Chef set to shine in a new role

Renowned Chef Bernard Casavant is leaving Okanagan College, but he’s not leaving the institution or his devotion to culinary education behind.

Casavant, who started work as Culinary Manager at OC in 2014, has a rich history in B.C.’s culinary community. He is a member of the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was one of the first chefs in Canada to earn Chef de Cuisine Certification (CCC). In 1991, he became the first West Coast-born and trained chef to represent Canada in the prestigious Bocuse D'Or Competition, France, and has served as president of the Okanagan Chefs Association.

Beyond the kitchen, Casavant has also been a major force for improvement in the hospitality industry during his career and in promoting the farm-to-table movement throughout B.C.

Now he is going to work with two of his long-time friends – “they’re really like family,” says Casavant – Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao as the director of Operations for RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. Casavant will be overseeing the company’s four restaurants.

Beyond being able to work with long-time friends, some great chefs that he has cooked with (and some whom he has trained) over the years, Casavant intends to continue his devotion to furthering the culinary reputation of the region, and building on the farm-to-table movement he has been so passionate about.

“I’m certainly interested in helping realize the vision that Okanagan College has for contributing to the food, wine and tourism sector of the region. I know that I’ll be working with and supporting the institution in the future as it builds its culinary capacity. I know that is something that Rod and Audrey believe in and have supported as well.”

Casavant has been involved in and helped lead several important developments at OC in recent years, not the least of which was the raising the College’s profile in the national Gold Medal Plates annual competition. He was also instrumental in helping launch a pastry arts program at the College, and joined Pastry Arts instructor Danny Capadouca in developing and trademarking two chocolate recipes for Okanagan College. OC is the first culinary institution in the world to have two trademarked chocolate recipes from famed chocolate maker Cacao Barry (Kalamalka Karamel and Okanagan Noir).

“Chef Bernard’s dedication and leadership will be missed at OC,” notes College President Jim Hamilton, “but we know his commitment to culinary excellence and education is something we can rely on.”

Casavant starts his role with RauDZ Creative Concepts on March 19.

Original article by Okanagan College