Wine Trails – Announcing Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ

This article was first published in Wine Trails, May 2017 and written by Roslyne Buchanan.

Embracing Terrafina at Hester Creek, one of South Okanagan’s most celebrated wine country restaurants, into RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. family of restaurants and bars is icing on a cake. Famous for innovative, locally-infused flavours, RauDZ elevates Terrafina’s meaning, “from the earth” and blends its Tuscan inspiration. An “eat-local movement” pioneer with an unwavering commitment to regional BC cuisine, Chef Rod Butters is excited to expand in the valley. “I look forward to working closely with farmers and artisans of this region I consider to be the Chef’s Ultimate Playground.”

RauDZ Creative Concepts co-creator/owner, Audrey Surrao (the au in RauDZ and key to its Okanagan-focused beverage portfolio) added, “We’re thrilled to collaborate with one of the valley’s best wineries. It’s a perfect fit that I never imagined as I spent the last 15 years building relationships with winemakers and wineries throughout the valley.”

In the late nineties, the project’s ‘star players’ established an enduring relationship when Chef Butters, Surrao, and Roger Gillespie, Hester Creek Estate Winery director of hospitality, worked together at Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn. RauDZ welcomes Terrafina’s chef de cuisine Jenna Pillon into its culinary dream team to collaborate with Butters and executive chef Brock Bowes. States Butters, “Our mantra is when you cook with passion you feed the soul.” See the launch of Terrafina Boards and other items to join much-loved favourites like Forno-oven Potato and Truffle Pizza. What’s more Italian than a colourful antipasti platter you build from charcuterie, cheese, vegetables and fish? Brunch expands to every Sunday featuring a bonus to add shaved fresh truffles to your order. Happy Hour is daily, 3 to 5 pm, featuring Terrafina Boards and pizzas. In keeping with RauDZ beverages priority, enjoy rotating taps of local craft beer; cocktails featuring area distilleries; and wine focusing on Hester Creek’s award-winning lineup plus tributes to other BC wines, supplemented with great Italian wines fitting the Tuscan theme.

Looming large is Butters’ long-awaited first cookbook, close to his heart and his fans. The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking, published by Figure 1 Vancouver, hits bookshelves summer 2017. Geared to the home cook, Butters prepared all recipes on his own stove rather than in restaurant kitchens. Accompanying the 80+ recipes are stunning photographs by David McIlvride in Butters’ home and throughout the valley. Departing from traditional cookbook chapters, it’s divided into time of day: Sunrise, Midday, Sunset and Twilight. Showcased are the unbelievable ingredients such as seasonal fresh produce chefs and home cooks experience in the Okanagan. Find favourites from his restaurants and home including Chef’s World-Famous Pancakes, made since he was seven years old, and Oat-Crusted Arctic Char, a RauDZ staple and Fresco carry-over. Details and pre-order:


Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ©

RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. Is proud to welcome one of the South Okanagan’s most celebrated wine country restaurants, Terrafina at Hester Creek into it’s family of restaurants and bars.

Terrafina is a gorgeous Tuscan style restaurant nestled amongst the vines of Hester Creek Estate Winery in Oliver. This unique vineyard dining experience provides the perfect partner to be enhanced by the culinary and service expertise of RauDZ Creative Concepts. Set on the 105-acre Mediterranean-influenced grounds, views at Hester Creek are highlighted by the vineyard laden hills of the Golden Mile Bench and the estate boasts some of the oldest vines in the region. The coveted seats on the patio capture the Okanagan sunshine with a Tuscany-like view.

The teams on both sides of this winning combination are thrilled. RauDZ Creative Concepts co-creator/owner, Audrey Surrao (the au in RauDZ) commented, “We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with one of the valley’s best wineries”.  Audrey, who is also the key behind the Okanagan focused wine portfolio offered at her restaurants commented, “I have spent the last 15 years tasting and building relationships with winemakers and wineries up and down the valley, never imagining this would happen.  It’s truly a perfect fit.”

The ‘star players’ in this project have known each other for decades. Chef Rod Butters, and his business partner Audrey Surrao and Roger Gillespie, the Director of Hospitality at Hester Creek all worked together at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino in the late 90’s.  At the time Rod was Chef de Cuisine focused on honing his innovative farm to table menu and philosophy.  These relationships started strong and have endured.

Butters and Surrao have built their brand, side by side, sharing the same philosophies about food and wine, as they do about their staff.  RauDZ has always operated like a family and that is what makes their formula so dynamic. With the announcement of their new blended family, they are thrilled to welcome Terrafina’s current Chef de Cuisine Jenna Pillon to their culinary dream team. She will be working closely with Butters and RauDZ Executive Chef, Brock Bowes.  “When you cook with passion you feed the soul will be the mantra of the culinary team” states Butters.

Meaning ‘from the earth’ Terrafina will continue with the Tuscan themed cuisine but will be infused with the innovative, locally focused flavours that RauDZ is famous for. As one of the pioneers of the ‘eat local’ movement and his commitment to regional BC cuisine, Chef Butters is excited to have a restaurant in another part of the valley.  “I’m looking forward to working closely with the farmers and artisans of the South Okanagan in what I consider to be the Chef’s ‘Ultimate Playground.”

Working with Jorin Wolf Interior Design they did a refresh of the Terrafina space bringing in that warm and comfortable interior we love of RauDZ along with some eclectic features that guests enjoy in the micro bar & bites space. The idea is if you are comfortable in the other spaces, Terrafina will fit you perfectly as well.

Beverages are as high priority to the RauDZ team as the food is, as you will note from the wine, beer and cocktail programs offered at RauDZ and micro.  They continue to rotate taps of local craft beer, cocktails featuring local distillers, and the wine list will focus on the award-winning lineup of Hester Creek wines.  Audrey also pays tribute to the other wine regions of the valley with a personally curated Okanagan bottle list, supplemented with some great Italian wines to enhance the dining experience.