Students of the culinary department will have to start thinking local as NAIT announced Rod Butters as its new chef-in residence. The Kelowna chef and restaurateur will be the 10th Hokanson Chef-in- Residence and will be sharing with students his expertise in local and regional cuisine from March 12-16.
A pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, Butters currently owns two restaurants in Kelowna and is opening a third, Sunny’s Diner, there this spring. His philosophy of “support local, buy local, eat and drink local” has been significant in promoting culinary tourism in the Okanagan. “I’m incredibly proud and excited to be the next NAIT chef in residence,” said Butters. “It’s an amazing lineup of previous chefs who have been involved. Many of them are friends and I’m humbled to be included. I can already tell this will be another career highlight for me.”
Among some of his highlights, is his induction into the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2007. He has also earned many honours, including the Canadian winner for best local cookbook by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for his cookbook, The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking.
Chef Butters was also the first chef de cuisine at the world renowned Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, B.C. His cuisine helped the inn’s Pointe Restaurant attain the internationally recognized Relais & Châteaux designation, a designation that only six other properties in Western Canada have attained.
“This is a great way for us to celebrate Canada 150 and the 10th year of the Hokanson program,” said Perry Michetti, the manager of operations for the department of culinary arts and professional food studies.
“Chef Butters is a Canadian-born, Canadian-trained, Canadian entrepreneur, supporting Canadian cuisine and Canadian chefs. We’re thrilled to have him at NAIT.”
The Hokanson Chef in Residence program provides students with the opportunity to learn directly from some of the best chefs in North America. The chef in residence program exposes students to innovative cooking techniques as well as diverse culinary trends and styles.
– Nikita Ganovicheff