Our Team

Ryley Zucca

General Manager, Royal Dinette

Royal Dinette’s fearless front-of-house leader is Ryley Zucca, who hails from the land of cheesesteaks, Rocky, and bleating Eagles fans, where his first exposure to the glamorous hospitality life came peeling shrimp and washing dishes during the summer of the Atlanta Summer Olympics. Having worked his way through prep kitchens and every possible front of house job, he fled the States not long after his graduation from university. After a couple years learning to love Italian wine in Toronto, he moved west to study architecture at the UBC.

Ultimately hyperactive for academia or architecture though, he just couldn’t stay away from the world of food and drink, his one true love. Before joining the team at Royal Dinette, Ryley worked as the La Mezcaleria beverage director. In the unlikely event that you find him away from Royal Dinette, you might catch him pontificating about the brilliance of Ramato wine, hunched over an esoteric book, or screaming at the Eagles on TV.

On Royal Dinette’s place in Vancouver’s food scene, Ryley says “as a progressive and seasonally-focused restaurant, Royal Dinette occupies a special place. Eva’s menu is both ambitious and creative – pushing the boundaries of dining in the city. Claire’s wine list offers an exciting range of options for any wine drinker. And our bar program is helmed by World Class Bartender of the Year Kaitlyn Stewart, a phrase that requires no further elaboration from me. With every visit, diners can expect to be surprised, to try something new, and expand their palate.”

Claire Saksun

Wine Director, Royal Dinette

Claire was truly born the day she had her first glass of off-dry Riesling.  Since then, food and wine has grown into her life’s passion. After studying International Development and Food Security at McGill University, Claire moved back to her hometown Toronto to work in restaurants and further her education in noodle culture at Momofuku Toronto. On a search for more noodles delights, she relocated to Vancouver to complete her Master of Architecture with a focus on food production, preparation, and consumption design. During this time, she joined the team at Royal Dinette and has since left architecture behind to take on the role of wine director. Her personal wine philosophy is centered on organic and biodynamic production and the stewardship and commitment to healthy soil that yields delicious wine. These days, you can find Claire speaking passionately about orange wine and ambient yeasts to anyone who will listen, or rolling pasta in bed.

On Royal Dinette’s wine list, Claire says “Our wine list showcases different vignerons from around the world who are true stewards of their land, and really take us on a journey with every bottle. To reflect Royal Dinette’s food philosophy, the wine list consists of organic, biodynamic, and natural wine. We have lots of bottles for people looking for something new, unique, and wild, and also plenty for people looking for classic regions and varietals. We also highlight the best of organic BC wine.”

Eva Chin

Executive Chef, Royal Dinette

Born and raised on a farm in Hawaii, chef Eva Chin grew up surrounded by the breathtaking bounty that Mother Nature has to offer with her mountains, the ocean, and earth. At an early age, she already understood that food connects people and the land together. These experiences have translated directly into her cooking style, New American.

Eva has staged and cooked at renowned restaurants around the world, including Maaemo in Norway, Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social and Brae in Australia. Working under Shane Osborn, she credits much of her cooking style and success to him. Eva also opened a successful eight-month New American pop-up in Hong Kong called The Lazy Hog, right next to the popular Yardbird.

Prior to Royal Dinette, Eva cooked in the Hawksworth and Pidgin kitchens, before taking a brief opportunity to work with Dominique Crenn at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.

On her cooking philosophy, Eva says “I fell in love with food as a child. Certainly, the food in Hawaiian is a great reflection of what progressive, and seasonally-inspired American is, all the cultures, all the flavours. It is all the dishes we grew up eating, dishes that bring back childhood memories. It is how we want to interpret those dishes, but with the use of more seasonal and local ingredients. And, Vancouver is ready for this type of cuisine – New American farm-to-table.”

Kaitlyn Stewart

Bar Manager

No stranger to the big stage, Kaitlyn can credit a decade of acting and dancing for helping her shine behind the pine and brings a unique combination of creativity, speed and knowledge to her role as bar manager. A fan of shaking up a wide selection of innovative-yet-approachable drinks, Kaitlyn loves to incorporate local spirits and seasonal ingredients akin to Royal Dinette’s locavore mantra.

Before joining the Royal Dinette team, Kaitlyn served as a bartender at local watering holes like Cactus Club, Black & Blue and Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar. She is also a regular on the cocktail competition circuit, with impressive first place finishes in the Smirnoff Caesar Challenge and the second annual Canadian Whisky Competition, as well as taking the top West Coast placement in the Speed Rack Canada Female Bartending Competition.

[email protected] | @K8OS