Michael Robbins, Executive Chef
“My primary culinary background is firmly French with favourite techniques and flavour profiles developed by working with a broad range of chefs, cuisines and kitchens locally and internationally. This has helped me define my own unique style which I fondly refer to as Modern Canadian cooking, heavily influenced by the Pacific Northwest.” – Michael Robbins
The AnnaLena kitchen is led by Executive Chef Michael Robbins. Born and raised in East Vancouver, Mike started his cooking career in his teens with Earls restaurants working alongside his brother Sean. Quickly bitten by the kitchen bug, Mike moved on to elevated positions at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chophouse, numerous stages around Vancouver kitchens and Black Box culinary competitions- each fuelling his desire to learn and create. A move to culinary creative capital Sydney, Australia sharpened Mike’s skills and piqued his passion. Back in Vancouver, Mike stepped into the role of chef de cuisine at Glowbal, the original flagship restaurant for the quickly expanding Glowbal Group. A great pairing, Mike’s career evolved alongside the growing restaurant group. He held senior culinary positions at both incarnations of Coast, then secured his first executive chef role at Sanafir. A trip to Asia refocused Mike on his culinary dreams. He returned to Vancouver to open the Oakwood Canadian Bistro in Kitsilano, where he was the executive chef and managing partner for the last four years. Armed with a broad, refined cooking skill set and the experience of opening five successful restaurants, Mike is thrilled to open a restaurant of his own.
Jeff Parr - General Manager
Born in East Vancouver and raised in the Gulf Islands, Jeff’s hospitality career began as a 14-year-old dishwasher at Pender Island’s Bedwell Harbour resort under his father, the property’s sous chef. Running the pub kitchen by 16, Jeff was ready to move to “the big city” and landed at the Vancouver kitchens of Earls and Joe Fortes Seafood & Chophouse. Loving the industry, Jeff earned a Diploma in Hospitality Management at Vancouver Community College, and his WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Advanced Level 3 Sommelier certification. Jeff has enjoyed various roles working with Marriott hotels, opening the prestigious Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, and becoming food & beverage director at Pender Island’s Poets Cove Resort. He took on a number of restaurant management roles in the Whitsunday Islands, at Rockpool in Sydney, Australia and became General Manager of the Oakwood Canadian Bistro. He joins AnnaLena most recently from a management role at Chambar and is excited to bring his vast experience, techniques and service to a new dining room that is unpretentious and approachable.
With a focus on education and training, he looks forward to creating a culture that is based on respect, acknowledgement and leadership. Jeff brings enthusiasm and experience in the creation of the beverage program and has designed a wine program that aims to complement the originality of Mike’s menus.
Kevin Brownlee - Bar Manager
Kevin's first job was in a kitchen, back in his home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has since held positions in the back and front of house, and is of the opinion that no one job in a restaurant is more important than the other - they are all complementary of one another. In 2012, after years of working casually in the industry while he was employed full-time with the Vancouver School Board, Kevin decided to become a professional bartender. It was shortly after this decision while in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, where he truly realized that bartending was his calling.
His personal goal as a bartender is not just about creating exceptional drinks to complement what our chef produces, but to establish lasting relationships with our guests and colleagues. He draws inspiration from his peers and classic cocktail structure, and through this creative process has developed cocktail programs in the Philippines and El Salvador. Kevin earned his Certified Specialist of Spirits certification from the Society of Wine Educators in 2014 and currently holds a position as an Associate Director and Treasurer of the Canadian Professional Bartender's Association. Kevin has honed his craft at establishments throughout Vancouver including Earls, Coast Restaurant, Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar, West and The Pourhouse.