While Rod Butters might blush being called renowned, his peers inducted him into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2007. Such accolades are no surprise for those fervent about fine food in the Okanagan. Fans of RauDZ Creative Concepts restaurants including RauDZ Regional Table, micro bar • bites and Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ, eagerly anticipate his long-awaited first cookbook.
“At its heart, the book is about my passionate relationship to food. I wrote it, quite simply, for people who love to cook. It’s not intended to blow minds or turn cooking into a lab experiment, explains Butters. “Cooking should be inclusionary, not exclusionary. We gather in the kitchen because it’s comforting, and it harkens back to the happy feelings that a warm, aromatic kitchen instilled in us as kids.”
The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking, published by Figure 1 Vancouver, hits bookshelves summer 2017. Celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud said, “The problem is that there are many great chefs and many great cookbooks, but none of them work at home.” Chef Butters’ book completely addresses that: geared to the home cook, Butters prepared every one of these recipes in his own home rather than in restaurant kitchens. True to that focus, accompanying every recipe is a photograph to give you something to aim for when recreating his dishes.
“I want you to get this book dirty – dog-ear the pages, write in the margins, stuff your grandmother’s best recipes for Swedish meatballs and zucchini loaf between the pages,” explains Butters. There’s over 270 pages including 80 recipes and more than 120 photos by local professional photographer David McIlvride, who shot this stunning photography in Butters’ home and throughout the valley. Locals and tourists will have fun spotting places they recognize. Butters is keeping it local, too, by having it printed in Canada rather than overseas like a lot of cookbooks. Plus, Canadian culinary icons, Bernard Casavant, Anita Stewart and Jamie Maw wrote the forewards.
Also, departing from tradition, it’s structured by time of day: Sunrise, Midday, Sunset and Twilight. Favourites from Butters’ restaurants and home are featured, for example, Chef’s World-Famous Pancakes, made since he was seven years old. There’s Oat-Crusted Arctic Char, a RauDZ staple and Fresco carry-over, Spring Pea Soup, and the RJB – think steak sandwich or the ultimate burger’ with beef tenderloin, butter poached crab, shaved cured bacon, onion jam on a brioche bun. Twilight offers tapas such as RauDZ stuffed calamari, the addictive duck-fat popcorn that’s a staple at micro, and some beloved cocktails from their Liquid Chefs. The unbelievable ingredients chefs and home cooks experience in the Okanagan are showcased such as seasonal fresh produce. Pick up at any of Chef Butters’ restaurants or online at www.chefrodbutters.com
photo: Chef Rod Butters with David McIlvride photographing Rod’s new cookbook.