Waterfront Wines Restaurant | Meet Our Team
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About The Team

Mark Filatow – Executive Chef & Sommelier

With over twenty years of experience, Mark Filatow represents the pinnacle of culinary excellence and is the driving force behind Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar. After being accepted into the coveted Sommelier Guild in 2001, he also gained the distinctoin of being one of the only chefs in Canada with this level of skill in food and wine pairing. With countless awards and continual stream of industry accolades from Vancouver Magazine, The Calgary Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Eat Magazine and more, Mark still manages to keep his feet on the ground… and in the kitchen as Executive Chef/Sommelier of Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Culinary Mentors: Joel Robuchon, Ben Shewry, the people around me.

Favourite Ingredient: Salt

What’s on Your Kitchen Prep Playlist: The National, Gang Starr, The Arctic Monkeys, Avett Brothers, Wu Tang,

Go-To Post-Service Drink: Hmmmm, a palate cleansing IPA either at the Bar at Work, BNA, Vice and Virtue or at Home….

On a day off, you’ll find me: On a Bike, On Skis, with the Fam or standing in front of a Webber drinking a beer.

Recent Accolades:

  • Western Living Magazine – “Top Foodies under 40″
  • Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
    “Gold” Best Restaurant in the Okanagan – 11 years running
  • Southbrook Award for Food Day Canada – “Best Wine Paired Menu”
  • Food Day Canada – University of Guelph, Good Food Innovation Award 2013 & 2014

James McKenzie – Restaurant Chef

Born and raised in the Okanagan, Chef James has spent nearly a decade cooking in top Westcoast restaurants. James joined the team as a young apprentice in 2014 before moving to Vancouver Island to further his knowledge of the ingredients our beautiful province has to offer.  In Victoria, he honed his skills as the Sous Chef of Olo Restaurant before returning home in 2018, where he took the reigns at Waterfront as the Restaurant Chef.

Culinary Mentors: I’m not much for Instagram celebrity chefs and Michelin star admiration, all my mentors are my peers. I can confidently say that Nelson Daniels is the reason I am the cook I am today. Mark Filatow is a constant, daily inspiration as to who I aspire to be. Max Durrand and Brad Holmes opened my eyes to the science behind cooking.

Favourite Ingredient: Sherry Vinegar, Rendered animal fat (Chicken shmultz to be more specific)

What’s on Your Kitchen Prep Playlist: Mood pending – The Darkness-Permission to land, Pink Floyd-Atom Heart Mother, Anderson. Paak – Yes Lawd!

Go-To Post-Service Drink: Fernet Branca

On a day off, you’ll find me: Whats a day off? Just kidding – Eating sushi, riding bikes, on the slopes, spending time with my partner Elise and my dog Ruby.

Liam Owen – Chef

Culinary Mentors: Francois DeJoung- opened my eyes to how you should think about cooking. “Taste and reflect, always.”

Mark Filatow- constantly teaches me a better way to do things and holds everyone to a higher standard. Worth moving to another province just to work for him.
James McKenzie: His hard work and dedication is something that I have always looked up to. He is a great mentor, friend, and person to bounce ideas off of.
Favourite Ingredient: Black Pepper. Toasted and ground by hand, always. Steep it into your ice cream – you’re welcome in advance.
Post Service Drink: Vice and Virtue White Lie Pilsner, crispiest brew around.
Day Off You’ll Find Me: Probably at Sprout having a coffee and some toast or expanding my culinary horizons cooking at home by trying new dishes.

Monthit Phonphet – Chef

Culinary Mentors: Chumpol Changpra, Mark Filatow

Favourite Ingredient: Chili, Fish Sauce, Galangal, Lemongrass

What’s on Your Kitchen Prep Playlist: Not Josh’s Playlist ; ) and  Michael Jackson

Go-To Post-Service Drink: Tantalus Riesling

On a day off, you’ll find me: Cooking Thai Food, Practicing Vegetable and Fruit Carving

Sarah Wallace – Business & Event Manager

Sarah is the Restaurant and Events Manager for Waterfront Restaurant and the Jill-of-all-trades behind the scenes. After completing her Hospitality Management Diploma at Okanagan College, Sarah gained invaluable hospitality experience during a tenure at the Epcot Theme Park in Disney World. Upon returning to BC, she spent six years as sales/event coordinator at award-winning Predator Ridge Golf Course, as well as six years at the Delta Grand Okanagan in food & beverage and conference services. Sarah has been at Waterfront since early 2012 and absolutely loves her job. She truly enjoys working with people and her goal is to ensure that every event goes off without a hitch!

Favourite Waterfront Dish: The Duck!!!

What’s on Your Pre-Event Playlist: I love a good 80’s ballad or 90’s boy bands.

Go-to Post-Event drink: A nice cold beer

On a day off, you’ll find me: Hanging out with my son or thinking about how lucky I am to have a day off –  that doesn’t always happen during the summer months.