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: www.chefrodbutters.com