“Wines of the Okanagan” Dinner
The last meal of the Canadian Chefs’ Congress is a grazing dinner paired with libations produced in British Columbia’s wine country. Stations will be headed by chefs from the Okanagan Valley.
Contributing chefs confirmed for this dinner are:
- Ned Bell - Cabana Grille
- Rod Butters – RauDZ Regional Table
- Bernard Casavant – Manteo Resort
- Paul Cecconi – Local Lounge & Grille
- Geoffrey Couper – Okanagan Chefs Association
- Jesse Croy – Summerhill Winery
- Edan Fay - Lake Okanagan Resort
- Mark Filatow - Waterfront Restaurant
- Willi Franz – Grapevine Restaurant
- Jeff Jordan – Thompson Rivers University
- Stuart Klassen – Delta Grand Hotel
- Jeremy Luypen – Passatempo
- Michael Lyon - Hotel El Dorado
- Roger Sleiman - Quails’ Gate Winery
- Chris Van Hooydonk – Burrowing Owl Winery
If you would like to nominate a colleague, please contact us.
Ned Bell is one of Canada’s foremost culinary talents having honed his impressive talent in top kitchens across the country. Bell has long had a passion for cooking and is steadfast in his vision and commitment to create new, imaginative dishes with fresh, local ingredients.
Bell has been a regular on Food Network Canada’s “Cook Like a Chef,” recently completed the third season of CTV’s “It’s Just Food” and was ranked one of Western Living Magazine’s “ Top 40 Foodie’s Under 40.”
Bell began his career in Vancouver working under two local restaurant legends including Le Crocodile’s Michel Jacob and Lumiere’s Rob Feenie. From here, Bell moved east to become Executive Chef at Niagara on the Lake’s Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery and then at Toronto’s Accolade and Senses restaurants where he earned significant recognition. Bell moved west in the new millennium to open Murrieta’s Grill in Calgary where he won Where Magazine’s Rising Star and Best Overall awards. From here joined he the team at Vintage Chophouse and Red Water Grille as Corporate Chef where his passion and creativity helped turn the restaurants into two of Calgary’s most exciting culinary locales.
Bell was thrilled to return to his Okanagan roots in 2007 to begin a new venture as Corporate Chef and Co-Owner of the acclaimed and instantly popular, Cabana Bar and Grille in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Ned’s various culinary pursuits, passions and projects have him sharing his time between Vancouver, the Okanagan Valley and various destinations across North America.
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 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, Scaramouche Restaurant, Toronto, 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.
After a year-long journey around the world in 2000, he returned home to BC to share his culinary experiences and open Fresco Restaurant & Lounge in Kelowna. As Chef /Proprietor, Rod has been instrumental in promoting the growth of culinary tourism in the Okanagan.
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 commitment 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 eventually… 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.
Born and trained in British Columbia, Chef Bernard’s cooking career began with the encouragement of his grandmother and was further nurtured by a career guidance counselor in Grade 9. Torn between a career as a soccer player or a chef, Chef Bernard chose the career that would ensure he would never be hungry. His grandmother instilled a strong work ethic in the young chef, along with “the passion for respecting the food and the people who produce it”.
Chef Bernard received his Certified Chef de Cuisine certification in 1986, one of the inaugural chefs in Canada to complete the exam. Among his culinary achievements, Chef Bernard is a founding board member of Exclusively BC, and charter member of Farm Folk, City Folk, further demonstrating his commitment to eating local and working with the area farmers and producers to present simple honest food. He is a former member of the Provincial board member of the BC Restaurant and Food Association and now sits as Director of BC Culinary Tourism Society that promotes true dining experiences in the province.
Although Chef Bernard has cooked for prime ministers and movie stars, a prince and princess, celebrities and business tycoons he feels strongly about mentoring young talent and inspiring young chefs to fulfill their dreams. He shares his love of fresh, locally rooted cuisine and takes great pride in seeing his protégés thrive under his leadership. He continues his commitment to the growth and flourishment of the next generation of great chefs as Judge for the BC Apprenticeship Trade Certification exams.
Chef Bernard is a member of the Okanagan Chefs Association and the Canadian Culinary Association.
Chef Bernard Casavant is currently the Executive Chef of the Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas and brings his creative talent to both the Wild Apple Restaurant and the resort catering department ensuring all groups meeting or celebrating at the resort will also enjoy his high quality and innovative menus.
Born and raised in North Vancouver, Paul Cecconi realized his interest in food at the age of 13. Paul honed his skills at a young age, developing his style through experience with a variety of restaurants, from working at a bakery to a number of fine dining restaurants in Vancouver.
After attending Vancouver Community College, Paul traveled to Thailand, Europe, The United States and throughout Canada, expanding his culinary tastes. His next culinary step was at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver where he completed a three year apprenticeship program before being transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, Australia. In Sydney, Paul celebrated the new millennium, was witness to the Summer Olympics and was part of the Four Seasons team that hosted the International Olympic Committee.
Paul returned to Canada in 2001 to pursue an opportunity with The Harvest Golf Club in Kelowna, initially as Sous Chef and ultimately as Executive Chef. There Paul oversaw all daily food service in addition to banquets and special winemaker dinners. Being surrounded by a bounty of fruits, ground crops, herbs, specialty meats and dairy and sundry items, it was an opportunity for Paul to explore regional ingredients.
Paul moved with his wife Holly and their children, Sofia and Simon, to Summerland in June 2009 so Paul could assume his new role as Executive Chef at LOCAL. “Who could turn down the opportunity to work in this little hidden piece of paradise,” enthused Paul about the special waterfront community of Summerland’s lower town. “Looking out across the lake each morning, breathing in the fresh pine and dry grass aromas in the air, growing my own herbs in the garden next to the Grille – it’s invigorating. And the opportunity to work with Cameron Bond and create something new is also an exciting undertaking,” Paul continues. “We have a vision, and watching it pull together over the last two months – it is quickly becoming reality.”
With Paul, expect a menu that offers comforting, uncluttered fare. “I want our food to be straightforward and simple, with an emphasis on seasonal products – the closer to home the better.”
Current president of the Okanagan chefs association, culinary apprenticeship instructor, wine lover and raconteur extraordinaire are just a few of the toques that “Cheffrey” wears.
With 3 decades of award winning experience behind him, the obsession for great food, simply prepared with passionately produced local products only burns brighter.
Having called Kelowna home for close to 10 years, he has had the opportunity to provide culinary inspiration for many great wine producers in the valley including Mission Hill, Cedarcreek, Blue Mountain and Andrew Peller, amongst others.
His advice to all young chefs looking for education and inspiration? Go work on a farm…
After a classic apprenticeship, Cheffrey departed to Europe to do the typical travel, eat and work thing, at the time thinking he knew a fair bit about cooking. Ending up on a small family farm in southern Germany, what the young culinarian soon realized was that he knew nothing about food. And there is a huge difference between the two. To see products destined for the table being raised, weeded, milked, vinified etc., to witness firsthand the tremendous effort it takes to produce great food, will undoubtedly make a huge impact on the way any young cook views their profession.
A childhood on a country lakeside farm instilled Jesse’s love for food and the power of food in its ability to bring people together.
After a childhood of hockey he quit the one team sport and pursued another, the kitchen.
In 1995 he enrolled at Thompson University in Kamloops, formerly called University College of the Cariboo, where he began his education. Two years later he moved south to Kelowna and began working in the industry at restaurants, wineries and hotels such as Summerhill Winery, Quails Gate and Hotel Eldorado.
In 2005 he returned to Summerhill Winery as the Sous Chef under Chef Grant De Montreuil who assisted him in earning his Red Seal and became a CCFCC member. After 2 years of mentorship and introduction to local growers and artisans, the natural feel of honest pure ingredient familiar to country life, fuelled his passion further .He then went on to assume the position of Executive Chef after De Montreiul’s departure.
Croy continues to develop his style using organic vegetables from Summerhill’s own on site Culinary garden. The harvesting and processing of these ingredients become key components in the Sunset Bistro’s seasonal menus. Chef Croy is a firm believer in balancing simplicity and complexity when approaching the plate, ensuring the ingredient and its origin are always well respected.
A Red Seal Chef with more than 20 years experience, Chef Edan is an accomplished Saucier and Executive Chef. His formal training includes Okanagan University College and completing his Red Seal credentials at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, as well as working with some of Canada’s most reputable chef talents including Jean-Luc Baron, Mario Matteau, Bernard Callebaut, Michael Allemeier CCC and Michael Smith, respectively.
Edan’s portfolio includes positions at Delta Hotels (Calgary), The River Café (Calgary), La Dolce Vita (Calgary), Bernard Callebaut Chocolates (Calgary), Executive Chef at Wrayton’s Fresh Market (Calgary), Executive Chef/Manager at Seasons Tearoom & Bistro (Kelowna), Executive Chef/General Manager at Mongo’s Grill (Kelowna) and now happily, Executive Chef at Lake Okanagan Resort.
Edan’s cooking philosophy stems from the basis of simplicity. By using premium local and seasonal ingredients, Edan designs dishes that reflect his environment without coming across as pretentious and overwhelming to his audiences. Specializing in soups, stocks and sauces Edan is able to capture a synergy between melding of flavours, ingenious combination of textures and visual appeal. His creations are genuine, as is his personality. He aspires to gain further notoriety as a chef, always learning and expanding his repertoire of skills.
Born in Germany to parents who owned a country inn, Willi was introduced to cooking at a very young age. He started his cooking apprenticeship in September of 1965 and continued it until August of 1968. During this time he was employed by The Hotel Russischer Hof in Würzburg, Germany and also had the opportunity to apprentice at the Würzburger Hofkellerei for two years. His culinary education took Willi through Germany, Switzerland, on cruise ships and to Canada. Over the years, Willi has worked in many great establishments with a variety of cooking styles. Trained in classical French cuisine, his style of cooking has evolved over the years and has led him to wine country cooking. Willi makes it a priority to assemble the best seasonal, local products when available and to pair them with Gray Monk Estate wines. He is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and he is the chair of the CCFCC Okanagan branch.
With close to 20 years of industry experience, Mark Filatow brings more than simple know-how to Kelowna’s Waterfront Wines Urban Eats & Drinks. Originally from Toronto, Mark chose the University of British Columbia to begin his culinary education. After graduating with honours from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, his work experience led him to some of the most prestigious restaurants on the West Coast. Over the course of the next seven years, he accumulated essential hands-on experience from Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Bishops and finally Diva at the Metropolitan Hotel. This experience, combined with his acceptance into the International Sommelier Guild in 2001, has made Mark Filatow an incredibly versatile and well respected member of his field.
In 2001, Mark quickly established a name for himself in the interior of British Columbia when he joined Chef Rod Butters as his Sous Chef at Fresco Restaurant in Kelowna. Presented with the opportunity of opening Waterfront Wines Urban Eats & Drinks in the fall of 2004, Mark began to hand select a talented kitchen and service staff capable of bringing his style to the table.
Now settled in the Okanagan Valley, Mark is surrounded by world class wineries and fresh, local product which remains the inspiration for his continually evolving, seasonal style menu. The best of the valley are reflected in his food, a fact recognized by Enroute Magazine in 2005 when Waterfront Wines was distinguished as ‘One of Canada’s Best New Restaurants’, and by an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine in 2006. Even with accolades from the likes of Vancouver Magazine, The Calgary Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and Eat Magazine, Mark manages to keep his feet on the ground … and in the kitchen.
Following the success of the restaurant, Mark’s latest endeavour, Seasons Catering, focuses on bringing his style and imagination to events, large and small, all over the Okanagan. With the introduction his Seasons line of dips, spreads and preserves, it may not be long before Mark is a fixture in your kitchen!
To be able to work where you went to school is a dream come true.
Raised and schooled in Kamloops and former student of TRU Culinary Arts program, Chef Jordan’s 29 years of industry experience helps train young cooks in the needs of our industry. His training includes 4 and 5 star hotels from Toronto, Vancouver, New Port Beach California to Whistler. Currently, Chef Jordan is the Chairperson at Thompson Rivers University, Culinary Arts Program in Kamloops British Columbia.
The newest addition to the Kelowna family of chefs is Executive Chef Stuart Klassen. As Executive Chef at the Delta Grand Resort & Conference Center, Chef Klassen is no stranger to the Okanagan as his career began at the age of 15 right here in Kelowna.
Chef Stuart Klassen was born in Vancouver and at age 8 he moved to Kelowna. At age 15 he began his first restaurant job as a dishwasher, his talents were quickly discovered and he entered the cooking world. Chef Klassen worked his way up through a number of restaurants and resorts including Lake Okanagan Resort here in Kelowna until he knew it was time to take the next step in his career. Chef Klassen packed his bags and returned to Vancouver to enter BCIT’s Culinary Arts Program. His schooling was completed at Vancouver Community College where he graduated with honours.
Continuously desiring to refine and develop his extraordinary skills, Chef Klassen completed his apprenticeship working with the talented and accomplished Umberto Menghi. Moving through the ranks at the request of Umberto Menghi, Chef Klassen earned the position of Chef in the restaurant Settebello in Whistler, BC. Whistler soon became his new home. At age 25, Chef Stuart Klassen joined the Delta family and accepted a position with the Delta Whistler Resort as off-site Sous Chef overseeing the Royal Hudson, Starlight Dinner Train and Whistler Explorer. His final position in Whistler was Chef de Cuisine at the Whistler Convention Center.
In 1999, Chef Klassen was offered an Executive Chef position; once again he took his talents and belongings and moved back to Vancouver. He worked for 3 years as Executive Chef at the newly opened Hilton Vancouver Airport. During part of his years with Hilton he played a duel role of Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director, and the hotel was awarded Best Airport Property in North America.
In 2002, Chef Stuart Klassen began working for the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel in Downtown Vancouver. For a short while his position was Executive Sous Chef soon after he was promoted to Executive Chef. At the Marriott he worked with and developed many of the greatest cooks and chefs that Vancouver has to offer. His leadership and team mentality was rewarded with numerous awards for the Showcase Restaurant and Marriott Pinnacle Hotel.
Now with the support of his family and the intense desire to return to the Okanagan, fate and an accomplished career has brought him home. Chef Klassen is extremely enthusiastic about working with his new team to bring the delectable flavours of the Okanagan to your palette. Chef Stuart Klassen welcomes you to enjoy his tasteful and creative menus at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Center.
Born and raised in Ontario, Hotel Eldorado Executive Chef Michael Lyon first got his start in kitchens at the ripe age of 14 and has not stopped since. After completing training at George Brown College in Toronto, Michael honed his skills working with Toronto based SIR CORP, eventually assuming the positions of Executive Chef at both Al Frisco’s and Far Niente.
In 1996, Michael took the opportunity to broaden his culinary experience and assumed the role of Senior Executive Chef for Planet Hollywood in Europe. Although less of a culinary challenge, this position was extremely formative in the development of Michael’s culinary style. Based in Moscow, Michael was fortunate to travel extensively and work in many different kitchens throughout the world and learn various methods of cooking. Michael’s time spent in France was particularly influential in building his own culinary identity.
In 2001, Michael made his way west and established himself in Banff. Michael assumed the position of Executive Chef at the Maple Leaf Grill and Lounge and raised the bar for dining in this community. During this time Michael competed in Gold Medal Plates (Canadian Culinary Championships), taking the gold medal (Calgary) on two occasions.
Michael’s move to Kelowna and the historic Hotel Eldorado places him in the ultimate setting for a Chef . Here Michael strives to take advantage of the Okanagan’s bounty of seasonal and organic products provided by local suppliers. With a food philosophy best characterized as “French forward with a Rocky Mountain twist,” Michael has found the perfect playground for his talents to flourish.
Look for Michael this summer on The Food Network. Michael has just finished filming CheF@OFF, a challenge cooking show hosted by Kevin Brauch (Iron Chef America and the Thirsty Traveller) and co-starring Chef Michael Blackie of the National Arts Centre.
- Featured in best selling cookbook “Le Grand Chapeau” (Top 20 Chefs of Canada)
- Two time Gold Medal Plates Calgary, Gold Medalist
- Inaugurated in the Gold Medal Plates Hall Of Fame
- 4 years alongside Kate Kunz photography as a food stylist
- Co-stared in the Thirsty Traveler episode, “Rye On The Rocks”
- Star of The Food Network’s CheF@OFF
Chef Sleiman brings a new light and excitement to the Quails’ Gate culinary team. With his signature West Coast cuisine combined with a classical French background, Roger’s career highlights include 9 years at renowned restaurant La Rua in Whistler, and stints at Val D’Isere in Whistler as well as the famed Café Henry Burger in Ottawa. He is very passionate about letting seasonal ingredients speak for themselves and “perfecting simplicity”. Roger enthusiastically leads the culinary program throughout all four seasons at Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate.
Chris Van Hooydonk was born and raised In Sherwood Park, Alberta. At a very young age, he was taught the importance of family inspired meals. At 16, Chris moved to the Okanagan, and after graduating high school, entered his first year of culinary school. Now inspired by the idea of constant learning, and a profound interest in the creative aspect, started searching for a chef to apprentice under. In 2000, Chris was hired at The Harvest Dining Room, in Kelowna, B.C, under Executive Chef Jim Armstrong. In 2001, he was Red Seal certified with top marks in his apprenticeship class. After a brief tenure aboard Holland America Cruise Lines, as Saucier in the main galley, Chris relocated to Whistler, B.C. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Sous Chef, at Ciao Thyme Bistro, under Chef Bernard Casavant. Feeling the motivation to be exposed to as many facets of the culinary industry as possible, Chris then moved to Boston, Massachusetts and was hired at The Four Seasons Hotel. Known for being one of the most prestigious companies in the industry, Chris was enlightened to the corporate culinary world. He was trained on all stations in the fine dining room, finishing as Saucier, one of the lead roles in the kitchen brigade.
It was in the kitchen of the Sonora Room restaurant, as Restaurant Chef, where he built relationships with local producers, ensuring growth, and networking throughout the south Okanagan. Furthermore, learning the business side of the industry, responsible for all aspects of running and maintaining a high end, high volume, seasonal establishment.
In the upcoming seasons, at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery , Chris plans to continue his progression in the culinary field. His food philosophy stresses the importance of supporting local growers, and offering a seasonal, organic when possible, ever changing menu throughout the year. As a chef Member of the Okanagan Chef’s Association, he feels it is equally important to share the knowledge he has gained in the last 14 years in his career. By mentoring and training the up and coming talent, he hopes to play a small role in the continuing progression of the industry.