The Okanagan Table celebrates opening with a victory lap of honour

 This article was written by Roslyn Buchanan for Gonzo Okanagan.  All photos by Roslyn Buchanan.

It was truly a victory lap for the team at RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd (RauDZ) as The Okanagan Table | kitchen | events | catering came to life in downtown Kelowna.

In entering the exciting new RauDZ facility, you discover a culinary design as sexy as the Ferrari racing red of its walk-in cooler. Rather than hide the huge cooler as many restaurants would insist upon, RauDZ chose to highlight it by painting it the official ‘Rosso corso’ – Ferrari’s signature colour. The cooler is imprinted with ‘19’ in the style of the Italian icon’s racing car numbers and in this case, indicates year built.

The Okanagan Table | kitchen | events | catering opens in downtown Kelowna. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

It’s fitting because The Okanagan Table will operate to some degree as the ‘drivetrain’ of all its operations. RauDZ family includes critically acclaimed farm-to-table RauDZ Regional Table, internationally inclined micro .bar & bites and retro-chic Sunny’s Modern Diner in downtown Kelowna and Italian articulated Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ in Oliver.

RauDZ Co-owner and wine guru Audrey Surrao (centre) toasts The Okanagan Table opening at sneak peek event. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Similarly, to ‘The Okanagan Table’ cookbook that inspired the naming of the new space, The Okanagan Table is designed to encourage us to get in the kitchen and cook especially leveraging fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Around the corner from local favourites Mosaic Books and Olive & Elle in a charming heritage building at 1571 Pandosy Street, this fifth RauDZ location is not a restaurant. Rather The Okanagan Table is a state-of-the-art kitchen with customizable event space. It will serve as a hub for off-site catering preparation for exclusive private events with menus created by RauDZ award-winning culinary teams.

RauDZ Culinary Education Director Geoffrey Couper slices sausage rolls. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

The kitchen will serve as the commissary kitchen for the four RauDZ restaurants giving “the culinary teams increased space to facilitate whole animal butchery, stock making, in-house training as well as lots of space for pastry chef Jason Whitfield to develop his desserts and treats for the properties.”

RauDZ Executive Director of Operations Bernard Casavant selects heirloom tomatoes from Bonnie Casavant’s produce grown for RauDZ with Ferrari-red walk-in cooler in background. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

True to RauDZ philosophy “connecting people through food”, creative events, team building and kitchen parties can be re-imagined in this stunning space. The intimate setting can seat 30 or offer space for more in a stand-up reception where cooking classes, cocktail demonstrations, wine education seminars, tastings and private events can be hosted.

Sneak Peek guests welcomed at The Okanagan Table by Co-owners (wine guru Audrey Surrao and Chef Rod Butters. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Tim Bullinger of Arca 3 Design Studio, the award-winning architect who designed the RauDZ bar, micro bar • bites and Sunny’s Modern Diner created a highly flexible and upscale environment with pizazz and form/function akin to a racing car.

Leadership team celebrates victory lap at The Okanagan Table | kitchen | events | catering. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

You can even compare the tablets designed for the cooking and demonstration classes to OBD (on board diagnostics) that are programmed to assist you. Unlike the OBD systems of ‘hypercars’, you don’t have to be a qualified technician to understand them. The tablets will contain information about the dish or cocktail you’re learning to make, pictures of what it should look like and the recipe. It will allow you to photograph your rendition and use its functions to share yours on social media. How cool is that?

Dessert is served at The Okanagan Table | kitchen | events | catering Sneak Peek. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Everywhere you look the details are amazing from bathroom floor tile imported from Europe, funky fixtures, glorious glassware to decorative magnetic holders for knives and rolling pin wall decor. Even the subway tile backsplashes were painstakingly installed vertically rather than the customary horizontal orientation.

CedarCreek Estate Winery Home Block Sparkling Brut marks ‘Lap of Honour’. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

You’ll find dine in/take out lunch and dinner options and retail shelves offering RJB Blackberry Ketchup, Sunny’s Modern Diner Blend Coffee, Love’s Home Farm Maple Syrup, house made ‘Soul Stock’, exclusive kitchenware as used and loved by RauDZ culinary teams. Plus, you can pick up the best-selling cookbook ‘The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking’.

‘The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking’ by Chef Rod Butters available for purchase. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

The leadership of RauDZ co-owners (wine guru Audrey Surrao and Chef Rod Butters) with RauDZ Executive Director of Operations Bernard Casavant and Culinary Education Director Geoffrey Couper bring together a long and impressive history of restaurant and hospitality experience to The Okanagan Table.

Details such as vertically installed subway tile and decorative magnetic knife holders backdrop to Pickled Carrots and organized spice containers. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

As pointed out in the ‘About Us’ section of theokanagantable.com, the “team is chock-a-block with talent including two BC Restaurant Hall of Fame inductees, three members of the Canadian Culinary Honor Society, a winner of the International Chaine des Rotisseurs “Commis Rotisseurs” competition, multiple winners of cooking competitions and cocktail battles, a long-term culinary instructor recognized with the Okanagan College Teaching Excellence award, a Food Network Top Chef Canada and Chopped Canada competitor, graduates and students of WSET (The Wine & Spirit Education Trust), sommeliers and leaders in the industry.”

Sneak Peek event to open The Okanagan Table | kitchen | events | catering in downtown Kelowna with Mayor Colin Basran in attendance. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Like the champagne moments in celebrating a win at the racetrack, guests at the sneak peek event were treated to CedarCreek Estate Winery Home Block Sparkling Brut. The appetizers impeccably served capitalized on those seasonal farm-to-table flavours we’ve come to revere about RauDZ cuisine. Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran spoke for the community in lauding RauDZ for its track record and congratulating the team on this new venture.

Get your motors running to race over to The Okanagan Table | kitchen | events | catering to experience it for yourself.

Featured photo: BLT in a spoon served as appetizer at The Okanagan Table sneak peek. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.