Chef Rod Butters
It was an injured arm that got Rod Butters wielding a knife. Instead of heading off on a baseball scholarship in America, Rod’s professional sports ambitions were cut short. He was forced to reflect on what appealed to him most in his life, to what he was drawn to from a very young age. And that was cooking. Even at seven years old his favorite thing to do was to get up before anyone else and make a pancake breakfast for his family.
Some career highlights include the Four Seasons Hotel group – Toronto & Vancouver, Chateau Whistler Resort opening team and Pacific Palisades Hotel Vancouver. Rod then went on to open the world famous Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino as Chef de Cuisine in 1996. His innovative cuisine and high service standards quickly helped the Inn’s Pointe Restaurant attain the internationally recognized Relais & Chateaux designation.
The importance of Rod’s commitment to establishing regional BC cuisine has earned him international respect. Long before it became “trendy” to serve regional food, Rod has always been committed to this effort. It’s because of this and his talents as a chef “at the top of his game” that in 2007 his peers inducted Rod into the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame.
In the words of food and arts critic Jurgen Gothe, “Butters is the consummate Canadian-born, Canadian-trained, Canadian chef, the kind that will… create what we’ll come to call Canadian cuisine.”
Rod is a member of the Canadian Culinary Foundation and has earned the WCC designation recognizing international culinary excellence from the World Association of Chefs Societies. Rod is also past president of the Okanagan Chefs Association.
Summer 2017 will see the launch of a long awaited project from Chef Butters – his cookbook. Working with publisher Figure 1 in Vancouver, The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking will boast over 270 pages including 80 recipes and more than 120 photos. The recipes include some favourites from Butters including Oat Crusted Arctic Char, a classic on the menu at RauDZ Regional Table, the addictive Spring Pea Soup that celebrates that season in the valley and even a few cocktails to be enjoyed with appetizers and friends. Many of the dishes also have a suggested Okanagan wine, beer or cocktail pairings, selected by Audrey Surrao, a respected wine competition judge and co-owner of RauDZ Regional Table.
You can learn more about the cookbook and even pre-order your copy at www.ChefRodButters.com
Audrey Surrao is a well known and respected restaurateur in Kelowna BC.
- Co-owner of micro bar • bites established 2013 to present
- Co-owner of RauDZ Regional Table established in 2009 to present
- Co-owner of Fresco Restaurant, an AAA Four Diamond award, critically acclaimed restaurant that opened in 2001-2009
- BC Restaurateur of the Year, Fine Dining 2003 ~ awarded by the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA)
Audrey is a member of the prestigious international organization Les Dames d’Escoffier. The Dames d’Escoffier of BC raise funds throughout the year for scholarships that are awarded annually to women in the food & beverage industry. She is an active member of the 30K Club – Kelowna Gospel Mission For the Homeless, and is an active supporter the Carma Project – Assisting Low Income Families with Transportation.
Audrey holds Level 3 certification by WSET an internationally recognized wine and spirits certification authority. This certification is designed to give a comprehensive knowledge of the principal wines and spirits of the world and a system for the professional evaluation of wines and spirits. She graduated ‘With Distinction’, and has participated as a Wine Judge in a number of wine competitions, notably the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society Spring ‘Best of Varietal’ Awards and the Great Northwest Wine Invitational competition in Oregon.
She has worked with industry specific organizations such as GO2HR, participating with other professionals in the creation of tools & resources pertinent to the Hospitality Industry in BC.
- Great Northwest Wine – Wine Competition Judge 2016
- Okanagan Wine Festivals Society – Wine Competition Judge 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016
- Okanagan Life magazine – Wine Competition Judge 2016
- GO2HR Advisory Board Member 2012, 2013, 2016
Chef Brock Bowes
After graduating from the Vancouver Island University Culinary Arts program, Bowes worked under the highly regarded Chef Bernard Casavant at Fairmont Chateau Whistler and then at Chef Bernard’s own Café. He returned to Vancouver Island to work at the Hotel Grand Pacific, the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour and Dock 503. After travelling to Europe to further expand his culinary horizons, he returned to work with Casavant at Burrowing Owl, then travelling as a culinary two-some to Manteo Resort. With Vancouver Island again calling, he returned with a stop at Pacific Restaurant before becoming the opening Executive Chef at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel before finding his way back to the Okanagan in 2013 to Burrowing Owl.
In addition to being a highly creative, detail oriented chef with a strong work ethic and passion for the culinary arts, Bowes has demonstrated his commitment to supporting local farmers and artisans as well as developing young talent in the kitchen. He worked closely with farmers in the South Okanagan and is active in the community at various events including FarmFolk CityFolk’s Okanagan Feast of Fields.
Bowes is overseeing RauDZ Regional Table with the philosophy of supporting local, eating and drinking local, and micro bar • bites where more of an international approach to food and beverage give this tapas bar it’s unique niche in the marketplace. Bowes will bring new culinary ideas into the mix with his background in French techniques and his love of Asian influences with local ingredients.
“I’m excited to hand over the reins of my kitchen to Brock as I appreciate his talent and creativity and know he can lead our team to continue to be leaders in our industry. When he served his dish at Okanagan Feast of Fields on a chicken foot and I my tartare was on a bone, I knew he would be the perfect fit for both our kitchen and management team as we move our company forward” enthuses Butters.
Update: In 2015, Chef Bowes won Chopped Canada with a killer lobster dish taking home $10,000. Chef Bowes also represented RauDZ Creative Concepts and the Okanagan Valley in the 2016 Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates in Victoria, BC with an amazing dish of sous vide octopus paired with wine from West Kelowna’s The Hatch winery.
Born and raised in Salmon Arm, BC, Jenna realized her passion for food as a young girl and started cooking professionally in high school. Jenna has led a distinguished career in the Okanagan working with some of the top chefs in the valley, moving to take on the role as Restaurant Chef at Terrafina in 2014. Jenna’s competitive nature, hard work and talent won her 1st place at the 2012 Canadian National Junior Culinary Challenge in Halifax, she went on to place 2nd in Las Vegas at the Hans Bueschkens Young Chef Challenge where she represented Canada, cooking against talented chefs from across North and South America. Jenna finds being a Chef in the Okanagan rewarding in so many ways, but the support, collaboration and harmony of working with fellow chefs throughout the valley is what she really loves. Ultimately this is what will give our culinary industry in the Okanagan longevity.