Emma Woodward - General Manager
How many hospitality leaders do you know who can ride a bike, kick a soccer ball and drink tea at the same time?! If you answered zero, then you haven’t met Roar’s charismatic General Manager, Emma Woodward. Opening world-class restaurants in iconic hotels is a piece of cake for her; she recently oversaw the renovation and re-opening of two restaurants in the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. After spending the last year in Australia and her native England adding to her already-impressive hospitality resume during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emma made her triumphant return to Canada specifically because she sees Roar as an opportunity to rebel against the challenges and negative connotations associated with the industry that she loves.
Why Roar? It’s the first restaurant owned and operated by Accent Inns Inc, a hospitality chain that has become synonymous with award-winning, heart-based corporate culture. Emma immediately connected with their core values: Have fun, be real, make everything better and have each other’s backs.
Emma has built an exceptional team of ROARiors from the ground up, with respect, diversity, adventure and fun at the forefront. She knows that her happy employees will elevate the guest experience. You come to Roar to experience delicious food and amazing drinks with a unique live fire concept, but you’ll keep coming back because you love being part of an awesome, positive community.
Chad Martin - Head Chef
Chad Martin, Head Chef knows that food is tied to an emotional, sensory experience and his purpose is to create dishes that inspire memories and evoke feelings. He learned this lesson at 12 years old when his mother was too ill to cook Thanksgiving dinner. After learning on-the-fly how to put together the perfect turkey dinner—and understanding the emotional impact it could have on his family–Chad was hooked.
Chad has cooked his way from the East Coast to the West Coast of Canada, where he’s fallen in love with fermentation and foraging wild, local ingredients are a labor of love for Chad. He can often be found leading his team into Tofino’s woods to teach them about the wild mushrooms, berries, and herbs available in our own back yard. His fermented hot sauces and his signature sourdoughs (he made a loaf daily for 2 years to perfect the recipe!) are the result of passion, care, and love.
Chad joined ROAR because he was drawn to the mission statement: to rebel against the status quo. ROAR is the first restaurant owned and operated by Accent Inns Inc., a hospitality chain in British Columbia an award-winning corporate culture fueled by leading with love. And Chad fits the bill for love-based leadership. He brings his empathy into the kitchen where he fosters health, growth, and collaboration at all levels. Food is how he shows love, creates, or replicates important experiences, and honours his late mother’s legacy.
Carl Hamilton - Bar Manager
Carl Hamilton, Bar Manager at ROAR Tofino made his home in the food and beverage industry because of the wonderful chaos that defines it. He loves the spontaneity, the on-the-fly, real-world problem solving, and the people. Misfits are drawn to the bar—either sitting at it or working behind it—and Carl loves the sense of family and intimacy this environment creates.
Originally from Australia, Carl got his start behind the bar in Toronto on a working holiday, and fell in love with the craft. He spent several years learning as much as he could in the bars of Toronto, before moving to Melbourne and heading up the bar program at the Adelphi Hotel.
On a vacation to Vietnam, Carl and his wife decided to seize the day—and the bounty of fresh tropical fruits—by opening a 50-seat tiki bar in Hanoi. The Tay Ho Tiki Company was a huge success, and it taught him a lot about how western restaurant culture falls short. In Vietnam, family trumps every other type of responsibility. Carl was inspired by the flexibility this value created in his workplace, and determined to bring this culture with him when he left Vietnam. A reckoning is happening in the food and beverage industry and Carl sees himself as a vanguard of revitalizing how people treat each other and themselves within the restaurant scene.
At ROAR, his cocktails incorporate locally-sourced and foraged ingredients that help our guests find a sense of place on Vancouver Island. His menu serves as a guide book to Tofino and Carl is your trusty tour guide. He makes local shine by connecting folks to the unique eco-system of Vancouver Island’s incredible west coast.
Megan York - Sous Chef
Megan York, Sous Chef at ROAR Tofino, isn’t very concerned with what she is “supposed” to do—and that’s why she’s so damn good in the kitchen. She’s a rulebreaker, a changemaker and a pioneer.
She wasn’t “supposed” to work in a kitchen. She had pressure to work a job that made more money and had more prestige. Yet, two weeks before she was supposed to start nursing school, Megan—the single mother of two toddlers– dropped out and started culinary school instead. She knew that was where she was supposed to be, and we’re grateful she took that risk.
She wasn’t “supposed” to dominate in a male-dominated industry. Megan is knocking down hurdles for other women or underrepresented folks who want to get into the restaurant industry. She’s not concerned with the oldschool culture of hierarchies—she’s concerned with merit. That’s why she doesn’t shy away from competing against chefs with much more experience in culinary competitions or raising her hand to take on a new challenge. She’s a firm believer in needing the space to try and to fail in order to succeed.
Megan’s creativity, confidence and culinary skills make her vital to the menu and culture at ROAR. She’s mastered the art of live fire cooking and delights in incorporating local ingredients into new dishes. And more importantly, Megan was born to rebel against the status quo.
Elijah Borrelli - Assistant General Manager
Elijah Borrelli, Assistant General Manager at ROAR Tofino, doesn’t consider himself a former social worker; he is still working every day to enrich lives and create safe spaces for under-represented members of society. He just happens to be doing it by managing a restaurant now.
Elijah was working as a social worker in Vancouver, working with families facing multiple barriers in the downtown east side. During the pandemic, Elijah and his wife decided to move away from the ever-increasing chaos of the city, be closer to family, and reflect on their priorities and needs as they raise their young daughter.
Once in Tofino, Eli focused his attention on learning about the local indigenous community to understand the land he calls home. In the process of learning, Elijah attended an Annual General Meeting hosted by about the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation – on whose unceded, traditional territory Tofino is located. There he heard a representative from Accent Inns Inc. speak about their involvement with Tribal Park Allies and immediately knew he wanted to be connected to their mission. With extensive activism AND restaurant experience, Elijah has the passion and the skills to make major changes in the community and the industry at large—and he’d found the organization to do it with.
Elijah revels in ROAR’s devotion to disrupting, dismantling and rebelling against the status quo. His feminist, anti-racist, queer-friendly and anti-capitalist leadership ideals that brought him to social work are encouraged and thriving in an organization that truly puts their people—all of their people—first. Everybody is welcome under Elijah’s leadership and he amplifies marginalized voices in ensuring our restaurant is accessible and welcoming to all folx, locals or visitors. By creating a safe, environment for his team and his guests Elijah is truly doing social “work” at ROAR Tofino.