As a young chef, Robert received the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ when Thomas Keller offered him a Chef de Partie position at the world renowned The French Laundry. In 2002, he came back to BC to helm several leading restaurants (C, Nu, Fuel/Refuel) followed by his nose-to-tail Italian concept Campagnolo in 2008 and Popina Cucina on Granville Island.
Robert is also president of the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia, and host of its popular podcast, Mise-en-Place.
Director of Sustainability, Panago Pizza Inc.
Jason has focused his career at the intersection of food and sustainability for almost 20 years, first as a co-founder of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, to business development for local food startups to a stint as Sustainability Manager at Nature’s Path, North America’s largest producer of organic cereals.
Jason holds an MBA in Sustainable Business (Presidio Graduate School) and is Board President of the Sustainable Food Trade Association.
Named 2020 Chef of the Year at Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Awards, Andrea has been an ‘influencer’ on the local dining scene for over a decade… from her days at Raincity Grill, Bishop’s and through her current ventures.
Her dedicated support of local food systems has forged strong relationships with farmers and growers, and nurtured innovative menus that put flavour and sustainability in perfect balance.
CEO, BSIBio, Vancouver
Susanna has more than 22 years of education and work experience in environmental issues and business development. She serves as Co-chair of the Product and Packaging Working Group of the National Zero Waste Council.
Susanna is a founding member of Women for Nature, supporting environmental conservation and education programs, and is the winner of the TPH Sustainability Award at the 2011 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.
Hong Kong-born, Welbert moved to North Burnaby as a teenager. He trained at the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, leading to stints at Elixir (Opus Hotel) and joined Forage in 2012 as its first Pastry Chef.
As Executive Chef, Welbert’s menu at Forage has deepened relationships with local producer, and furthered his commitment to help build long-term farming, fishing and foraging legacies in BC for generations to come.
Corporate Chef, Organic Ocean
From his days in the kitchen at C Restaurant to Founding Chef of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, Robert has helped grandfather the sustainable seafood movement in Canada. He is the proud recipient of the Murray A. Newman Award for his conservation efforts; in late 2020, he was welcomed as a Member of the Order of Canada.
Other kudos include 2006 Chef of the Year (Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards) and 2011 Chef of the Year at the Pinnacle Awards (Foodservice & Hospitality Magazine).
Born in India and raised in Washington, DC, Meeru had set her sights on a career in socioeconomic development, before joining her (now ex-) husband Vikram Vij in Vancouver for a restaurant venture. She still manages and develops recipes for Vij’s, which The New York Times has hailed as “one of the best Indian restaurants in the world.”
Aside from leading her all-female kitchen team in flavour explorations, Meeru is a passionate researcher and supporter of innovation in sustainability, the environment and health.
President & CEO, White Spot Hospitality
A graduate of Malaspina College (and proud Winnipegger), Warren joined White Spot as a General Manger in 1990 after 14 years with The Keg Restaurant group. After 90 years in operation, White Spot is over 130 locations in Canada and Asia.
A major factor is Warren’s success is his ability to build and sustain relationships with employees, guests and business partners, and his passion is giving back to the community.
Principal, Fish+River Consultants
Starting with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Manitoba, Don has gone on to be recognized as one of the top ‘gurus’ in energy-efficient foodservice, primarily due to his 25-plus years as co-founder/manager of the PG&E Food Service Technology Center, which developed the test standards to evaluate commercial kitchen equipment.
Don is also an ASHRAE member and expert contributor on the topic of commercial kitchen ventilation.
Founder/CEO, Tap & Barrel Group
Born in Israel, Frankel grew up in Vancouver, earned a film degree in 1996, switched gears with the opening of a coffee shop in 2001 soon to be followed by a group of restaurants, pubs and gift shops. Daniel was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018 by Ernst & Young’s prestigious international program.
Tap & Barrel encapsulates Frankel’s vision and values: develop leaders from among staff; act as a steward of the environment; and support the community with a place where they can connect and flourish.
Project Manager, Ubuntu Canteen
Singapore-raised, Dave fell into the food biz when he moved to Chicago and found a job at the renowned Les Nomades. He eventually made his way through some top kitchens in Belgium, Denmark, France and beyond, before settling in Vancouver as head chef at Wildebeest.
With the opening of The Farmer’s Apprentice, Dave defined his commitment to community-based menus and a collaborative staffing model, which he has most recently refined at the Ubuntu Canteen.
Administrative Director, Sole Food Street Farms
Matt is an experienced business and non-profit leader with more than 15 years in food related business and interests in sustainable food systems. He is passionate about economic empowerment, community engagement and progressive, people-first business.
When not down at the urban farm, Matt helps organize Media Democracy Days and researches innovative cooperative food-service business models.
James Kennedy, CCC
From his state-of-the art training facilities, James manages the three levels of White Spot’s in-house Accredited Red Seal Chef Apprenticeship Program and provides menu development role for the company’s concepts.
Before joining White Spot in 2008, James held executive chef/owner positions in several Vancouver ventures, including the Cook Studio Café, a social enterprise providing culinary training to at-risk youth on Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. James was inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2016.
Recognized as one of Canada’s top chefs, Brad is currently chef/owner of Café Belong and Belong Catering.
An active advocate for sustainable farming and ethical treatment of livestock, Brad is also passionate about work/family balance. When not creating menus, speaking with farmers or checking the freshness of new produce, he relishes family time with his wife Sheryl and their five children.
After years of paying his dues in high-volume hotel kitchens across Canada, Brian landed at The Acorn, a 44-seat vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver. His knowledge and experience with locally foraged ingredients and creative approach to flavour earned several accolades, including several top-ten lists of best vegetarian/vegan restaurants on the planet.
Currently a freelancer, Brian is exploring new opportunities in his culinary career.
After graduation (Wilfrid Laurier), Greg spent 11 years in mergers & acquisitions/business strategy as an investment banker, including development of Origin Merchant Partners into the largest M&A boutique in Canada.
Now the owner of Farm’r Prepared Meals and a consultant for businesses of all kinds, Greg specializes in new product development, operational efficiency and a little bit of everything else.
Recipient of a 2018 Distinguished Professor award for excellence in teaching, McAdams draws on more than 20 years leadership experience in the Ontario hospitality industry, including Vice President of Operations at Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants.
In 2011 McAdams founded the University of Guelph Sustainable Restaurant Project (UGSRP) and is currently its Executive Director.
Chef/Sales Director, RATIONAL Canada
With a solid culinary foundation built at famed chef Bruno Marti’s La Belle Auberge, Tyler followed a unconventional career path through hotel dining, a stint as chef/resource specialist at SYSCO to his present position at RATIONAL Canada.
Tyler is a passionate advocate of innovation across all aspects of foodservice operations, from menu design to kitchen technology to truly sustainable careers for culinary professionals.