I first knew I wanted to be a Chef during high school. I was never one to sit down and read a book but I would sit down to peel a potato. I grew up helping my mother cook dinners at home at a very young age. My passion for cooking grew daily as I was fortunate to have a family that would allow me to explore the grocery isles to hand select ingredients that I would want to turn into dinner that night. I was one of the few that found a passion at a young age and have spent the rest of my time trying to perfect it.
I started cooking in my home education class in grade 12. I guess it was by accident. I only signed up for this class because of a crush over a girl. Who would have known that that the passion for that girl would eventually lead to my passion for food? Maybe my home education teacher did as she saw potential in me and guided me down the road that I am still traveling today. I graduated from high school and immediately went to B.C.I.T and joined their culinary arts program. I was a brat back then. I knew I wanted to cook but I lacked the discipline to work in a professional kitchen. I remember my culinary instructor telling me that I had all the talent in the world but it was a waste because I was using it in all the wrong areas. He told me that I needed to focus and channel my energy into my food. I did just that. I would graduate 2nd in my class. I left B.C.I.T and then joined the Dubrulle French Culinary School in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was there that I truly realized that I was born to be a Chef. It didnâ€™t matter what the task was, I was able to master each dish. My instructors were amazed and I remember Chef Christopher Brown and Rebecca Dawson teaching me plating techniques well after the daily classes was done. Thank you. I use your mentorship daily and I pass on my knowledge as you did yours. It was Chef Brown that introduced me to Chef Carol Chow at the Beachside CafÃ© in West Vancouver. It was there where I would start and complete my apprenticeship.
In 2000, I was chosen to be a member of the Canadian Junior Culinary team. It was a great honor and that door allowed me to meet many great people that would allow me to continue to grow. Through connections, I was able to start working as the Executive Chef of the Pacific Palisades Hotel in Vancouver at the age of 22. My career was only getting started as I would hold the Executive Chef positions in such restaurants as Balthazar, Lickerish, Jupiter CafÃ©, SKYBAR and was the restaurant Chef at the Sheraton Vancouver Hotel. I would join the Food and Resource Group and receive my Consulting certification in restaurants and hospitality.
My life has been an adventure. It has allowed me to open and operate a pool hall/cafÃ©, a subway franchise and two different catering companies. I have taken my skills on the road over the past few years leading kitchens in Gibsonâ€™s, BC and Victoria, BC. In 2010, I was privileged to be selected as the Executive Chef of the Norwegian Olympic Team at the Vancouver winter Olympics.
My adventures and relationships have led me to Kelowna. After leading the culinary programs at the Hungry Chef Catering Company and Rustyâ€™s Steakhouse, I joined the FSH in January 2015. I have been fortunate to join a team that allows me to be creative and also pass my knowledge on daily to a group of young staff that resembled me 25 years ago. After all, being a Chef is not just about cooking. I make edible art and I must train my staff as an instructor to be able to pull off a Theatre to a Table nightly.