Meet the team
Our dynamic and experienced staff and award-winning chefs keep our Vancouver restaurant at the top of its game. Find out what makes our people tick.
Chef Edgar joins the Hotel from Four Seasons Bora Bora where he oversaw all culinary operations as Executive Chef for the past two years. He loves all things edible, particularly seafood, and names fishing as a personal passion second only to cooking. He has already started exploring Greater Vancouver’s markets, docks and fishing boats – which make him a great fit for YEW’s sustainable seafood focus.
Chef Edgar is most looking forward to exploring the richness of seafood and produce in British Columbia while adding a little kick of Latin inspiration here and there. Guests can look forward to some delicious salsas and sauces thanks to Edgar’s vast knowledge of chilies and spices.
Edgar’s Four Seasons career has spanned more than two decades and he’s ascended the culinary ranks through roles at Four Seasons Newport Beach, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, Four Seasons Hotel Berlin, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, back to Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City and most recently with Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
Executive Pastry Chef
Executive Pastry Chef
Chef Suraj has travelled the world improving moods and moments with his delicious desserts and innovative breads. Joining us most recently from Four Seasons Hotel at Pudong Shanghai, Karmakar comes prepared to satisfy the sweet teeth of Vancouverites – another bustling, cosmopolitan city by the sea.
Karmakar has been with the luxury global brand for more than a decade, enjoying his pastry focus in the Maldives, Singapore and Bali with additional opportunities in the Seychelles, Seoul, Tianjin and Hangzhou at Westlake. He brings further experience from India’s Oberoi Hotels & Resorts where he earned a Hotel Management and Catering diploma from India’s Institute of Hotel Management, followed by a post-graduate Kitchen Management certificate at Oberoi and additional training from the L’Ecole Valrohna in Tokyo.
His food philosophy is definitely ingredient-based – dishes need to look inviting and elegant but guests should have a full experience of purity of flavour. He also loves adding in surprises and wants to keep his desserts simple to eat. Karmakar also believes that a day without a sweet note is simply incomplete.
Executive Sous Chef
Executive Sous Chef
Benjamin has been with Four Seasons for 16 years, starting right here in Vancouver and working his way up the ladder with positions at Four Seasons Dublin and Four Seasons Hampshire before becoming the Executive Sous Chef back home. His current role has him overseeing kitchen operations from breakfast to banquets, making sure the product and people are available to make it happen.
Ben’s culinary memories go way back to childhood where he spent lots of time helping his parents prepare meals. His fondness for the connections developed in the kitchen have greatly influenced his life and is the reason his career is built around creating memorable, meaningful dining experiences for guests. His passion for his craft is evident and he loves passing his knowledge on to up and coming chefs, and oh, if you’re wondering where the music is coming from, Ben also loves to sing while he cooks.
Ben is a strong believer in the dock-to-dish philosophy, using sustainable ingredients and pushing the boundaries of modern cuisine. This is a great fit for YEW’s focus of bringing fresh, inventive, seafood-forward dishes to our guests, earning a place in Vancouver’s venerable food scene.
His food passions include modernizing classic dishes and taking on the challenge of perfectly balancing flavours in South East Asian cooking. With so many diverse cultures, neighbourhoods and tastes, Ben takes full advantage of Vancouver’s broad food scene to perfect these skills; he considers the stunning scenery an added bonus.
Stephen Bukoff beams with pride as he talks about mentoring his cooks and inspiring them to do their best, and one can only surmise this is where he derives the greatest satisfaction. His present role as Restaurant Chef of Four Seasons Vancouver includes guiding a team of 20 cooks to execute breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service daily. Along with developing menus and daily features at YEW seafood + bar, the daunting task of coaching and training such a sizable team is something that he takes on with gusto. And rightly so. His career spans an impressive 14 years with Four Seasons, having started from the ranks with Four Seasons Hotel Boston in 2004 and working his way up the culinary ladder through Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village until his current role at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.
Stephen’s food philosophy revolves around creatively highlighting the main ingredient of a meal using Vancouver’s local and sustainable products. He is able to bring interesting twists and fun touches to every meal this way while paying respect to ingredients – a method that has made YEW maintain its reputation as one of Vancouver’s premier seafood restaurants. “Keeping a dish true to its form is key as I don’t like people trying to guess what it is that they’re eating.”
Outside of cooking, his passions revolve around golf, hockey and traveling with family. His dream meal is with his grandfather not at a restaurant but at the latter’s home enjoying his grandmother’s cooking. He claims, “Grandma always makes the best food”. It’s easy to see where Chef Stephen got his talent.
As bar manager, Rus Yessnov’s main task is to curate the creativity and overall success of YEW’s beverage program. With his own signature style, Rus has developed a cocktail menu that is representative of both Vancouver, and YEW’s team of talented mixologists. Moving from Montreal to make his mark in Vancouver’s hospitality industry, Rus spends much of his time literally eating and drinking his passions for all things culinary.
With a goal of becoming an industry leader and serving as an inspiration to those just starting out, Rus wants to promote a positive and healthy attitude in the hospitality industry. By modeling a strong work ethic and inviting others to shine as bright as they can, Rus sets a strong example for his team. Before heading out west, Rus spent several years as the co-founder of a Montreal based cocktail consulting service after earning a BA in Economics from McGill University.
Rus really enjoys working at YEW seafood + bar and Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, two brands that he says, “consistently stand out year after year amongst impressive competition” in a food-obsessed city. Working with a diverse group of like-minded people in a fast-paced environment to deliver quality, consistency and craftsmanship to guests is where he thrives, and he’s found that niche at YEW.
Originally from Kazakhstan, Rus loves Vancouver’s beauty and the perfect summer days that make all the rain worthwhile. He takes full advantage of the vibrant culinary and cocktail scene, enjoying nightclubs and DJ’s, and studying the history of food, spirits and cocktails. Rus names Elon Musk as his dream dinner guest, for the inventor’s “anything is possible” mentality, and believes he has found his calling in an industry that makes work feel like play.
Josef Weichinger embodies the Four Seasons spirit, going that extra mile to exceed guest expectations and delivering memorable moments both big and small to our guests.
Josef loves the hospitality industry having grown up living and working in a hotel his family owned in Austria. During his travels to Canada, Josef fell in love with both the province of British Columbia, and his now wife Annie, whom he met while working at Sparkling Hills Resort in Vernon. Josef and Annie have two children and spend their downtime enjoying the great outdoors – an experience Josef likens to his childhood in the Alps.
Josef is a huge fan of YEW’s sustainable seafood menus, teamed up with a delicious wine pick selected by YEW Sommelier Adam Mayhew. Josef is excited to put his stamp on YEW projects and is looking forward to adding energy to the bar program.
When Josef needs to hit the reset button, he does something many of us can only imagine. He jumps out of an airplane! Living truly in the moment of pure, heart-pumping adrenaline provides an exhilarating perspective on life and self.
Assistant General Manager
Assistant General Manager
Johan Monterrat has made some great impressions during his brief, three-year tenure at Four Seasons. Joining the company at The Beverly Wilshire (A Four Seasons Hotel) as a Manager in Training with a focus on food and beverage operations, Monterrat had a quick ascent to his current position after transferring to Vancouver and excelling in junior management roles in the restaurant and in-room dining. His current role is all about ensuring the quality and enjoyment of guests experiences at YEW.
Monterrat also brings experience from the Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva and an MBA in hospitality management from ESSEC Business School in Paris. He loves the hotel industry for its endless possibilities including opportunities to work around the world, meeting people from diverse backgrounds, discovering new food and drink and encountering a variety of situations that invite creativity and quick thinking.
Monterrat is enchanted by the storied history of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and the high level of talent the restaurant has boasted over the years. He is looking forward to bringing his own brand of enthusiasm and business savvy to the popular sustainable seafood restaurant.
Originally from Nice, France, Monterrat has fallen in love with Vancouver’s evolving culinary scene, scenic beauty and diverse and kind citizens. He believes in the unifying power of people sharing food, conversation and connection.
Monterrat is a foodie himself naming ramen, barbeque, molecular cuisine and wine as his culinary passions. Away from the table he enjoys American sports, hotel architecture and travel. On a day off he enjoys staying fit, taking in the fresh air at Stanley Park, trying new restaurants and catching up on Netflix.
YEW Sales Manager
YEW Sales Manager
Guests planning a private get-together or corporate event will appreciate the sophisticated flare of YEW seafood + bar’s private dining experiences. Vibrant cuisine, creative cocktails and well-matched wines blend with the infectious buzz of the see-and-be-seen room. Enter, Brielle Wong, YEW Sales Manager. Her Four Seasons career spans an impressive amount of years and experience in a variety of roles. Brielle’s passion is to create memorable experiences for YEW guests, sharing in their special moments and taking YEW’s event portfolio to a new level.
By offering fresh and innovative dining experiences – for groups from ten to sixty-five in YEW’s diverse event spaces – Brielle brings warmth, fun and creativity to her work. Having grown up in a food-focused household with a chef and restaurateur as her father, Brielle’s life has long centred around the dining table, with seasonal ingredients and local seafood as major staples. “YEW embodies the west coast both in its culinary offerings and through the social service of style that brings people together over great food, great drinks, great company and a successful shared vision,” says Brielle.
When not setting the table at YEW, Brielle can be found exploring the city’s parks, trails and unique neighbourhoods with her young daughter and husband, enjoying the occasional treat of piping hot, thin, crispy, salty french fries.
To plan your private event at YEW, contact Brielle.
As sommelier at YEW seafood + bar, Adam Mayhew loves to put people and wine together. A graduate of the sommelier program at Ecole Hoteliere des Laurentides in Saint-Adele, Quebec, Adam is trilingual – speaking the languages of French, English and Wine. “I love working with guests to find the best wine they are comfortable with,” he says.
Born in Ottawa, Adam has lived and worked in hospitality centres such as Whistler, Mont Tremblant and Penticton. Some of his most memorable life experiences involve time spent with wine and celebrities such as professional freeskier and alpine racer, Jon Olsson. Adam once taught Alicia Keys how to open a bottle saber of Champagne.
While his fantasy job is being “up to my neck in grapes in a vineyard,” Adam feels he’s found his niche at Yew. He thrives on the atmosphere of the hospitality industry, fuelled by the adrenaline-rush of working hard to meet the needs of guests, and he values the camaraderie of his equally committed colleagues.
On days off, Adam relishes a run by the ocean. “I love to watch the boats come in while jogging on the sea wall,” he says.