Meet Our Chefs

Thanks to the Okanagan Chef’s Association, we once again have the best Chefs in the Okanagan preparing your meal.

With a dedicated Chef and menu for each section, as well as for the reception and after party, we are confident you’ll receive highly personal service and a meal of extraordinary quality.

Chefs are assigned at random to their tables.  Once you are seated, check your menu to see who will be taking care of you for the evening.

Jesse Croy
Chef Jesse Croy

Jesse Croy is a Chef whose experience ranges from Wineries, hotels, pubs and local restaurants throughout BC.

Red seal Chef certified, yet truly trained on a family farm where balance and respect for pure honest ingredient was learned. Jesse spent 9 seasons as Winery Chef at Summerhill Winery which allowed him to coordinate a locally sourced menu with onsite gardeners producing wine focused menus. Jesse is currently the Vice president of the Okanagan Chefs Association in Kelowna and an active member in the community. Using the provinces finest ingredients led him to Two Rivers Meats as a customer and later that relationship developed into a role as the Interior Sales Rep for the Company in 2014. Jesse continues to use his skills as a Chef to influence and connect with The regions Chefs and influence their menus to promote the cleanest and diverse menus possible with Two Rivers products.

 

Alex Lavroff
Chef Alex Lavroff

There is an unmistakable magic about Summerhill Pyramid Winery, from the paramount structure on site to their portfolio of beautiful wines. From their biodynamic practices to the Sunset Organic Bistro, the soil is rich and the practices are organically noble, including those of their chef.

Alex Lavroff is preparing some of the best dishes of his life. After a brief stint working in Victoria and then perusing his education in Vancouver, he’s back where he belongs, on rich, ripe, sacred soil. Into his menus, he bringsa passion for seafood with recurring, bright citrus components and fresh local elements. He believes in finding and utilizing ingredients most people wouldn’tknow are edible. He likes to surprise and reward his guestswith Okanagan origination. And thanks to his Dutch ethnicity, Lavroff takes his roots and infuses a spicy Indonesian influence into his food.

Because innovation the baseline of creation, Summerhillhas a huge garden, a full-time farmer, a forager and the effects of sacred geometry pyramid on site. They support small suppliers, capitalize on local, utilize curiousingredients and never take a day for granted.

“The Okanagan is so bountiful. We use the highest possible quality and prepare our food with as little manipulation as possible.” His approach to cooking is modern with everything is prepared à la minute. The result is summer in every bite and a freshness that feels light and natural.

This is a spiritual place abounding with organic foods and wines, prepared with pure goodness. And perhaps a little magic.

 

Jeremy Luypen
Chef Jeremy Luypen

Predator Ridge has long been recognized as the Okanagan’s premier golf resort community, and things there have only gotten better since Jeremy Luypen took on the Executive Chef role two years ago.

Prior to taking the reigns at Predator Ridge, he was chef/owner of Terrafina at Hester Creek winery. On his watch, Terrafina was named one of the top-five winery restaurants in the Province by BC Living magazine and one of the top-20 winery restaurants in the world by Wine Access magazine.

Chef Luypen brought a local-first philosophy to Predator Ridge, taking advantage of the incredible produce and sustainable protein that is literally available on his doorstep to reinvent the resort’s food and beverage program. Jeremy is also the current President of the Okanagan Chefs Association and an Instructor at Okanagan College Culinary Arts Program

 

Mark Filatow
Chef Mark Filatow

With over twenty years of experience, Mark Filatow represents the pinnacle of culinary excellence and is the driving force behind Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar. After graduating with honours from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, Mark honed his culinary skills at some of the most prestigious restaurants in BC including Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Bishops and Diva at the Met and Kelowna’s Fresco Restaurant.

In 2001 Mark was accepted into the coveted Sommelier Guild, making him one of the only chefs in Canada with this level of skill in food and wine pairing. By 2005 Mark’s culinary prowess was acknowledged by Enroute Magazine when they recognized Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar as one of Canada’s best new restaurants. With these awards and continual stream of industry accolades from Vancouver Magazine, The Calgary Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Eat Magazine and more, Mark still manages to keep his feet on the ground… and in the kitchen as Executive Chef/Sommelier of Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Recent Accolades:

  • Western Living Magazine – “Top Foodies under 40″
  • Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

“Gold” Best Restaurant in the Okanagan – 8 years running (2009 – 2016)

  • Southbrook Award for Food Day Canada – “Best Wine Paired Menu”
  • Recommended in Phaidon’s New Restaurant Guide “Where Chefs Eat”
  • Winner 2012 Vancouver Gold Medal Plates
  • Food Day Canada – University of Guelph, Good Food Innovation Award 2013 & 2014

 

Jenna Pillon
Chef Jenna Pillon

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.

 

Chef Butters and Chef Bowes
Chef Brock Bowes

Bowes joined RauDZ Creative Concepts in fall 2014 from the Sonora Room Restaurant at Burrowing Owl Winery in Oliver, BC.

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.

In 2015, Chef Bowes won Chopped Canada with a killer lobster dish taking home the grand prize of $10,000.  Chef Bowes also represented RauDZ Creative Concepts and the Okanagan Valley in the 2015 Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates in Victoria.

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.”

 

Vince van Wieringen
Chef Vince Van Wieringen

I am originally from the lower mainland and moved to the sunny Okanagan in the early 90’s. I began kitchen work at the age of 16 in an officer’s mess at the Vernon cadet camp and continuously strived to perfect my techniques and dishes. Working multiple jobs within the hospitality industry I have obtained knowledge in all aspects of the restaurant management/kitchen management and I pride myself on being able to understand how to provide a great experience for the guests. In 2007 I decided to take my culinary career to the next level and obtained my Culinary Arts Certificate from Camosun College, from there I obtained my Red Seal Endorsement.  In 2008 I started working at Predator Ridge to expand my expertise in fine dining and banquet management becoming Banquet/Day Supervisor. In 2011 I moved on to Exec Chef at Silver star Ski Resort and managed 6 establishments for two years allowing me to work with a great team and continue to grow with hospitality knowledge, leadership, and product quality. I have since been Executive Chef at Vernon Golf and Country Club and Gulfstream located in the Four points Hotel Kelowna. For the past year and a half I have enjoyed providing a great experience and excellent food to the guests here at Hotel Eldorado and look forward to doing so for years to come. When I am not working creating menus, dishes or training staff, I enjoy my game of golf and any outdoor activities.

I am also The President for the Vernon & District Metis Association.

A Non-Profit organization consisting of 9 board of directors. We work with the Canadian Government and MNBC in obtaining funding for Youth programming, Elders workshops, industry Training for Metis people. Our office building down town provides information on Metis culture, Heritage, and provides any forms needed by Metis people to obtain Harvester Cards or Metis Citizenship Cards. We strive to bring the Metis people together through potlucks, outings and gatherings. We hold monthly meetings and yearly AGM’s.

 

Willi Franz
Chef Willi Franz

Born in Germany to parents who owned a country inn, Willi was introduced to cooking at a very young age by his Mom.

He began his cooking apprenticeship in September of 1965 and over the next three years was employed by the Hotel Russischer Hof in Würzburg, Germany and he also had the opportunity to apprentice at the Würzburger Hofkellerei.  His culinary education took Willi through Europe- Germany, Switzerland, on cruise ships and finally to Canada.

Over the years, Willi has worked in many great establishments with a variety of cooking styles. Although trained in classical French cuisine, like any great chef, his style of cooking has evolved over the years and has led him to wine country cooking which fits perfectly with the Okanagan lifestyle and bounty of produce.

Willi was President of the OCA in 2009 and is presently the Treasurer of the OCA.

The Okanagan Chefs Association honored him in 2005 and 2010 as Chef of the year and 2010 Member of the year recognized by his peers for his work and commitment to both the association and his profession. In 2011 he was voted Canadian Chef of the year by the CCFCC. In 2013 Willi was inducted in the Prestigious Honour Society of CCFCC   Chef Willi sets a very high standard of professionalism in and out of the kitchen.

 

Sandrine Raffault
Chef Sandrine Raffault

Sandrine was born and raised in France, in the Beaujolais area, near Lyon. Her family has been in baking and pastry for four generations.

After studying management and working as a consultant for start-up businesses, she decided to enter in the pastry industry. She trained at her cousin’s pastry and chocolate shop as well as in Parisian culinary schools, which she still attends when going back to France.

In 2004, Sandrine moved to the Okanagan with her husband Pierre-Jean and their two children. Sandrine and Pierre-Jean launched “La Boulangerie Gourmet Café Ltd”, offering a French flair of bread, pastry and savoury items.

In 2010, they opened Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate, a smaller shop specialized in cakes, macarons and chocolates.

Sandrine offers Pastry classes, hands-on workshops, where small groups of participants learn how to bake French cakes and desserts from scratch in Sandrine’s professional kitchen.

Food is a crucial part of French life. In order to keep this strong relationship with food, while having busier and busier lives, the French have develop a way of cooking which is simple, efficient, and easy to integrate into their lifestyle. In this spirit, we teach recipes that people can find time to bake at home and don’t require specific skills or equipment. We want to encourage people to bake at home, have fun doing it, and enjoy the food they proudly baked.

 

Beth Ross
Chef Beth Ross

Beth Ross’ passion for cooking for others grew while she travelled abroad to Nanny for a small family in the market town of Epsom, Surrey, England.  Beth then returned to Abbotsford and began working for Chef Michael Dicks at his catering company.  Her natural cooking ability garnered much praise from her clients and drove Beth to pursue a culinary education at Vancouver community College.  During her schooling, Beth apprenticed with Chef Iain Rennie at the Westin Bear Moutnain Resort in Victoria.  She also worked at Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport Hotel and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria. Beth now works alongside Chef Rennie as Sous Chef at the Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort and is extremely proud to be the first female Sous Chef at the Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort.  She was instrumental in the development and execution of opening OAK + CRU Social Kitchen & Wine Bar in June 2016.

 

Stuart Klassen
Chef Stuart Klassen

Chef Stuart Klassen has over 30 years culinary experience in a variety of operations and for the past two years has run Chef Klassen Kitchen Consulting, offering guidance to help restaurant businesses succeed.  He previously served as Executive Chef at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort as well as the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel and Larco in Vancouver.

 

Ross Derrick
Chef Ross Derrick

Ross Derrick followed his passion in 2014 to create a simple café featuring 100% Oceanwise seafood and is passionate about bringing the simple message of ocean stewardship and sustainability to everyone. Born in Winnipeg, Ross has traveled and cooked across Canada and Europe during his training, working with some of the top chefs in each region he visited in, and now cooks everyday at his small café ‘The Table’.