Celebrates 20 Years
Sunday, February 20th is a milestone anniversary for Yaletown restaurant Provence Marinaside – it’s the 20th anniversary of the restaurant which opened its doors on February 20, 2002. “It’s incredible to think we’ve been here this long, the time has flown by” says Chef and owner Jean Francis Quaglia. “It feels like only yesterday when we opened. The location always reminds me of my home in Marseille which is one of the reasons I chose it.” In Vancouver’s fast-paced culinary scene, it’s rare for a restaurant to remain open and popular for this long, and even more so during the past two years when many were forced to close their doors due to the pandemic.
On Sunday, February 20th, Provence Marinaside plans a grand celebration and will offer 20 percent discount on all food and beverages – including the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. Provence’s ‘resident’ jazz combo, Hip Pocket, will be onsite to entertain guests from 1 to 4 p.m. and again from 6 to 9 p.m.
“I owe it all to our loyal patrons and to my amazing restaurant team. Out of Provence Marinaside’s nearly 60 staff, 11 have been here since the beginning and another 16 have been with me more than 10 years – that’s half the staff,” says Chef Quaglia.
In addition to Chef Jean Francis Quaglia the originals are:
Essex Balce – Cook
Lisa Baldwin – Manager, started as a server
Joshua Carlson – Wine Director, started as a cook
Pauline Dimayuga – ‘Mama’, she does it all: Kitchen Assistant, Server, Food Runner, if it needs doing, Pauline is there
Emrys Horton – Manager and in-house Photographer, started as a Host/Bartender/Server
Paula Mlakar – Server
Scott (Hyuk-Joo) Na – Purchasing Manager and Dishwasher
Carlo Saul – Cook
Joanne Schweitzer – Manager, started as a server
Carmen Ukrainetz – Server
Michael Winkle – Server
Provence has created a ‘booklet’ in commemoration of the anniversary which honours its OG staff. That can be viewed on, and downloaded from, the website here.. It will also be available at the restaurant for the celebration.
Provence Marinaside started out as the sister restaurant to Chef Quaglia’s original restaurant, Provence Mediterranean Grill in Point Grey, which he opened with his wife Alessandra in 1997. It was sold to a former employee in 2016. In 2002 Provence Marinaside’s opening was featured in the popular television show Opening Soon..
“I am grateful to our patrons,” says Chef Quaglia. They have been so loyal and supportive through the years – and especially the past two years when the pandemic has made running a restaurant complicated. Many of our original patrons followed us to Marinaside after we closed Mediterranean Grill, and we have a wonderful group of regulars from the surrounding Yaletown neighbourhood. We are now serving the children and grandchildren of the early patrons as Provence Marinaside has become their place of comfort, great food and friendly staff who know them – it’s a home away from home for many.”
As one of the first restaurants in Vancouver to support local food growers and fishers, Provence Marinaside was an inaugural member of OceanWise.. While constantly evolving, the menu reflects the food of Chef Quaglia’s native southern France infused with Canadian west-coast ingredients and innovation. “There are some dishes that we can’t take off the menu, the regulars would kill us,” says Manager Lisa Baldwin. “The Bouillabaisse, Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Herb-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad and Provençal Roast Chicken along with the Tarte au Citron, come immediately to mind, but there are so many others.”
The word ‘family’ is used a lot in the restaurant industry but at Provence Marinaside, it’s not hyperbole as evidenced by its loyal staff and patrons. Join the Provence family on February 20th to help them celebrate this milestone anniversary. Brunch that day will be served on a walk-in basis. However, dinner reservations are highly recommended as it is sure to be a busy day.
About Chef Jean Francis Quaglia
A native of Marseille, France, Jean Francis comes naturally to the culinary world as his mother was acclaimed Chef Suzanne Quaglia of Marseille’s famed Le Patalain and one of the very first female chefs in France. At age eight, he made his first Tarte au Citron from his mother’s recipe. This same tarte is now featured on Provence’s menu. Following graduation, Chef Quaglia apprenticed at Hôtel Sorbitel in Marseille, worked Chef Elie Mazot at Relais et Chateau’s Le Chateau de la Chevre D’Or in Eze and was Chef de Partie Tournant under the direction of his mentor, Chef Dominique LeStanc, at Hôtel Negresco in Nice (2 Michelin stars). Upon arrival in Vancouver he was Sous Chef under Chef Bruno Born at Le Coq D’Or and followed him to the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel where he became Executive Chef of the hotel’s Indigo Bistro Moderne. He opened his first restaurant, Provence Mediterranean Grill in 1997 in Point Grey and went on to open Provence Marinaside in 2002 and TWB-The Wine Bar next door in 2012 (it is now amalgamated into Provence Marinaside). In August 2021, the government of France honoured Chef Jean-Francis by naming him a Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre du Merite Agricole – one of France’s highest honours, second only to the Legion of Honour.
Provence Marinaside is committed to the health and safety of its guests and staff in keeping with the protocols set by the BC Ministry of Health. You can find the details of Provence’s standards here.
Provence is open every day for Dine-In service inside and on its patios overlooking the False Creek Seawall and the Quayside Marina – Brunch (M-F: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Sat & Sun: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Lunch (M-F: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Dinner (Mon – Sun: 5 – 10 p.m.) and Happy Hour (Mon – Sun: 3-5 p.m.). Late Night (every day 10-11 p.m.). Enjoy Live Jazz every Wednesday from 6 – 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
In addition to Dine-In service, Provence Marinaside continues to offer its regular menus for brunch, lunch and dinner for Provence at Home Takeout. If you prefer to cook Provence’s food in the comfort of your own kitchen, they also offer four French Food Made Easy kits.
Provence Marinaside is also supporting The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre with the donation of meals and funds along with a donation option on their should the public also wish to support the organization. Details can be found on Provence Marinaside’s Home Page.
Media release and image provided by Nancy Wong, Culinary Communications.