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 along with partner Chef Rod Butters own RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd, owning and operating four restaurants in the Okanagan:
Audrey is a member of the prestigious international organization Les Dames d’Escoffier.
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.
Robyn has been in the restaurant industry for 15 years working under some of the Okanagan’s finest chefs. She completed her apprenticeship under Chef Bernard Casavant at Burrowing Owl Winery, then challenged and pushed her fine dining skills with Chef Rod Butters in their four diamond restaurant Fresco and later RauDZ Regional Table. She honed her pastry skills at Manteo Resort, later returning to the RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. family as Chef de Cuisine at RauDZ Regional Table. She is is now the Manager and Chef at Sunny’s Modern Diner.
Robyn is very active in the community volunteering with the Okanagan Chefs Association and the Chefs in the Classroom – edible education program.
Favourite dish on the menu? I actually have two favourites – On my sweet tooth day I need waffles with mascarpone and fruit and that amazing Love’s maple syrup! But for everyday it’s the Garden Bowl. Those amazing flavours, textures and you feel great after. It’s even better when you add some bacon.
Favourite record from Sunny’s collection? At 6:00 am when I’m in the kitchen prepping for our opening you’ll probably hear Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. I do have a soft spot for ABBA’s Greatest Hits or Michael Jackson’s Thriller when we are in the middle of a busy Sunday brunch.
Patrick joined the team at Sunny’s Modern Diner from opening day and has quickly become part of the RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. family. He moved to Kelowna 15 years ago from Toronto and began his restaurant career working at restaurants in the downtown core. He is now Restaurant Supervisor at Sunny’s and with a two-year old daughter has learned to love the early mornings both she and the diner demand.
Favourite dish on the menu? Green Eggs and Ham. It’s hard to find a nice ham steak in a lot of places.
Favourite record from Sunny’s collection? Thriller. That album is so iconic, legendary and one of the all time greats.