As everyone knows, the Ottawa restaurant scene has really evolved and blossomed over the last few years. We have cool, new places with hard-working restaurateurs and creative chefs. At the head of this culinary curve has always been and continues to be, Stephen Beckta. If you ask anyone in the business or someone who loves great food and exemplary service, "Who is the best in town?", the answer is always one of Steve's restaurants, Beckta, Play or Gezellig.
The reason we selected Steve for our 2018 and Beyond Portrait Series, is not just because of his restaurant expertise and reputation, but because of his humility and passionate commitment to his guests, team and the Ottawa community. If you've eaten at any of the Beckta restaurants, you'll know what we mean. You feel like you've been welcomed in to eat at someone's home - Steve's home! His staff feel much the same. They're all respected as a critical part of the team regardless of their position and there is always a meal before the lunch or dinner service.
When we photographed Steve, we asked him if there were any initiatives that were close to his heart, outside of the restaurant business. He smiled and quickly mentioned the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, of which he is currently the Board Chair and which he regularly attended when he was a boy himself.
We asked Steve what he is most positive about, as Ottawa moves forward into 2018.
"For Beckta, Play and Gezellig, I would say 2018 is all about constant renewal, looking at everything we do to make them the most compelling spots for guests to dine in - and staff to work at - in Ottawa. We are in the process of some great development plans for all three, and we can’t wait to tweak them all to even better care for our guests, employees and community stakeholders.
For the Boys and Girls Club (where I am the new Chair of the Board), this year is all about sustainability. Growing and developing a greater number of long-term relationships with donors and the three levels of government so that no matter who is in the board chairs or management offices, we never have to say no to a single kid in need in our at-risk communities, and we can even grow our services in those communities most in need."
Steve Beckta cares dearly for his customers, smiles proudly when he talks about his family and he takes Ottawa's future very seriously! Thanks Steve, for taking the time for our portrait and for making us feel at home at Beckta for the shoot.