Connecting with a culture through food.
Chef McDonald brings a wealth of international culinary experience to our team, and has a distinct passion and creativity aligned with the Unbound Collection brand.
His most recent role was Executive Chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. Prior to that, he gained significant notoriety as the founding Executive Chef of the Fogo Island Inn. The concept he launched at this luxury destination resort received many international awards, and was ranked in the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada, “World’s 50 Best” by Diners Club Discovery Series, “Best new Restaurant” by Enroute Magazine, among other awards.
Chef McDonald’s culinary leadership experience also includes; Executive Chef of Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie in Toronto, Executive Sous Chef of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Chef de Cuisine of the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, Sous Chef of Huka Lodge (Relais & Chateau) in New Zealand. Murray is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Ian came to cooking in a bit of an obtuse way, from biochemistry labs. Dissatisfied with the view of a future in these labs, he decided to go back to an early love, cooking tasty meals for friends and family. Fast forward 10 years and he could be found filling the role of executive chef of a small hotel on Vancouver Island where he stayed for seven years, continually mentoring young chefs while growing a loyal clientele.
The new millennium saw him wanting to expand is knowledge base so he moved to the big city, Vancouver, and took a starting position at “C” , at the time a premier seafood restaurant renowned for sustainability and innovation. Learning many new techniques at “C”, he decided to follow him to the Okanagan when asked. He quickly fell in love with the area and purchased a home in home in Osoyoos suitable to his small town upbringing.
Born and raised in the central region of the Philippines, Carl has always been surrounded by incredible curators of festive cuisines. Coming from a family of humble rice, fruit and vegetable framers and cultivators, the passion for food and cooking came from his grandmother. She was a town cook. Along with a group of elderly women, they would cook for any and every event arriving with cleaver on one hand, a “syansi” or turner in the other and a tobacco on the lips. The love of baking and pastry came from his mother who employed him as a in-house taste tester.
Carl Sanchez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts from De La Salle – College of St. Benilde in Manila, Philippines. He worked as a Pastry Demi-Chef de Partie at Fauchon in Kuwait, well-known for its classic yet contemporary cuisine, as a pastry cook in San Diego, California, at The Coast Restaurant in Gulf Shores in Alabama and at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity in Alberta where he was introduced to Canadian cuisine.
As part of the culinary team at Spirit Ridge, his culinary creativity has the space and place to express itself being surrounded by nature producing the best ingredients in the orchards and vineyards of the south Okanagan.
Born and raised in Czech Republic Michael has worked in the Food & Beverage industry since the age of 14. After completing his Hotel & Restaurant management courses, he began my career in Prague later moving to resorts in Germany and the former Yugoslavia. He later immigrated to Canada and worked for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for 23 years taking on roles as Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef, Banquet Manager, and Restaurant & Lounge Manager.
Always looking for a new adventure he became a Chef in the Alberta oil sands, later moving to Edmonton as Chef for the Best Western and opened his own coffee shop. Michael’s passion for food and wine has never faltered and moving to Osoyoos has been a personal dream come true.
Marius was born in the picturesque region of Transylvania, Romania, famous for its rich history, beautiful Carpathian Mountains landscape and flavourful, hearty food.
Childhood experiences determined his career pursuits. Summer vacations spent at his grandparent’s small farm gave him an early appreciation for nature and simple, honest food. It also introduced him to fruit & grape growing and now living in the Okanagan he is again surrounded by fruits and grapes. Escapism as a child was reading Jules Verne which fueled his imagination and made Marius curious about the world and fed the desire to travel and experience that big world.
Marius has been fortunate to live and work around the world; Greece, various parts of the USA, Australia, Canada as well as on cruise ships in southeast Asia and the Caribbean. He found his way to the Okanagan Valley in August 2020 and now feels at home here in this spectacular wine country and surrounded by the beautiful mountains.
Diego arrived at Spirit Ridge Resort from Colombia, transferring from our sister property, the Grand Hyatt Bogota where he worked as the Assistant Director of Food & Beverage.
Diego’s career has given him the opportunity to live and work in Ecuador and Peru. He is a hotelier by profession and enjoys cooking as a hobby. A lover of wine and spicy food, living here in the south Okanagan surrounded by vineyards and wineries feels like the perfect location for Diego to call home.
“I enjoy this industry as I like to see people happy, enjoying memorable moments around good food and drinks” shares Castañeda. “I’m excited about the new culinary dishes of The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry and the amazing craft cocktails we’ve created.”