The following article was written by Roslyne Buchanan for Food & Wine Trails magazine, March/April 2019 issue. Read more here.
It’s fitting to say welcome in Italian to Chef James Hanna, who RauDZ Creative Concepts has announced will be leading the culinary team at Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ this season. Passionate about eating and cooking Italian food, Chef Hanna promised a focused Italian approach to the menu.
Fresh, local cuisine expressed with a homestyle Italian warmth is a perfect match. After all, Terrafina’s name is derived from Italian meaning ‘from the earth’. This bewitching Tuscan style restaurant is nestled by the vines of Hester Creek Estate Winery in Oliver, however, the ambiance embodies the iconic old country.
Comfort and Traditional Dishes
Chef James Hanna’s menu to kick off the 2019 season is an opera of decadent items that highlight comfort food and traditional dishes. This al dente pastas such as orecchiette, linguini, cavatelli, ravioli as well as risotto and gnocchi. Pizzas from the Forno oven include taglio-style, hand-pulled dough, Naples-style thin crust and Roman-style pan baked. Get your greens on with Caesar and raddicchio/frisee salads. Weekly fresh sheets will present such specials as veal saltimbocca, stuffed calamari and fennel-crusted albacore tuna.
The popular Terrafina boards return with selections of bread, charcuterie, spreads, tapenades and other antipasti. Desserts, too, slant Italian with artisan cheeses, cannoli, panna cotta, gelato, sorbetto, chestnut chocolate pudding and lemon tart.
New Chef, Familiar Faces
For those who love their Hester Creek wines, the library wine offerings are expanded and include The Judge. To go Italian all the way, Terrafina presents an Italian wine list.
Although Chef Hanna is new in Terrafina’s kitchen, other familiar faces return to front-of-house, including many well-loved servers. Kayleigh MacMillan is taking on the restaurant manager role – her enthusiastic demeanour paired with professionalism is welcomed by all.
Chef Hanna may be new to Terrafina at Hester Creek, but he comes from his role as Chef de Cuisine, RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. (Terrafina’s operators). He has enjoyed a long history of working with Chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao. Following his apprenticeship in White Rock, BC, he was sous chef for Fresco, becoming Chef de Cuisine when Fresco morphed into the fine casual dining RauDZ Regional Table. He then departed to eat and cook his way across the country.
Chef Hanna has been an integral part of seven culinary teams that have competed in Gold Medal Plates. In early 2018, he returned to RauDZ from Newfoundland after a number of years honing his skills at other restaurants, including Vancouver’s top Italian restaurant, Villa Del Lupo.
Chef Hanna has always been passionate about and skilled in Italian cuisine and is excited to lead Terrafina’s Italian-focused menu and culinary team.
It will be a fun and delicious year. As the Italians say, mangia! (Let’s eat!)