Alex Browne photo                                Joel Villanueva of Primo’s Mexican Grill puts the finishing touches to some signature tostadas, a sample of the dish he is creating for Thursday’s Chefs For The Pier gala. For more information about the fundraiser, or tickets, visit www.friendsofthepier.com

Alex Browne photo Joel Villanueva of Primo’s Mexican Grill puts the finishing touches to some signature tostadas, a sample of the dish he is creating for Thursday’s Chefs For The Pier gala. For more information about the fundraiser, or tickets, visit www.friendsofthepier.com

Chefs prepare for pier fundraising dinner

Thursday, Sept. 12 event to take place at Oceana PARC

Joel Villaneuva of Primo’s Mexican Grill on White Rock’s Marine Drive, said he’s excited to be showcasing his culinary skills in this week’s Chefs For The Pier fundraiser, Thursday, Sept. 12 at Oceana PARC.

“This is a huge opportunity to be part of this with so many amazing and fantastic chefs,” said Villanueva, third-generation owner-operator of the business, originally founded in Vancouver in 1959 by his grandfather Primo, a former halfback for the BC Lions.

“I’d like to thank the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the Pier for allowing us to be part of this.”

The event, with a $300 ticket and a maximum of 150 seats, is designed to raise money for full restoration of White Rock’s newly-reopened pier, and Villanueva said it’s a cause close to his heart – when he and his wife Jaclynn relocated Primo’s to the city, they deliberately chose a location close to the pier.

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“It’s so nice to have the pier and the old White Rock back,” he said. “It’s been a night-and-day difference since the pier re-opened for foot traffic. It’s amazing to see all the happy faces at the pier – and coming up here for a dinner and a drink. It couldn’t be more important to us.”

Also showcased at the event will be creations by includes chefs Vikram Vij (My Shanti), Matthew Stowe (Joey Restaurant Group), Harley Chappell (SFN), Shaughn Halls (Oceana Parc), Jan Wait (Jan’s on the Beach), Kayla Dhaliwal (Glass House Estate Winery), Jennie Silk (Uli’s Restaurant), Josiah Tam (Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar), Brian Cho (Sapporo Kitchen), Soo Min Lee (Sapporo Kitchen) and Christophe Bonzon (Chez Christophe).

For information on the event, or to purchase tickets, visit friendsofthepier.com.