Get to know the Co-founder of EPIC: Luke Butterworth! He explains his start as an entrepreneur, the new Chef in Residence concept, and EPIC's expansion to Whyte Avenue.
Tell us a bit about you, Luke.
Hi, I am the COO and co-founder of EPIC. I'm an entrepreneur through and through, I came to Alberta eight years ago, went through the MBA at the UofA, and ever since that point, have really found my passion in building and creating new companies. After seeing spaces like Eataly, we wanted to create something really new and unique for Edmonton and Alberta. Staying EPICurious and being open to all this variety of food and new cuisine is really the core of what we're trying to offer.
How did the Chef in Residence concept come to be?
The "Chef in Residence" is kind of a new concept. We work with many great chefs to create different menus that become theirs, it's their responsibility, it's their creativity. On our side, we can focus on the execution and building the brand out.
What are your favourite dishes on the menu?
I have two favourites, Steak Frites and Arancini balls. Both my wife and I have gotten to be big fans of Arancini, we tried to make them, and actually had them made by my brother for our wedding. That's been our favourite when we come here.
Tell us about EPIC's expansion to Station Park on Whyte Ave.
Beljian created Station Park, a brand new concept that is being brought to Alberta. It's based on a container park layout, like Box Park in London, England, or Detroit Shipping Co. in Detroit, Michigan. Nothing like that really existed here. EPIC is coming in as the anchor tenant, there is 10,000 square feet there, there's a patio, two bars, five different concepts with open kitchens, and a demo kitchen. Here we'll be able to host cocktail classes, cooking classes, and have pop-up chefs. It's going to be a fantastic space for events, or just to go on any given night and experience all of this variety, great music, and entertainment, while having pretty much every taste and culture, from a cuisine perspective, at your disposal.
Where do you see EPIC going in the next year?
We've made some rapid changes downtown, and now with Station Park coming up on Whyte Ave and Gateway. We're trying to bring a lot more of the event and entertainment facets in. Within this next year, we are trying to introduce a lot of different festivals and events that'll be down on Whyte Ave, to add to an existing thriving ecosystem. On top of that, we're looking for some expansion into another city in Alberta, and our neighbour, BC.