CHEF TREVOR BIRD
Trevor Bird began his foray into the culinary world as a teenager, his career led him into acclaimed kitchens such as Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Jean George’s MARKET, and Daniel Boulud’s Lumiere. In 2011 Trevor placed runner up against some of Canada’s greatest chefs in Top Chef Canada. He later returned in 2017 as a top contestant on Top Chef Canada - All Stars. In between television debuts, Trevor secured two successful restaurants in Vancouver which share his philosophy for locally focused ingredients. Fable opened in 2011, showcasing British Columbia’s regional bounty in all of the menu’s dishes. Most recently Fable Diner opened its doors to the reemergence of a modern-day diner set at an iconic Vancouver location that has held a diner sine 1949. Along with an impressive list of international guest chef appearances Trevor has received numerous accolades and Fable quickly rose to become one of Vancouver’s favourite dining destinations.
CHEF BROCK BOWES
After graduating from the Vancouver Island University Culinary Arts program, Bowes worked at the highly regarded at Fairmont Chateau Whistler and returned to Vancouver Island to work at the Hotel Grand Pacific, the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Dock 503, and become the opening Executive Chef at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. After spending time in Europe he returned to work in the Okanagan at Manteo Resort and Burrowing Owl Estate Winery before finally taking his place at RauDZ Regional Table with the philosophy of supporting local, eating and drinking local. In 2015 Bowes won Chopped Canada with a killer lobster dish and represented RauDZ in the 2016 Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates in Victoria, BC.
CHEF ROD BUTTERS
It was an injured arm that got Rod Butters wielding a knife instead of heading off on a baseball scholarship in America. After working with the highly regarded Four Seasons Hotel group, Chateau Whistler Resort and Pacific Palisades Hotel Vancouver Rod went on to open the world famous Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino as Chef de Cuisine and attained the internationally recognized Relais & Chateaux designation for the Inn’s Pointe restaurant. Rod’s commitment to establishing regional BC cuisine has earned him international respect and in 2007 his peers inducted Rod into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame. Rod is a member of the Canadian Culinary Foundation and has earned the WCC designation recognizing international culinary excellence from the World Association of Chefs Societies. Rod is also past President of the Okanagan Chefs Association. This summer Rod’s highly anticipated cookbook, Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking will be released.
CHEF CONNIE DESOUSA
Dubbed the Primal Ballerina— for her years of formal dance training juxtaposed with her meat-centric culinary mastery—Connie DeSousa is one of Canada’s most renowned female top chefs. Known for her butchery skills and simple approach to food, she expertly prepares authentic, regional food to high critical acclaim. She obtained Le Cordon Bleu Paris Certification and graduated from SAIT Culinary School, and through her culinary travels she’s made her way through award-winning restaurants including Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten's Michelin 3-Star restaurant in New York City, Chef Michael Tusk's Quince Restaurant in San Francisco and Alice Waters' Chez Panisse in Berkeley. In 2009 Connie opened CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary along with her mentor and business partner John Jackson. They are now co-owners of four restaurants and a rapidly growing Catering and Events division—including newly opened charbar in the historic Simmons building—receiving numerous accolades including spots on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list and enRoute’s Best New Restaurant round-up.
CHEF SHANE CHARTRAND
Shane Chartrand grew up on a farm outside of Red Deer, and moved to Edmonton and trained in some of Canada’s best restaurants and hotels. Shane has cooked for many prestigious charitable events, aboriginal groups and taught aboriginal youth culinary skills. He holds many impressive culinary titles, a finalist in Western Livings Magazine’s Top Foodies under 40, three medals from Canada’s culinary competition Gold Medal Plates, gold medal winner of the Canadian Chef Federation Chef of the Year Competition, Plate of the Year award by in the international Chaîne Des Rotîsseurs and won the Aboriginal Role Model award by the Culinary Arts. Shane was a competitor in CHOPPED CANADA and has been featured in dozens of published magazines and cookbooks such as Great Canadian Masters, FEAST, and is writing his own book featuring innovative Indigenous cuisine, MARROW.
CHEF MATTHIAS FONG
A born and raised Calgarian, Matthias' early intrigue with the kitchen was sparked watching his mother and grandmother spend hours wrapping hand-made dumplings, rolling fresh steam buns and braising chicken feet. Working closely with mentors such as River Café alumni Chef Scott Pohorelic and Chef Andrew Winfield, as well as British Michelin-starred Chef Marcus Wareing, Matthias has developed his own style of Canadian cuisine. Matthias has a profound appreciation for the study of food and draws creative inspiration from an inquisitive passion for why taste of place matters in Canadian food culture. He carries on the River Café traditions of mentorship, passion for ingredients and devotion to our local food community.
CHEF ORLIN GODFEY
Chef Orlin Godfrey started his career in Rocky Mountain House, at 19. Orlin moved to Vancouver and attended the culinary arts program at Vancouver Community College before beginning his apprenticeship at The William Tell Restaurant. He continued to work in the vibrant Vancouver culinary scene for 16 years. Orlin made the Okanagan Valley the next stop on his culinary adventure to get closer to his connection to the land and the bounty it provides. He found a home at Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek, and in 2016 became Winery Chef of Nk’Mip Cellars. His cuisine is inspired by local produce and influenced by traditional Aboriginal techniques of the Okanagan people.
Cluck ‘n’ Cleaver @cluckncleaver
CHEF NICOLE GOMES
Crowned as Canada’s Top Chef by Food Network’s Top Chef Canada: All-Stars, Nicole fought her way to the top to become the first female winner of the high-stakes culinary competition. Chef and owner of the successful Nicole Gourmet Catering, now in its eleventh year, Nicole recently opened the popular take-out joint Cluck N’ Cleaver, serving a crispy fried and French-style rotisserie chicken. From a young age Nicole has cooked across the globe notably in Sydney, Hong Kong, Vancouver’s West, and Catch in Calgary, before opening Mercato as Executive Chef, one of Calgary’s top restaurants during her tenure. She has also cooked as a guest chef at the renowned James Beard House in New York City. Nicole was named Western Living’s Top 40 Foodies under 40 in 2013, Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2014, Alberta Women’s Entrepreneur nominee in 2014, and Calgary Herald’s Compelling Calgarians in 2015.
CHEF LEE HUMPHRIES
Originally from Cornwall, England, Lee’s roots run deep in a passion for fresh, local food. As a farm boy delivering vegetables to nearby restaurants, Lee was attracted to the hustle and bustle of the trade, making it a natural transition from his family’s cabbage farm to the kitchen. Lee commenced his gastronomic journey at a young age; starting at 13 in a neighborhood restaurant and cooking his way into London including at the luxury Westbury Mayfair Hotel. Lee’s sense of adventure and passion for the sea brought him to Canada’s west coast. Landing at Vancouver’s prestigious West Restaurant as a Sous Chef, Lee mentored under Chef David Hawksworth and his discerning palate, and honed his culinary skills as Chef de Cuisine at the Opus Hotel’s Elixir and as executive chef at Figmint. He fell in love with the Okanagan and moved his family where he’s become well-versed in the local food scene and suppliers. He oversees the culinary operations for all of Vintage Hospitality’s businesses, including Liquidity Bistro and The Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery.
CHEF JOHN JACKSON
Jackson began his career at Calgary's award-winning Owl's Nest Dining Room. After five years there he accepted a position as chef de cuisine in Manhattan. During that time Jackson had the opportunity to train with a number of notable chefs, taking advantage of New York's world-class cuisine and consulted on many projects, including the opening of Jean Georges Vongerichten's Restaurant Lagoon in Bora Bora. He ventured to San Francisco as the opening Executive Chef of the St. Regis Hotel, obtaining the Mobil 5-Star Award each year since his arrival - monumental occasions in Jackson's career. There he worked closely with Chef Connie DeSousa, whom he had previously met in Calgary in 1999, and after the successful opening of the St. Regis they returned to Calgary to open their first venture side-by-side in 2010, CHARCUT Roast House. In 2015 they celebrated the opening of charbar in the historic Simmons building, and where their famed Alley Burger truck is now anchored along as one of Calgary's favourite walk-thru windows.
CHEF JINHEE LEE
With fierce passion and a natural talent for cooking, Chef Jinhee Lee is a rising star in the Canadian culinary scene. Originally from South Korea, Jinhee first moved to Calgary with sights set on a corporate profession before finding herself in SAIT’s culinary school. Jinhee has impressed many with her inventive and refined approach to food, drawing from the cuisine of her heritage as well as other Asian influences. In 2016 Jinhee earned a spot on Avenue Magazine’s Top 5 People to Watch in Calgary’s Food Scene and later took top prize in Gold Medal Plates. Other notable wins include a silver at Gold Medal Plates 2015, Critic’s Choice at The Art Gallery of Calgary’s AGC Cooks 2013, and first place at the 2012 Calgary Stampede Dueling Chefs competition. Jinhee has joined the team at Calgary’s Foreign Concept working alongside the esteemed Chef Duncan Ly.
CHEF DUNCAN LY
Chef Ly is one of Calgary’s most well-respected and award-winning chefs. Originally from Lethbridge, his career has taken him across Western Canada, working at some of the country’s most esteemed dining establishments including Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Diva and Calgary’s Catch, Hotel Arts, Kensington Riverside Inn and as Culinary Director for The Vintage Group of restaurants. During his career, Chef Ly has won numerous competitions including two second-place finishes in Gold Medal Plates Calgary, followed by a win in 2014. This top place finish gave him the chance to compete at the national Gold Medal Plates competition where he placed second. In earlier years, Chef Ly was awarded the prestigious Karl Schier Award as Vancouver’s Top Apprentice and represented Canada at the Bocuse d’Or, one of the top international culinary competitions held in France. Today Duncan Ly is chef and owner of Calgary’s Foreign Concept, which has already reached high acclaims since opening its doors in late 2016.
CHEF MARK MCEWAN
From his early years as Canada’s youngest ever executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel to his latest endeavors, Mark McEwan is never content to rest on his laurels. McEwan has led the restaurant scene in Toronto for many years. He joins the ranks of the truly innovative with groundbreaking Toronto standards captivating customers, from “North 44” to “Bymark,” to the always interesting “ONE,” and the rustic Italian fare in the contemporary setting of “Fabbrica.” Attentive to the changing needs of the consumer, he created McEwan—a jewel box of a grocery store that caters to foodies—and developed a high-quality cookware line by Fresco sold nationally across Canada. It doesn’t stop there; his cookbooks “Great Food At Home” and “Fabbrica” added best-selling author to his resume. Mark has also added television personality to his list of talents as the head judge on “Top Chef Canada.”
CHEF RYAN O’FLYNN
Chef Ryan O’Flynn’s culinary journey began by washing dishes at Hy’s Steak Loft in Edmonton, working his way up through the ranks in Alberta before deciding to make a move overseas. From England, Ireland, France and Wales, Ryan cooked highly acclaimed restaurants, with AA Rosette ratings, two with Michelin-stars, and two Relais & Châteaux hotels. At just 26 he was appointed Head Chef of Le Galloise, Wales’ top restaurant and was named Executive Chef of The Milestone Hotel in London, which was voted “Best Hotel in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler during his tenure. Shortly after returning to Alberta, Ryan took home top honours from the 2015 Canadian Culinary Championships, beating out top chefs from across the country. With over 20 years of experience and an extensive international background, Ryan took the lead as Executive Chef of The Guild in Calgary bringing new heights of creativity, style and skill to its kitchen.
CHEF MATTHEW STOWE
Chef Matthew Stowe graduated from New York’s famed Culinary Institute of America, and upon graduating further developed his craft at New York’s legendary French restaurant, Lutece. Returning to BC in 2004, Stowe became Executive Chef of Sonora Resort where he played an integral role in the resort achieving the coveted Relais & Châteaux designation in 2009. That same year he also wrote his award-winning cookbook, The Tastes of Sonora Resort, which highlighted his signature dishes at the world famous coastal resort. In 2010, Stowe joined Cactus Club Café as the Product Development Chef, and won the 2013 season of Top Chef Canada. In 2016 Stowe joined Joseph Richard Group as Director of Culinary Operations, responsible for developing and maintaining the food and beverage vision for all their establishments.
CHEF Julian Helman
Bio to come.
CHEF Wesley Young
Bio to come.
CHEF Jenna Pillon
Born and raised in Salmon Arm, BC, Jenna realized her passion for food as a young girl and started cooking professionally in high school. Jenna has led a distinguished career in the Okanagan working with some of the top chefs in the valley, moving to take on the role as Restaurant Chef at Terrafina in 2014. Jenna’s competitive nature, hard work and talent won her 1st place at the 2012 Canadian National Junior Culinary Challenge in Halifax, she went on to place 2nd in Las Vegas at the Hans Bueschkens Young Chef Challenge where she represented Canada, cooking against talented chefs from across North and South America. Jenna finds being a Chef in the Okanagan rewarding in so many ways, but the support, collaboration and harmony of working with fellow chefs throughout the valley is what she really loves. Ultimately this is what will give our culinary industry in the Okanagan longevity.
CHEF David Beaudoin
Bio to come.
Chef Darin Paterson
Bio to come.
John Schreiner, wine Writer
Bio to come.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Mijune is an international food personality and creator of FollowMeFoodie.com. Featured as one of “The World’s Most Extreme Foodies” in The Sunday Times and named “Must Follow” by The Social Media Awards, she joins Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada as resident judge. She is also a judge for the BC Product of the Year Award and The Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards.
As the youngest and fi rst social media infl uencer to be invited to join the BC Chef’s Association’s Board of Directors (April 2012 – June 2014), Mijune also had her own “Follow Me Foodie” column in the WE Vancouver newspaper. Mijune makes regular appearances on CTV Morning Live, and has appeared on Breakfast Television, CBC TV’s “Our Vancouver“, Zagat, OpenRoad Driver, BC Living, The Vancouver Sun, The Now Newspaper, WE Vancouver, Metro News and various other media outlets.
Master of wine, Rhys Pender
Rhys is a Master of Wine who combines his time writing, judging, teaching, consulting and dirtying his boots at his 4 acre vineyard and winery—Little Farm Winery—in the Similkameen Valley of BC, Canada. His wine school, Wine Plus+, has
been teaching Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) since 2008. He also completed a Professional Culinary Diploma and has been named by Western Living magazine as one of the “Top 40 Foodies Under 40”. He is a Principal Critic and Writer for WineAlign.com and a regular contributor to Canadian
publications such as Macleans, Montecristo and Taste. Rhys judges wine competitions internationally such as the Decanter World Wine Awards as well as the National and World competitions for WineAlign and the Vancouver Magazine Wine Awards.