Butters released his first cookbook, ‘The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking’ in summer 2017 which was recognized as Best Local Cookbook by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. Is proud to welcome one of the South Okanagan’s most celebrated wine country restaurants, Terrafina at Hester Creek into it’s family of restaurants and bars.
Terrafina is a gorgeous Tuscan style restaurant nestled amongst the vines of Hester Creek Estate Winery in Oliver. This unique vineyard dining experience provides the perfect partner to be enhanced by the culinary and service expertise of RauDZ Creative Concepts. Set on the 105-acre Mediterranean-influenced grounds, views at Hester Creek are highlighted by the vineyard laden hills of the Golden Mile Bench and the estate boasts some of the oldest vines in the region. The coveted seats on the patio capture the Okanagan sunshine with a Tuscany-like view.
The teams on both sides of this winning combination are thrilled. RauDZ Creative Concepts co-creator/owner, Audrey Surrao (the au in RauDZ) commented, “We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with one of the valley’s best wineries”. Audrey, who is also the key behind the Okanagan focused wine portfolio offered at her restaurants commented, “I have spent the last 15 years tasting and building relationships with winemakers and wineries up and down the valley, never imagining this would happen. It’s truly a perfect fit.”
The ‘star players’ in this project have known each other for decades. Chef Rod Butters, and his business partner Audrey Surrao and Roger Gillespie, the Director of Hospitality at Hester Creek all worked together at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino in the late 90’s. At the time Rod was Chef de Cuisine focused on honing his innovative farm to table menu and philosophy. These relationships started strong and have endured.
Butters and Surrao have built their brand, side by side, sharing the same philosophies about food and wine, as they do about their staff. RauDZ has always operated like a family and that is what makes their formula so dynamic. With the announcement of their new blended family, they are thrilled to welcome Terrafina’s current Chef de Cuisine Jenna Pillon to their culinary dream team. She will be working closely with Butters and RauDZ Executive Chef, Brock Bowes. “When you cook with passion you feed the soul will be the mantra of the culinary team” states Butters.
Meaning ‘from the earth’ Terrafina will continue with the Tuscan themed cuisine but will be infused with the innovative, locally focused flavours that RauDZ is famous for. As one of the pioneers of the ‘eat local’ movement and his commitment to regional BC cuisine, Chef Butters is excited to have a restaurant in another part of the valley. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the farmers and artisans of the South Okanagan in what I consider to be the Chef’s ‘Ultimate Playground.”
Working with Jorin Wolf Interior Design they will be doing a refresh of the Terrafina space to bring in that warm and comfortable interior we love of RauDZ along with some eclectic features that guests enjoy in the micro bar & bites space. The idea is if you are comfortable in the other spaces, Terrafina will fit you perfectly as well.
Beverages are as high priority to the RauDZ team as the food is, as you will note from the wine, beer and cocktail programs offered at RauDZ and micro. They are planning rotating taps of local craft beer, cocktails featuring local distillers, and the wine list will focus on the award-winning lineup of Hester Creek wines. Audrey will also pay tribute to the other wine regions of the valley with a personally curated Okanagan bottle list, supplemented with some great Italian wines to enhance the dining experience.
Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ is planning an April 2017 launch.