“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
- Steve Jobs
"Building a great team means hiring the most caring individuals out there."
- Stephen Beckta
Occupation: Proprietor of Beckta, one of Canada’s premier fine dining restaurants.
- Beckta attended Cairine Wilson Secondary School, and while in high school, he spent 40-50 hours a week at restaurants as a busboy, server, and finally chef at restaurants such as Malibu Jack’s and Dunn’s Deli.
- In 2003, Beckta married his wife, Maureen Cunningham
- Beckta has won multiple prestigious awards including: Top Independent Restaurateur in Ontario, one of Ottawa’s Top 40 under 40, and was chosen twice as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s Top 50 people.
- Aside from his business, Beckta is very interested in politics and community , and he is on the board of the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club
Personal and Professional Experiences
- Beckta owns three restaurants in Ottawa: Gezellig, Beckta dining and wine, and Play food & wine
- After working in Amsterdam and returning to Ottawa, Beckta studied at Algonquin college in the Honours Sommelier program
- Beckta spent four years working at some of the best restaurants in New York City such as Eleven Madison Park, and then spent two week learning in Paris
- In 2003, he opened his first restaurant, Beckta dining and wine, and generated reviews from papers such as The Globe and Mail and The New York Times
- Beckta dining and wine was named the fourth best restaurant in Canada, has received nine consecutive CAA/AAA four-diamond awards, was named the #1 restaurant in the city (2006-2008), and is the most award-winning restaurant in Ottawa
- In 2009, he opened Play food & wine, and Gezellig in 2012
- Beckta, Play and Gezellig have received glowing reviews in The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The National Post and countless others, being applauded for their extraordinary hospitality and inspired cooking. Just two months after opening, enRoute Magazine rated Beckta dining & wine the fourth best new restaurant in Canada.
- Other accolades include nine consecutive CAA/AAA four-diamond awards as well as being named the #1 restaurant in Ottawa by Ottawa Magazine three years in a row. Most recently, Beckta was named “Ottawa’s Signature Restaurant”, by the Ottawa Citizen
- Many famous people have come to his restaurants such as Stephen Harper, Rick Mercer and Jean Chretien
- In 2010, Beckta was awarded Algonquin college’s Alumnus of the Year and gave the convocation address
- All three restaurants contribute to dozens of charities every year including the Ottawa Food Bank, CHEO, The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and the Royal Ottawa Hospital
- He as also contributed to his industry in many ways, sitting on the board of ORHMA, teaching at Algonquin College, sitting on the advisory committee for the Hospitality School at Algonquin College, mentoring dozens of burgeoning restaurant entrepreneurs and donating his time to various local and national causes whose values he shares. He is most engaged with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, being an active member of board since 2011.