David, or "Bekks" as his friends lovingly call him, has returned to his roots in the Okanagan after spending time in Calgary and Vancouver, and has brought some of that flare along with him.
He has had the privilege to train in amazing environments like the J.W. Marriott, Hy's Steakhouse and five years at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and is excited to use his expertise and experience to re-energize our incredible staff and promote a new and exciting atmosphere at Erica Jane.
When he's not shaking your hand at the front door chances are he's watching his beloved Blue Jays (win or lose as a true fan does)
Stop on by and say hi, he can't wait to make some new friends and reconnect with some old ones!
Chris grew up on a hobby farm in the Okanagan, where producing heirloom fruits and vegetables gave him an early understanding and love for the bounty of the area. He began cooking at an early age, spending his weekends with his grandmother who helped to nurture a budding passion for food, and by grade school he had decided that he wanted to be a chef. Since then, he has traveled the country and abroad, cooking with and learning from some of Canadas best chefs.
Chris began his career in the Okanagan Valley at Earls On Top, located in downtown Kelowna. He eventually graduated from the Okanagan College Culinary Center which, along with his past experience, led him to earn an apprenticeship under Chef Monika Lauterbacher and Coast Hotels. During this time, he used his expertise to source a network of local farmers and producers; nurturing these relationships as he worked his way through the Okanagan Valley. His past experience growing produce and raising livestock is a large part of what fuels his enormous respect for fine ingredients and those who produce them.
Brauner, as he is affectionately referred to by his peers, also proudly enjoys numerous personal accolades. He is a Culinary Team BC member, Culinary Team BC being a volunteer-based group which fundraises and practices within the province for a chance to compete on a world stage in Luxembourg 2022. He has also competed for the Culinary Federation as a senior competitor, as well as made it to the winner’s circle of Gold Medal Plates. Chris is an active board member of the Okanagan Chefs Association, volunteer for Chefs in the Classroom and various other charities in the region.
His career showcases a pronounced dedication to long-term sustainability within the culinary community. He possesses a true understanding of farm to table dining due to his background, and the respect he shows to producers is influenced by that. His belief is and will always be that the kitchen does not do the hard work,
The farmer, fisher, rancher, or grower do.
They make his job easy.
A career spanning 20 years in the field of hospitality, Vinay has worked on world class cruise lines globally such as Viz., P&O Cruises, Holland America Line & MSC Cruises. He has a plethora of experience in many types management roles in the food and beverage industry where he has been fortunate to offer cuisines and beverages from around the world. Vinay is as comfortable in state of the art facilities as he is in modest operations, and has led teams as small as 10 to as sizeable as 250.
He also spent 8 years in the Middle East, specifically in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, working for various catering companies in the role of a General Manager, managing 10000-15000 meals per day.
Not only possessing a WSET level 3 in wines & spirits from the UK and a sommelier certificate from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, Miami, Vinay also holds a degree in business management and an MBA in Hospitality.
Vinay joined the Erica Jane family in March 2023, officially calling Canada as his new home. He believes that, passion for anything is the sole mantra leading to success. The most important reasons for him choosing Erica Jane: “The product being offered and the story behind Erica Jane fascinate me. I love working with people and to bring a smile on their face.”
He is looking forward to exploring Kelowna and Canada and sharing his stories with you on your next visit!