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Our Team

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Eric Vernice | Owner

Eric was born in Roanne, France, and from the start, the tradition of Eric’s homeland in unparalleled gastronomy has sharpened his natural born skill in the kitchen. His background boasts the accomplishment of having worked in the coveted 3 Michelin star Troisgros in Roanne, France. His first hint of touring the globe was in 1987 when he left his native France to “learn English”, his feet landed in Ontario Canada. He spent 3 years here working at the 54th restaurant in the TD Bank building downtown Toronto, this is where he met his wife Gillian. Canada is where Eric has spent most of his culinary years, in 1994, Eric ran the kitchen of the Relais & Chateau, Inn at Manitou. He did 2 seasons here with a stint in the Dominican Republic, whilst the Inn closed for the 6 month winter. In 1996 Eric headed west to the ski Resort Whistler, whilst in Whistler, Eric’s name is synonymous with outstanding culinary performance. It was Eric’s leadership at the Bearfoot Bistro that first captured the interest of critics and foodies. As the Bearfoot’s Executive Chef for the first five years, it was Eric’s food that the press talked about. It was Eric’s food that led Wine Spectator magazine to describe it as "One of the finest dining experiences in British Columbia." When a New York restaurateur dined at the Bearfoot, he was so impressed, he instantly set about luring Eric to his establishment, and so began the furthering of Eric’s world-class mastery. In New York and then London England, Eric ran the kitchens of top-echelon restaurants. When an opportunity arose to operate his own restaurant in Whistler, Eric returned in 2002 with his wife Gillian and their three children. Eric’s restaurant Jayde (named after his daughter), stirred a strong, core following with its reputation of serving superb quality food at remarkably reasonable prices but sadly the restaurant closed, which then led to Eric taking the reigns of Après kitchen. In 2006 Eric became owner of après, with new ideas and lots of passion, après rose above the norm in fine dining cuisine. Eric’s innovations in the kitchen will continue to dazzle and warm the hearts of food and wine lovers. After a few years Eric decided to sell and look for his next adventure, which brought him to the Turks and Caicos Island in October 2009. He started his island experience running the French Village, at Beaches Resort. One year later he found an opportunity as Executive chef for Parallel 23 at the Regent Palms Resort. After two successful years at the Palms Eric and his wife Gillian lead the remodel and opening of the Beach House Hotel and Restaurant. Two years later Chef Eric opened his own bakery called Crust which specializes in Artisan style French patisserie. Crust Bakery provides a wholesale service to the island and the their bread and pastry can be found in the local supermarkets and restaurants. In 2017 Eric decided to open Provence Restaurant as a portrait to his heritage. Eric is known for his personal style, of seeking harmony in the flavors of food, being creative yet respecting the roots of French cuisine. International travel and his French/Italian parents have influenced Eric’s passion for food, he strives on the fact that using only the best ingredients either locally or from around the world is what make his cuisine one thing you will not want to miss. Come and be wowed like thousands have been, since Eric Vernice discovered a knife, saucepan and lots of ingredients thirty five years ago.

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Leo Sarfati | Chef de Partie

Leo was born in France in 1998 and immigrated to Canada at 2 years old. His passion for cooking was influenced from a young age with inspiration from his grandmother . At 17 years old he decided to return to  France to start his culinary career. His experienced included working in the south of France at La Mirande with Florent Pietravalle and later in Paris, at La Gare du Nord by Thierry Marx.

After completing his first set of apprenticeships he decided to return to  Montreal, Canada where he developed his skills working in various fine dining establishments such as: Jatoba, Europea  and the Marcus  by Samuelson. Leo then decided to take his talents to the sunny Caribbean to pursue a mentorship under Chef Eric Vernice at Provence Restaurant.

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Romain Athanassian | Chef de Partie

Romain was born in Arles, France and at a young age began cooking with his family. During his adolescents he began his 3 year training and apprenticeship in a traditional French restaurant. After graduation he took his experiences to a number of restaurants in the south of France. It was here he was able to integrate into a team in a Michelin restaurant for one year. Romain always aspired to bring his talents overseas and continue to challenge himself in different environments. Provence was a perfect fit for the next stage in his career. 

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