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.
Audrey Surrao is a well known and respected restaurateur in Kelowna BC.
Audrey is a member of the prestigious international organization Les Dames d’Escoffier.
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.
New to the RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd team, Casavant comes with years of experience in the restaurant business.
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.
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.
Wes joined the team of RauDZ Creative Concepts in late Spring 2016 and oversees the management of the talented staff.
His career started in the restaurant industry in 2006 and along the way he has managed several notable restaurants. Over the years he has continued to hone his management skills and wine knowledge developing award winning wine and beverage programs and helping to put his restaurants on the culinary map. He graduated with a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma (Level 4) from Dubrulle Culinary Art Institute of Vancouver in 2009.