Grand Okanagan Resort executive chef Iain Rennie.—Image credit: Facebook

Kelowna loses well-known chef

Iain Rennie passes away at 47 years of age.

The Kelowna culinary world has lost one of its leading lights.

Delta Grand Okanagan Resort’s executive chef Iain Rennie has died. He was just 47-years-old.

Rennie, who got his start on Vancouver Island and apprenticed at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver before moving on to work at the world famous Savoy Hotel in London, England, also worked at Victoria’s famed Empress Hotel, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Victoria and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria before coming to Kelowna.

In 2016, he led the culinary team at the Grand that opened the well-received OAK+CRU Social Kitchen and Wine Bar.

Rennie was also a member of Canada’s national culinary team at the world culinary championships in Germany, where the team won two gold medals and a silver medal. In total, Rennie won a total of 18 gold medals and five silvers in culinary competitions during his career.

According to his biography, at the age of 11, Rennie got his first taste of culinary victory when he traveled with his father to his first ever food show in Seattle, Washington and walked away with a gold medal. It was then that he knew then he would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a chef.

By 13, Rennie was establishing connections in the culinary world, selling pate on his bicycle to local restaurants in his hometown of Parksville on Vancouver Island.

“Cooking was Iain’s passion in life,” says his obituary. “Iain had a twinkle in his eye and a heart of gold.”

A celebration of his life will be held Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Quality Resort Bayside in his hometown of Parksville.

A celebration of life will be also be held at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort in the near future, said the hotel as Rennie’s many colleagues and friends are being invited to gather, share memories and celebrate his life.