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Leadership Award: Rob Feenie

By TIM PAWSEY

Feenie

Cactus Club Cafe’s Chef Rob Feenie

Ask Rob Feenie where he’s going to be next week, and chances are he’ll mention anywhere but Vancouver. Recently, the team at Cactus Club Cafe has opened numerous locations across the West, as well as a new flagship in Toronto. Since leaving his much-celebrated Lumière and joining Cactus Club as executive chef, Feenie has helped shape Vancouver’s culinary culture in ways that most could never have imagined.

Feenie works with every chef in the group on a regular basis, to develop skills and techniques across the board. “My relationship is directly with the chefs who run the restaurants,” he says. In particular they focus on items for Feenie’s Feature Sheet, which is introducing West Coast Ocean Wise ingredients such as sablefish, albacore tuna, ling cod, Lois Lake steelhead trout and even Northern Divine caviar to Canadians across the country. The chef imprinted much of his personal style to help Cactus Club win West Coast hearts. “But who would have thought sous-vide duck confit would become a Cactus Club staple?” he says with a laugh.

Ask Feenie which of the chefs who’ve passed through his kitchens continue to impress, and he’ll rattle off a list of Vancouver luminaries, as well as numerous up-and-comers.

Where salutes chef Rob Feenie for his vision and leadership, and for the indelible mark he’s made on Vancouver’s—and Canada’s—food culture.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

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