Team

Executive Chef: Quang Dang
Restaurant Director + Wine Director: Owen Knowlton
Pastry Chef: Rhonda Viani
Restaurant Manager: Giovanni Giardino

 

 

QUANG DANG

Executive Chef

Quang

Chef Quang Dang began his culinary career at West, where he worked as junior sous chef. Over the next five years, while honing his technique in some of Vancouver’s finest kitchens, Quang quickly established himself as an advocate of sustainability and a champion of West Coast cuisine, a role that he continues to undertake in defining his approach to modern cookery.

Raised in Calgary, Alberta with family roots that stretch back to Scotland and the orchards and rice fields of Vietnam, Chef Dang originally moved to Vancouver in 1998 to finish his engineering degree and fulfill a dream to train for the Olympics with Canada's national field hockey team. Part-time positions in the hospitality industry soon won him over, though, and his culinary career began in earnest. Quang went on to compete in a number of international food competitions such as the Bocuse D'Or in Lyon France, the National Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Winnipeg and as a Canadian representative at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, the largest of its kind.

Quang returned ‘home’ to West as Executive Chef in September 2011. “Every day brings a new adventure,” he says, “defined by the seasons and the extraordinary ingredients available to us in Vancouver. It is my privilege to work alongside one of the finest culinary and service brigades in the country.”


OWEN KNOWLTON

Restaurant Director + Wine DirectorOwen

Owen Knowlton moved from his native Ontario to Lake Louise, Alberta to follow his love of skiing; after joining the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise he quickly became enamored with the hospitality industry and his enthusiasm for wine began to grow.

Since then his career path has traveled through Australia’s prestigious bars, restaurants and wine regions before heading back to Canada to Banff’s renowned Rimrock Resort Hotel, where as Maitre’d & Sommelier, he was responsible for developing the highly acclaimed wine collection. Moving on to Vancouver, Knowlton was led by a desire to explore Canada’s hottest dining city and joined the long established Le Crocodile, as Maitre’d of the French fine-dining restaurant.

At West he now enjoys being part of the team who run one of Vancouver’s most progressive and celebrated restaurants. As Wine Director, Knowlton nurtures and grows the acclaimed selection adding carefully to the five hundred label list, always conscious to pass on value, quality and diversity when selecting new wines. His ambitions are to develop the wine list and educate the service team to assist guests in discovering new food and wine combinations that will ultimately heighten the dining experience at West.

Sommelier of the Year, Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, 2011


RHONDA VIANI

Pastry ChefRhonda

Born and raised in Vancouver, accomplished Pastry Chef Rhonda Viani has over 15 years of professional cooking experience. An inspirational teacher in high school first sparked her enthusiasm for cooking, baking and pastry and encouraged her to pursue a career in the kitchen.

Following an apprenticeship at Michel Jacob’s Le Crocodile, Viani’s career has progressed to include time spent in many prestigious kitchens, including notably, four years at Chocolate Arts, under chocolatier-patissier Gregg Hook, two years as Pastry Chef at Lumiere and most recently stints as Pastry Chef at both Marque Restaurant in Sydney, Australia and at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island. Viani has developed a style she describes as “simple and fun; dishes are not overloaded with ingredients, but focused on allowing natural flavours to stand out and speak for themselves.”

This approach, combined with Viani’s creative talent, delivered her first place in the Quady Essencia Dessert Competition in 2000. She was also the Patissier for Team BC, which was awarded gold at the International Apprentice Competition in Toronto in 1993.

At West, Viani’s dessert menu changes with the seasons, featuring fresh fruits and chocolate desserts combined with local herbs for regional flavour. The finest selection of local and international cheese is complemented with walnut and raisin bread, made daily along with a variety of sorbets, ice creams, chocolates and petits fours.


GIOVANNI GIARDINO

Restaurant ManagerGiovanni

Giovanni Giardino started in the hospitality industry in his hometown of Winnipeg before going west to Vancouver in 1992, he landed at South Granville’s Carnegie’s Bar and Grill where he tended bar until the turn of the century. Giovanni then set his sights on one of the most critically acclaimed and highly awarded restaurants in Vancouver, West, where he tended the cherry wood bar for five years. In 2005 he enriched his development as the Barman at Le Crocodile with the inimitable Michel Jacob.

In 2008, Giovanni was invited to join the opening team at Campagnolo Restaurant as Bar Manager. Giovanni's extensive knowledge and gracious approach to customer service earned him the coveted Vancouver Magazine 'Premier Crew' service award in 2011. Giovanni's expertise was further recognized when he accepted the position of General Manager at Campagnolo Restaurant in 2012.

Giovanni took over as GM at Campagnolo Roma in the fall of 2013, and celebrated winning best Casual Italian restaurant at the Vancouver Magazine awards in 2014. That same year, Giovanni seamlessly rejoined Owen Knowlton's team as Restaurant Manager, where he continues to enrich guests' dining experiences nightly, utilizing one of the finest brigades in Vancouver’s stellar dining community.