Contact Us
Address:1 York Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 5S7
Telephone:613.667.9207
Fax:613.667.9233
General Email:
Follow me on Twitter
Facebook Page
Stephen Beckta, Owner
Stephen Beckta is proprietor of Play, and its sister restaurant, Beckta dining & wine, one of Ottawa’s premier fine dining restaurants. After graduating with honours from Algonquin College’s Sommelier program, Stephen departed Ottawa to hone his skills in New York City for four years with the top players in the restaurant industry. Stephen started at Café Boulud working for the celebrated chef, Daniel Boulud, followed by two years with renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer at Eleven Madison Park before returning to his native city. Stephen has been named Top Independent Restaurateur in Ontario by the Ontario Hostelry Institute (2007), won the Bill Joe Restaurateur of the Year Award by the Ontario Restaurant Association in 2011, nominated for the Ontario Premier’s Awards in Business twice (2006, 2010), named one of Ottawa’s Top 40 under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal (2008) and Algonquin College’s Alumni of the year (2010).
Michael Moffatt, Executive Chef
Michael Moffatt is the Executive Chef of both Play, and its critically acclaimed sister restaurant Beckta dining & wine. Michael’s cuisine has been described as “consistently inventive and delicious”. He spent many years working in renowned kitchens including The River Café, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants as well as the CAA 5 Diamond Award winning kitchen at the Rimrock Resort in Banff, AB. Michael is a proud Algonquin College Culinary Arts Graduate and now chairs the Advisory Board for the Culinary program. Michael began his tenure at Beckta as Sous-Chef in 2003, before taking over the reins as Chef in 2006.
Clay Cardillo, Director of Operations
Clay Cardillo is the Director of Operations for Play, as well as for its sister restaurants gezellig and Beckta dining & wine. Clay completed the Algonquin Culinary Program in 1998 before becoming the Sous Chef for LeMetro in Ottawa. From there Clay worked in the kitchens of the NAC and The Keg,and was soon promoted within The Keg to open restaurants as Kitchen Manager. Here he began to find that while he got into the business to work with food and wine, he enjoyed working with the people in the restaurants as much as the product. Before long, Clay was recruited by SirCorp, then a small Canadian restaurant corporation, to be the opening Kitchen Manager and then General Manager for a number of restaurants throughout Southern Ontario. After 9 years and soon after the birth of his first child, Clay left SirCorp to become Business Development Manager at Cara, where he helped owners develop their people and restaurants. In 2012, Clay joined the Beckta family of restaurants as Director of Operations of Beckta dining & wine, Play food & wine and gezellig, where he is happy to fulfill his passion for building business by driving hospitality.
Isa Forbes, Office Manager & Event Coordinator
Isa Forbes Hospitality is in Isa’s blood; Isa first got her start at her parent’s small town, family-owned restaurant, before moving to attend the University of Ottawa. Having graduated from Communications, Isa soon steered her career towards event planning, including a stake-holding position with the Ottawa International Film Festival (OIFF). Isa joined Play Food & Wine in 2012, and can now marry her enthusiasm for events with her experience in food. She also works behind the scenes at Play as Office Manager, supporting the staff, as well as the guests. Isa is eager to make your special occasion at Play, truly an event.
Sarah French, General Manager
Sarah French grew up in the upper Ottawa Valley where she was raised with an appreciation for food that was organic and local, and home cooked meals were prepared fresh from the family garden. Her career in hospitality began over a decade ago when she started serving in a restaurant near her home. Here, the chef, who was dedicated to using the freshest possible ingredients, obtained most of his produce from his family farm mere kilometres from the restaurant. These beginnings formed a lasting impression on Sarah. Since then, Sarah has continued to expand her keen sense of taste for nuanced flavour combinations in both food and wine. Her affection for all things food and wine has led her to broaden her amazing front-of-the-house skills, resulting in a well-rounded and caring manner. Sarah joined Play in 2009 as a server, and with us found a home where her respect for fine dining, paired with sensitive and responsive service, has blossomed. She joined our management team as Head Server in 2010, moved into the role of service manager in early 2012 and was promoted to General Manager later that year.
Stephen Harrod, Head Server
Stephen Harrod started his career in the hospitality industry working at Luna Bar and Kitchen in 2000, a restaurant that followed the lunar cycle, changing its menu every full moon to the cuisine of a different region of the world. There he worked with many of the talented chefs that have gone on to change the landscape of the Ottawa culinary scene. After working at several different restaurants across the Ottawa area Stephen landed at the Urban Pear, a restaurant that inspired Stephen’s appreciation for locally sourced ingredients and farm to table cooking. Stephen spent eight years working at the Urban Pear, including two years as dining room manager, before transitioning to his position as head server at Play in October 2012. When Stephen is not in the dining room at Play he can be found in his garden with his wife, daughter and two dogs growing vegetables.
Miranda Pregent, Head Server
Miranda Pregent got her early start in the restaurant business at 16, when she started working part-time for a family friend who owned a restaurant. Her first jobs there included hostessing, back-waiting, and just generally helping out where needed in the restaurant. Miranda found herself hooked at an early age on the dynamic pace of the business and interesting people she discovered along the way. She eventually moved on to larger corporate restaurants in suburban Ottawa where for the next eight years, she moved from hostess, to server, head server, bartender and then management. After earning a degree in public relations, Miranda decided to change things up and came to work downtown in Ottawa's Byward Market with the management team at The Grand. Miranda loves the pace and clientele in Ottawa's most bustling neighborhood, and finds constant joy in discovering new and interesting food and wine. She joined the team at Play as a server in the summer of 2011, and became head server in January of 2012.
Jordan Sabourin, Head Server
Jordan Sabourin was born and raised in the rural farmlands around Ottawa. His mother was a high school food and nutrition teacher, so Jordan has always had strong memories of knowing good food and where it came from. His parents made sure to include him in their pursuit of great restaurants, inspiring him to develop an appreciation for great hospitality at an early age. They frequently joked about his palate and his tenacity for checking the nose on all things at the table as a young boy. While studying at Ottawa University, Jordan started waiting tables and found his calling in the industry. He transferred into the Sommelier program at Algonquin and joined Play as a waiter with our opening staff in 2009. Jordan is very proud that in his work at Play he can continue to learn about the local food we use, participate in the intense search for wines we pair, and be dedicated to our mission in caring about guests. Jordan graduated from Algonquin's Sommelier program in 2010, and moved into the role of Head Server at Play in Spring of 2011.
Kerri Smith, Wine Director
Kerri Smith was born and raised just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick. Between the many happy hours spent in the kitchen with her Mom and her parents’ belief in exposing their children to fine dining at a young age, her love of food and dining was born. After working for her parents in their men’s clothing store where she pursued her passion for people from age 14 to 21, Kerri then entered the restaurant business and has never looked back. Kerri moved to Ottawa in 2010, worked as part of the opening team at both Town and Brothers Beer Bistro, and then entered the Algonquin College Sommelier program. Kerri has recently completed her WSET level 3 program and is enthusiastically pursuing her passion for connecting food, wine and people.
Andrew Stevenson
Andrew Stevenson has worked in kitchens since the age of 17. He attended Algonquin College and graduated from the Culinary Management program in 2011. After school was completed he traveled to South East Asia for a couple of months then worked at the Delta Lodge at Kananakis in 2012, where he used his skills he developed at Algonquin College. Andrew joined the Play family in November 2013 and was promoted to Sous Chef shortly after showcasing his enthusiasm for cooking.
Tim Stock, Chef de Cuisine
Tim Stock decided to pursue his longtime passion for cooking by enrolling in the culinary program at the North Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton after completing his first university degree in Fine Arts. With his artistic background and creative ability, Tim found his calling in culinary school and participated in provincial, national and international student competitions, before graduating with honours. After working in kitchens at the Hotel McDonald Fairmont and The Westin hotel in Edmonton Tim went home to Winnipeg where he worked at the acclaimed restaurant, Dubrovniks, apprenticing under Chef Gojko Bodiriga and achieving his red seal certification, and then went on to Sous Chef at Promenade Bistro. Tim then moved to Ottawa to work at Beckta dining & wine and learn from Executive Chef Michael Moffat for nearly a year before returning home once again to become Executive Chef at the Minniwasta Golf and Country club. He took a break to travel throughout South America for 9 months, where he learned new perspectives and techniques along the way. After returning home from his travels, Tim returned to Ottawa to join the team at Play food & wine as Chef de Cuisine.
Amy Walsh, Sous Chef
Amy Walsh grew up in Tyendenaga Township, which is located close to Prince Edward County. As a young girl she spent most of her time on her grandparents farm where she learned the importance of local ingredients. Amy attended high school and college in Kingston, Ontario for Social Work, but quickly switched to the Culinary program and found her passion for cooking. Since graduating she has worked in the restaurant industry and began working at Play in March 2013 and was promoted to Sous Chef in December 2013, where she continues to develop her culinary skills.