Team

ANDREW RICHARDSON

EXECUTIVE CHEF

One of Canada’s finest chefs, Andrew is a native of Newcastle, England, and graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Science with honours in Hotel and Catering Management.

He began his cooking career as sous chef under Chef Terence Laybourne at the Michelin-starred 21 Queen Street in Newcastle, and later as Head Chef at sister restaurant Brasserie 21, which received the Michelin Bib Gourmand rating.

Andrew moved to Vancouver in 1999 and was actively involved in the opening of Cioppino’s as Executive Sous Chef, and then, took up the same role at West. He further honed his skills at Sooke Harbour House and the Carter House Inn in Northern California before accepting the Executive Chef role at Whistler’s Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar. He later returned to Newcastle to open Laybourne’s Jesmond Dene House Hotel, performed an extended stage at The French Laundry, and then moved to Calgary to open the top-rated Blink as part owner. He rejoined Toptable Group in 2012 as CinCin Ristorante + Bar’s Executive Chef.

Having built and established the CinCin team over the last several years, Andrew now takes the helm at Elisa as Executive Chef. His experience tending the Grillworks Infierno inspires him to elevate the art of wood-fired cooking for Elisa’s signature dishes and to perfect the craft of presenting prime ingredients on the plate.

RICARDO FERREIRA

RESTAURANT DIRECTOR

Toptable Group welcomes back Ricardo Ferreira as Elisa’s Restaurant Director. Ricardo was most recently found leading the team at Gastown’s award-winning L’Abattoir Restaurant; prior to that he managed the OPUS Hotel’s food and beverage program.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University, Ricardo was bitten by the hospitality bug while working at Vancouver’s Relais & Chateaux-designated Wedgewood Hotel.

He spent three years contributing to the growth of Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar as Restaurant Manager, before leaving to work and travel in the UK. Ricardo returned to the West Coast to rejoin the Toptable family and then spent four years at the helm of CinCin Ristorante + Bar as Restaurant Director. Ricardo comes home once again to add his hospitable energy to Elisa’s persona and charisma. With a love of orchestrating nightly service, Ricardo creates an unparalleled experience at the city’s premier steakhouse.

YVAN BURKHALTER

CHEF DE CUISINE

Yvan’s remarkable culinary pedigree began in his native Switzerland.He would graduate first in his class as Swiss Master Chef of the Culinary Arts and a series of postings soon saw him rise up through the ranks, working in a number of major Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels. He then extended his reach by joining two major Swiss catering firms, in Dornach and Basel, often serving more than a thousand guests per day for art shows, and corporate accounts such as Cartier, Choppard and Lalique. Yvan also gifted his expertise to emerging chefs as both a teacher and judge for the Swiss Culinary Arts Apprenticeship program.

In 2004, Yvan moved to Vancouver where he became Executive Chef at Vie de Paris Cafe and provided catering services to the General Consulate of Switzerland. In 2009, he joined Toptable Group asExecutive Sous Chef at sister restaurant CinCin Ristorante + Bar, and following a brief hiatus as a private chef to a Vancouver family, recently returned to work with Executive Chef Andrew Richardson with the opening of Elisa as Chef de Cuisine.

ALEX HON

SOUS CHEF

Vancouverite Alex Hon has been an integral part of Toptable Group’s kitchen brigade for over ten years, and has carefully honed his skills in concert with working with the best. A graduate of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA), Alex’s crowning as the 2016 Hawksworth Young Chefs Scholarship Foundation winner is a testament to his talents and skills as the next generation of culinary professionals.

As one of the key leaders of the culinary team at Elisa, Alex is devoted to using the most sustainable products possible and is also keenly aware of the importance of developing ongoing relationships with local purveyors. In fact, it is his intuitive sense of local and seasonal ingredients, and their preparation, that has been integral in shaping the menu offerings in collaboration with Executive Chef Andrew Richardson.

FRANCO MICHIENZI

wine director

Franco graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Science degree (Honours). He also holds the Certified Sommelier accreditation from the Courtof Master Sommeliers, and has continued his education by completing the WSET Level III certification with Distinction.

Franco began his Toptable Group career at sister restaurant Araxi Restaurant+ Oyster Bar. After relocating to Vancouver, he continued his hospitality career at West Restaurant + Bar as Head Server in2007. He became Sommelier at Hawksworth Restaurant in 2011 where he was promoted to Head Sommelier in 2016.

At Elisa, Franco’s passion for wines can best be showcased in the floor-to-ceiling glass cellar of over 6000 bottles from both the New and Old worlds.

KATIE INGRAM

bar manager

Over the past ten years, Katie Ingram has devoted her energy, skill and creativity to the food and beverage industry. As a specialist in the cocktail and spirits world, Ingram provides her work – with a level of grace and hospitality – that has helped propel her to the top of the industry. Ingram’s past endeavour as the Lead Bartender at downtown Vancouver’s UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, and Bar Manager at both L’Abattoir and their sister restaurant Coquille Fine Seafood, has helped pave the way for countless competition wins, educational trips, and now in her role as the Bar Manager at Toptable Group’s highly anticipated opening of Elisa.

In addition to her role at Elisa, Ingram is one of the Canadian Ambassadors for Bittered Sling – an award-winning, locally-based and internationally recognized cocktail bitters company.  Ingram’s young career has been met with wonderful opportunities, and includes award-winning cocktails and performances at Jameson’s Barrelman Challenge (2015) and Knob Creek’s Whiskey Cup (2016) and a Top 4 National Finalist for Diageo’s World Class Canada. Ingram’s involvement in immersion programs held in Ireland, Mexico, USA and France have helped broaden her scope of cocktail creativity, and with her additional fluency in French, a flair for romantic languages, and background in vocal and performing arts, Ingram adds a certain spice and talent to everything she does – personally and professionally.

Find Katie at home behind the bar at Elisa and be prepared to sip and savour some of the city’s finest inspired cocktails.

CLAIR HETTICH

restaurant manager

Clair Hettich is one of Vancouver’s most respected Restaurant Managers — her effervescent personality and genuine love for her craft lead to great guest experiences.

Clair began her career in Penticton where she quickly found her passion for hospitality. She also became immersed in the Okanagan Valley wine culture and developed an appreciation for the regional food movement. She moved to Vancouver in 2014, where she became Manager at The Water Street Cafe and discovered a new love on the management side of the restaurant business by developing others to deliver unsurpassed dining experiences. More recently, Clair was Assistant General Manager at Cibo Trattoria and Uva Wine Bar.

In the good and capable hands of Clair, a dining experience at Elisa is sure to be a memorable one.

BENJAMIN WRISTEN

restaurant manager

Prior to joining the team at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar for the last three years as Restaurant Manager, Benjamin worked at sister restaurant CinCin Ristorante + Bar to bring his expertise to the front-of-house team. And before that, his vast experience working at leading Lower Mainland restaurants in management capacities was where he developed an infectious passion and enthusiasm for hospitality.

Today, Benjamin takes his keen eye for detail, and works closely with his new Elisa team members to plan the evening’s service and orchestrate an authentic guest experience.He’s the consummate host and a leader in his own right.

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