Chef Rod Butters, a renowned promoter of local and regional cuisine, will share his expertise with Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) culinary students as Hokanson Chef in Residence from March 12 to 16.
Butters, who owns three restaurants in the Okanagan Valley and is opening a fourth this spring, has worked at hotels and restaurants in Vancouver, Whistler, Toronto and Hong Kong. He has earned numerous honours for his commitment to his community and its producers.
“I’m incredibly proud and excited to be the next NAIT Chef in Residence. It’s an amazing lineup of previous chefs who have been involved. Many of them are friends and I’m humbled to be included,” Butters said. I can already tell this will be another career highlight for me.”
NAIT’s Hokanson Chef in Residence program, now in its 10th year, provides students with a rare opportunity to learn firsthand from the best chefs in North America. The program was made possible by a generous donation from John and Susan Hokanson.
Butters owns two restaurants in Kelowna – RauDZ Regional Table and micro bar and bites, as well as Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ in Oliver, B.C. He plans to open Sunny’s modern diner in Kelowna this spring.
He was the first Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, when it became part of the prestigious Relais and Chateau group, an association of luxury, independent hotels and restaurants.
His cookbook, The Okanagan Table: the art of Everyday Home Cooking, was recently named the Canadian winner for best local cookbook by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
Butters was named an Honorary Okanagan Fellow in 2015 by Okanagan College for his work with students and the community.
He was inducted into the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame by his peers in 2007 and to the Canadian Culinary Federation Honour Society in 2013.
Past chefs in residence at NAIT have included Rob Feenie in 2009, David Adjey in 2010, Susur Lee in 2011, Massimo Capra in 2012, Chris Cosentino in 2013, Lynn Crawford in 2014, Michael Stadtländer in 2015, Vikram Vij in 2016 and Amanda Cohen in 2017.