Golden Plates 2012: Chef Rob Feenie takes his inspiration from around the globe
Chef Rob Feenie, one of Canada’s most recognized chefs, is the culinary force behind Cactus Club Café’s 21 casual fine dining restaurants in British Columbia and Alberta. As Food Concept Architect, he has infused the menu with his signature globally inspired dishes that make use of fresh, local ingredients wherever possible.
Born and raised in Burnaby, Feenie enjoyed spending time in the kitchen and became interested in international cuisine at an early age. He was exposed to European chefs and cooking techniques during a high school exchange program in Europe and attended Dubrulle Culinary Institute at age 20, going on to become Sous-chef of Le Crocodile, Cherry Stone Cove and Whistler’s The Rim Rock Café. During his stint at Le Crocodile, Feenie embarked on a series of stages, during which he worked at Michelin three-star-rated restaurants in Alsace with Chef Emile Jung at Au Crocodile and Antoine Westermann at Buerehiesel, in Chicago with Charlie Trotter and in New York with Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Upon returning to Vancouver, Feenie opened the now-closed award-winning restaurant Lumière, followed by Lumière Tasting Bar and the neighbouring more casual Feenie’s in 2003, during which time the restaurants collected various awards and designations, both local and international, such as the Mobil Travel Guide four-stars designation and the AAA Five Diamond Award.
In 2005, Feenie became Canada’s first Iron Chef America champion by defeating Japan’s Chef Masaharu Morimoto. He also starred in five seasons of Food Network Canada’s New Classics with Chef Rob Feenie and is the author of three cookbooks: Rob Feenie Cooks at Lumière, Lumière Light, and Feenie’s.
Under Chef Feenie, Cactus Club Café won four Golden Plates this year: Best Chain Restaurant, Best Restaurant Atmosphere, Best Restaurant for Hot Female Servers and Best Restaurant for a First Date with Somebody You Met Online. Congratulations!