Brock Bowes, Executive Chef
Brock Bowes accepted the position of Executive Chef at the Sonora Room Restaurant in spring 2013. Brock is homegrown talent: after graduating from the Vancouver Island University Culinary Arts program, his career quickly took off when renowned Chef Bernard Casavant recognized his potential. Bowes worked under Casavant at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and then at Chef Bernard’s Café. Bowes returned to Vancouver Island in 2003 to develop his kitchen management skills at the Hotel Grand Pacific, the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, and Dock 503. He then decided to broaden his culinary horizons by cultivating professional relationships with chefs in Europe, gaining hands-on experience in a number of leading European fine dining establishments.
In 2007 Bowes returned to Canada. He once again joined forces with Chef Casavant, and together they worked at Burrowing Owl’s Sonora Room. This was Bowes’ first experience at the restaurant, and he took advantage of the opportunity to make connections with local suppliers and to increase his knowledge about food and wine pairing.
Bowes and Casavant subsequently successfully revamped the kitchen at Kelowna’s Manteo Resort, and Bowes then returned to Victoria to work at the Pacific Restaurant before becoming Executive Chef at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. As is evident from this short summary, he brought a wealth of experience and knowledge with him when he returned to the Sonora Room as Executive Chef. Bowes is unceasingly passionate about creating menus that showcase Burrowing Owl wines, carefully considering how each dish will pair with the unique character of the wines crafted on the estate to enhance guests’ enjoyment.
Dave Keeler, Restaurant Operator
Dave Keeler is a seasoned restauranteur who began his restaurant management career over 20 years ago with The Spectra Group of Restaurants in Vancouver BC.
A veteran of restaurant startups, Dave developed and opened 10 restaurant concepts over the past 15 years located in Vancouver, the Okanagan Valley and London England. Highlights of this include opening the first Romano,s Macaroni Grill outside of the US in conjunction with Brinker International, working with Paramount Pictures to create the concept for the Cheers Restaurant and Bar located on Regent Street in London England, and opening both the Quails Gate Old Vines Patio Restaurant and most recently Bonfire Restaurant & Bar in the Okanagan Valley.
With 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry Dave has developed a unique skill set and refined knowledge of the intricacies of exceptional service. His foundation in the industry was built through experience working in service and management positions at the following fine establishments:
- Cristal Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Bishops Restaurant, Vancouver BC, Canada
- The Coral Beach & Tennis Club, Bermuda
- The Spectra Group of Great Restaurants, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Hy’s Steakhouse, Whistler BC, Canada
In 2006 Dave started Vintage Hospitality Management Limited, a restaurant development and management company of which he is currently the Managing Director.
Yvonne Ouwerkerk, Restaurant Manager
Yvonne’s love of the hospitality industry began as a summer serving job during university. After graduating with a history degree, Yvonne realized that her love of guest service exceeded her love of history and she decided to make the hospitality industry her career. She spent 7 years at the Hart House Restaurant in Burnaby, working as the Special Events Coordinator and the Operations Manager until moving to Tofino in 1999.
Yvonne joined the team at the Wickaninnish Inn as the Assistant Restaurant Manager for 1 ½ years before moving into a “back of house” position in the accounting department, first as the administrator and then as the Accounting Manager. After spending three years learning about the business side of the industry, Yvonne once again missed the people and moved back to the Pointe Restaurant as the Restaurant Manager, a position she held for 2 years until leaving Tofino in 2006.
Yvonne has lived in the south Okanagan and worked at The Sonora Room as the Restaurant Manager since 2007. Yvonne loves everything about the south Okanagan – the weather, the wine, the fresh produce. She is passionate about showcasing all that this region has to offer to our visitors and works hard to instill this passion into the service team.
Dinner Shuttle Transportation - OK Wine Shuttle www.okwineshuttle.ca offers an evening dinner shuttle that starts picking up daily at 6:30 pm at the resorts and hotels in Osoyoos. The return cost is $20 per person (includes HST) and a reservation is required. Call 250-495-3278 to book a pick up. Click here for more information www.okwineshuttle.ca