EMMA PIERCE, GENERAL MANAGER
With a background in Fine Arts, a trained dancer, and originally hailing from Australia, Emma has always been curious, adventuresome, creative and independent. Her passion for Vancouver and the hospitality industry has seen her perform many managerial roles in culinary establishments throughout the city over the past 14 years, including menu development, creating spaces, organizing events and promoting venues as well as opening restaurants from the ground up and re branding renovations. Always a team player, it was Emma’s personality, work ethic, integrity and professionalism that were always noticed and have provided her with many leadership opportunities and what attracts her to the ningenmi philosophy of the Aburi Restaurants. With a sincere concern for the environment, fitness, nutritious eating and peoples general well-being, Emma is an excellent fit for the Aburi brand lifestyle. She truly believes in the quality of service, food and experience found in Aburi Restaurants and has embraced the challenge of General Manager at Minami wholeheartedly. She has quickly proven her worth to the organization by always keeping the Aburi philosophies of Food, Atmosphere and People in mind.
RUTH WHITESIDE, MANAGER
Ruth grew up on the West Coast of Scotland and always had a love for interesting food, beverage and the hospitality industry in general. What started as part time work waitressing to get through school, quickly developed into a passion and strong career. After spending 18 months traveling around the world, she got a taste of what some of the world has to offer, but decided on settling some roots in Canada. Her time spent overseas helped boost her love for learning about different cultures and cuisines so joining Aburi Restaurants was an easy transition. Ruth began as a server at Miku Waterfront in 2014 and was instrumental in the staff training and set up of Miku Toronto’s opening in October 2015. Joining the Minami management team in November 2015, Ruth strives to give the best service, instill passion for the industry and embrace Aburi’s 3 pillars everyday.
NOEL MACKENZIE, MANAGER
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Noel had an early start in hospitality at the age of sixteen when he took a position as a busser at a local steakhouse. Fast forward seventeen years and Noel has proven himself as a bartender and as a manager in some of Vancouver’s most respected culinary institutions. These establishments have included iconic and award winning seafood & chop houses as well as the city’s largest tap house. In turn, the lessons he has learned in the industry have heightened his appreciation for a well-crafted classic cocktail and have reinforced his commitment to creating exceptional guest experiences.
Because of this, Noel strongly identifies with the Aburi brand’s ethos of genuine, unique and personalized service. He believes this concept and the philosophy of Ningenmi attracts professionals of a high caliber to Minami, and he is inspired by the level of talent that he is surrounded by. This confidence in his team motivates him to continue on his path of professional development, and he looks forward to his future with the Aburi family.
ALAN FERRER, CORPORATE KITCHEN CHEF OF ABURI RESTAURANTS & EXECUTIVE CHEF OF MINAMI RESTAURANT
JAY PUGONG, CHEF DE CUISINE
Jay’s one basic desire is to delight and satisfy people: to present food with soul, allowing Minami’s guests to make new discoveries within their own tastes. It’s with this passion and over 7 years in the restaurant industry that has made Jay is a staple in Minami’s kitchen. While Jay is driven to reach his own potential, he is always there to help others reach theirs. You’ll always see him with a smile on his face, enthusiastically in bringing both his knowledge and flavour to Minami.
TAKASHI YANAGAWA, SUSHI SOUS CHEF
SAEKO CHOI, LEAD PASTRY CHEF