Pekka Tavela Named Executive Chef At West Hastings’ Award-Winning Wildebeest


The GOODS from Wildebeest

Vancouver, BC | Long-time industry stalwart Pekka Tavela has been named Executive Chef of Vancouver’s award-winning Wildebeest. Chef Pekka got his start as a pastry chef, and has worked in many of Vancouver’s top kitchens, including Chambar, Boneta, and Pourhouse. With a precision that comes from his years of training in pastry, and a modernist French style that was honed behind the stove under some of the city’s best chefs, Chef Pekka had held the position of Chef de Cuisine at Wildebeest for a year. Over the next few months, watch for him to put his own stamp on the menu.

“New dishes will stay true to the protein-focused Wildebeest framework. I would love to feature more game birds, and I won’t just stick with meats,” says Chef Pekka. “I’m looking forward to raising the profile of our vegetables too.”

Trained at the Northwest Culinary Academy, Chef Pekka entered the industry as a pastry chef, but was later drawn to cooking, encouraged by mentors including Chefs Lee Humphries, and Ciaran Chung. Chef Pekka draws from a diverse range of influences; his family’s background is Finnish, and he spent much of his childhood in Singapore. He’s also inspired by more recent travels in Europe and the US, and Vancouver’s Asian cuisines.

Chef Pekka will host his first special event dinner at Wildebeest on June 30th with Westbier Imports. Tickets for the multi-course beer pairing dinner ‘Beest Meets West are on sale now. Go here to purchase tickets.


120 West Hastings Street | Vancouver, BC
Telephone: 604-687-6880
Web: | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Open for dinner service nightly from 5pm to midnight (including 5-6pm Happy Hour)
Weekend brunch from 10am to 2pm


    The People


    Josh Pape: Owner/Operator
    James Iranzad: Owner/Operator
    Pekka Tavela: Executive Chef

    About Wildebeest

    Wildebeest invites you to experience unabashedly adventurous, yet simple cooking at its finest set against the history of the Vancouver neighbourhood of Gastown. Explore whole-animal cookery paired with a diverse selection of Old and New World wines and a carefully crafted cocktail list. Set in a refurbished 19th century building, the multi-level space offers a front house cocktail bar & lounge, open-concept kitchen complete with large kitchen tables, an inviting dining room with banquette seating, and an intimately-set underground wine bar.

    The gastronomically daring menu focuses on whole-animal cookery prepared with the utmost integrity. Each and every component has been thoughtfully nurtured by the restaurant’s executive chef, Pekka Tavela, from field to finish.  Working closely with surrounding farms and farmers to raise animals and grow custom produce, the team at Wildebeest has crafted a menu unlike anything yet explored in Vancouver.

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