Born in Thunder Bay Ontario, Robert moved to the West Coast almost 30 years ago and settled in Whistler before moving to Vancouver.
Robert has a rich history of working in the city’s hospitality industry and found himself at some of Downtown Vancouver’s most iconic restaurants like le Crocodile, Blue Water Café, the Shangri-La’s former Market by Jean George, and many others. “Wine was never really a part of my life growing up. I developed my passion for it through working in hospitality,” says Robert. All this to say, 27 years later, Robert is no stranger to the downtown core. “I adore working in Downtown Vancouver. Its vibrant and diverse scene is everything a restaurant could ask for!” Robert exclaims.
Robert has spent the last five years working at Mott 32 as Wine Director. “When you think of going to a Chinese restaurant, not many people picture or expect the experience they get at Mott 32,” he explains. The restaurant is located at 1161 W Georgia Street and is most described as “a complete dining adventure.” “Our team curates a guest experience unlike anything else. Atmosphere, service, wine, cocktails, and world-class food curated and served by a caring team combine for a well-rounded guest experience,” says Robert.
As Wine Director, Robert has had the privilege of “curating a reality that guests don’t usually expect.” Robert’s role allows him to use the experience he has gained over the years to pair wine to the diverse and brilliant food the Mott 32 culinary team creates. “I am fortunate that we have a menu offering so many styles of food. Dishes that are rich and textual, light, and delicate, from umami to distinct types of elevated spice, I have so much fun navigating guests needs and leaving them with an impression of what is possible,” he says.
Just like many other restaurants in Vancouver’s culinary scene, Mott 32 had some challenging years during the pandemic. However, with the recent ease of restrictions, Robert is optimistic about the months to come. “I’m looking forward to Mott 32 reaching its full potential and continuing to impress guests with everything we have to offer. Being part of the Downtown Vancouver community is essential for that success, and we are thrilled to be part of it,” Robert says.
Many highlights come to mind for Robert when he reminisces on his time at Mott 32, but the one that warms his heart the most is seeing guests leave the restaurant with a smile on their faces. “The team I get to work with is a true highlight for me as well,” he says. Other highlights include making the Canada Top 100 Restaurants list, being the only Chinese restaurant on that list, and winning several wine, service, and people’s choice awards.
“There is always something fun, new, and exciting happening with us at Mott 32,” he tells the DVBIA. According to Robert, a new plant-based menu addition is currently in the works, and they will continue to offer fresh, hand-pressed mimosas tableside during lunch service. “In addition, we are looking forward to the 4th Annual Launch of the seasonal Rosé Rickshaw this spring. We now offer the famous flambeed Dragon Coffee right at your table and the development of the custom-curated ‘Wine Adventure’ reservations are all things you won’t want to miss!” he says.
Visit Mott 32 Vancouver in-person at 1161 W Georgia or online.