Devour! Chefs in the Spotlight: CHEF ROB WALKER

Guests at Devour! Osoyoos have the very good fortune to be able to taste the cuisine of Canada’s best kitchens in one of the country’s most stunning locales.

This year once again promises an incredible lineup of participating chefs. Devour! Osoyoos is so proud to showcase the talents of these industry leaders.

So much personality goes into the dishes every chef creates. What influenced the Devour! chefs to pursue their culinary passions, and what inspired their unique cooking styles? We were curious, and think Devour! festival guests might be, too. So we asked them!

In the spotlight this week, we’d like to introduce Big White Ski Resort’s Executive Chef Rob Walker.

Rob graduated from the culinary arts program at Okanagan University College in 2001, while working at Kelowna’s Lake Okanagan Resort under a Culinary Team Canada chef. He then apprenticed under chefs from Culinary Team BC at the Okanagan Golf Club, and further cultivated his skills at Vancouver’s Westin Bayshore Hotel. In 2004, Rob completed his apprenticeship with dean’s list academic standing.

While in Vancouver, Rob pursued his passion for the marriage of food and wine, training with the International Sommelier Guild at Vancouver College, and participating in the University of British Columbia’s wine program.

In 2008, Rob returned to Kelowna to participate in the growing trend towards “farm to table” cuisine, utilizing the plentiful products of the Okanagan Valley. Rob was the Executive Chef for Bonfire Restaurant & Bar at the Cove Lakeside Resort under the management of Vintage Hospitality. While at Bonfire, the restaurant garnered many awards and was featured in several publications, most notably appearing on the cover of Okanagan Life’s Best Restaurants 2009 edition.

In 2010 Rob was one of thirteen Okanagan chefs asked to represent the region at the Canadian Chef Congress for Sustainability on Vancouver Island.

Rob moved to the South Okanagan in 2012 to revitalize the food and beverage operations at Spirit Ridge Resort. With Vintage Hospitality, Rob led the opening of Mica restaurant and the implementation of an extensive, successful catering program. Rob also served as a consultant for the Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex.

In 2014, Rob was integral in launching Liquidity Bistro in Okanagan Falls. Since its inception, the restaurant has consistently ranked among Open Table’s Top 100 in Canada.

Rob embarked on a new challenge in 2016 as the Executive Chef for Big White Ski Resort, overseeing the resort’s multiple restaurant properties. In this position, he has focused on elevating the menus of the Kettle Valley Steakhouse & Wine Bar, the Moose Lounge, the Black Forest Day Lodge, Moonlight Bistro, the Clocktower Coffee Co., and The Woods.

Rob is an active culinary competitor, earning two gold medals at the Western Canadian Culinary Arts Festival, and honourable mentions at both the BC Place Food Service Expo 2005 and the EAT! City Vancouver’s Master Chef Competition 2005. Additionally, Rob won First Place in 2013 Sysco Chefs Black Box competition. Most recently, Rob competed in the 2016 semi-finals for the Canadian Culinary Championship – Gold Medal Plates in Victoria.

Rob is excited to be a part of Devour! Osoyoos, and is eager to embrace the unique challenges that come with pairing the plate to the screen.

Chef Walker will be one of the featured chefs at the Devour! Saturday Evening Gala at Watermark Beach Resort on June 16.

Tickets and special package rates for the Devour! Osoyoos festival are on now. Visit our Devour! page to book yours!