Chef Kakoo graduated in Hotel Management and Culinary Arts from the prestigious Institute of Hotel Management in Bombay (now Mumbai) which is recognized as one of the leading institutes for Hospitality studies in Asian and Europe. After spending some quality time in the industry, Chef Kakoo returned to her alumnus and obtained a teaching certification. She then followed her passion for teaching at the Institute of Hotel Management for over 5 years. Chef Kakoo has been training professionals and hobbyists for over 25 years including stints as a chef instructor at L’Ecole Hotellerie in Mauritius, Executive Training Chef for a large Swiss hotel chain in Africa and more recently at the Cook Shop in Vancouver for over 8 years and has conducted workshops for professional cooks in the art and science of fine Indian cooking.
Chef Kris McPhee is a Red Seal certified Chef with over 15 years experience in the industry. Kris is the owner and founder of McPhee Chef Services which offers dinner party and cooking class services to the Vancouver area. Kris is a student in holistic nutrition and offers food coaching and consulting services as well.
Kris is passionate about whole food cooking using only the finest organic and local ingredients. He was born in Vancouver and grew up in the interior of BC. His love for the outdoors led him to pursue a career in the culinary industry. He worked at the Baker Creek Bistro, in Lake Louise, Alberta as a dishwasher and was soon cooking alongside french chef Daniele Martineau. In 1999, he moved to Blue River, B.C. to work with a helicopter skiing resort and continued to improve his culinary skills under the tutelage of world class chef’s James McDermott and Toni Spori. Kris also spent time in the busy kitchens of Whistler while working on Whistler mountain as a mountain bike instructor.
In 2008 Chef Kris returned to Vancouver and started McPhee Chef Services. Kris enjoys creating memorable meals and experiences for his clients in the Vancouver area.
Sue Wiebe, the co-owner of Classic Party Rentals, is in constant & enthusiastic pursuit of culinary excellence. As chef and owner of the former Stoney Creek Cookery, her catering services and cooking classes were always in high demand.
Sue exemplifies the adage that “The best teachers are constant students.” Her ongoing culinary training includes certificates from Dubrulle French Culinary School, Le Cordon Bleu, The Culinary Institute of California and most recently, the Pastry Training Centre in Vancouver.
Between her position as PR Liaison with Classic Party Rentals and her passion for baking, Sue continually works on developing her recipes to perfection. “I will work on a recipe for months until I am completely satisfied with the outcome,” says Wiebe. “Then I work on it some more!”
Sue loves to pass on her extensive knowledge and skills whenever she has an opportunity. True to her French Canadian heritage, Sue believes that “Recipes need to be passed on to preserve our culture.”
Jason attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Ottawa acquiring a cuisine certificate and holds an inter-provincial “Red Seal” in cooking. With over 12 years in the industry, he has been involved in the opening of a number of restaurants, redesigning kitchens, and planning menus. Jason recently held the position of Executive Chef for a luxury resort company in British Columbia where he oversaw the creation and implementation of a standardized menu as well as publishing a cookbook. He’s gained considerable experience as a Chef and Sous Chef in fine dining, and began his varied career in many roles such as: cook, server, bartender, busboy, barista and yes, even the lowly dishwasher in numerous restaurants and cafes over the years.
Currently, Jason runs a consulting company that specializes in restaurant optimization, planning and design – implementing the latest in consumer trends to create incredible guest experiences in dining and catering. His complete set of skills ranges from developing the language around menus to food costing, equipment sourcing, supplier and vendor negotiations, wine education and staff training. This holistic approach to all aspects of the food and beverage industry is attributed to Jason’s wide and varied experience. Jason has an inherent ability to recognize the potential for improvement – valuing a common sense approach and insisting on doing it right as opposed to doing it right now.
Jason is particularly inspired by the West Coast’s heavy Asian influence on cuisine and is interested in locally produced ingredients, especially the wide variety of seafood available here. He has ambition to develop a style of food that is tasty, innovative and, most importantly, healthy. The emphasis on organic, non-GMO foods is going to be stressed a lot in the next generation of Chefs and Jason is very much a part of that movement.
After many years in sales and marketing, Brian’s passion for cooking has been planted, watered and grown to be very fruitful. In the kitchen, Brian’s energy has allowed him to share with many friends, family and catering clients a variety of cuisines. His collection of favourite cuisines include pasta, seafood, sushi and appetizers with everything from Cajun, Brazilian, regional American and German influences. Even though there are these influences, his passion can really be shown when he is using charcoal or a gas grill.
Brian created a competition barbeque team called House of Q and since the first contest they attended in 2005, they have accumulated a number of bbq awards both in Canada and the USA. The team has also been invited to attend some of the top competitions in the “home-land” of bbq, the deep south of USA.
Brian’s culinary work includes the BBQ Tip of the Week on Global TV BC, newspaper articles and has been published in cookbooks as well. At Well Seasoned Brian teaches during the summer the grilling and bbq classes while his indoor classes cover a number of topics including Cajun, beef or fish.
Tina’s passion for baking began as a little girl in her mom’s kitchen. Today she feeds that passion through her company, The Pink Spatula. Tina specializes in creating miniature sweets that can turn a simple cup of tea into a special occasion. Tina takes the mystery out of baking and makes it exciting, approachable and fun. Her credo: If you’re going to take time to bake, use premium ingredients to make the calories worth it.
Growing up the eldest of seven children in Jamshepur, India, Sunanda learned to cook at a young age and by the time she was 12, she was cooking for her entire family, with a little help from a chef who lived next door. Sunanda eventually moved to Canada and then to England and Edinburgh, Scottland where she was able to expand her cooking repertoire to include more western-style dishes. When she was in Scotland, she wrote her first cookbook- Sunanda Banham’s Indian Kitchen which focused on simple, home style meals that feature the incredible intensity of spices rather than an abundance of complicated ingredients. Sunanda’s book was a big hit in the U.K., and she even cooked lunch for British celebrity Chef Clarissa Dickson Wright, one half of the “Two Fat Ladies”, who told Sunanda that her food was some of the best she had ever tasted!
Dana began her career in the hospitality industry at the age of 11, spinning cotton candy and selling corn dogs at the PNE. Her father was in the wine importing business for many years and instilled a love of wine, food and travel.
Dana started managing restaurants in Vancouver in her early twenties before moving into the kitchen and culinary side with her Cellar Door Restaurant at Sumac Ridge Winery, in the Okanagan wine country. Leaving the Okanagan, Dana headed to London, England to do a stint at the River Café. She moved back to Vancouver and worked at Raincity Grill and Lumiere before opening CRU in 2004. CRU went on to win accolades and was one of the Best New Restaurants in Canada, as awarded by Enroute Magazine. CRU offered a unique wine and food pairing menu that has since been widely adopted.
Dana now owns SOL Kitchen Consulting, a food and hospitality consulting company. She now works with restaurants and food related companies across Canada. Dana is committed to producing fresh, regional and responsible cuisine.
I love to create personalized and memorable dining experiences for people in their homes that they can share with their family and friends. I’m available for in home catering; cocktail parties, dinner parties, romantic dinners, home meal plans.
Chef Garry Steel, trained in London England, where he gained his degree in food science while working in some of the most exclusive kitchens in the city, Intercontinental Hotel, Marriott, Four Seasons, a chef from Scotland who has traveled and lived a 90% circumference of the world. He has cooked for European and Arabic heads of state and royalty and his most cherished critic, his grandmother, who he credits for his love of food. Garry was born in Malaysia but is a proud true blue Scotsman with wicked sense of humour.
Chef Alex Tung is the Corporate Chef at La Grotta Del Formaggio, a Vancouver based specialty food/wine importer/distributor and Owner/Executive Chef of Yowza!culinary + concepts, a Vancouver based boutique firm specializing in restaurant consulting, culinary media and distinctive catering.
Chef Alex Tung has always had a deep and intimate relationship with food. Having cooked in some of the top kitchens around the world, Alex has now planted his roots in Vancouver. Alex’s formal culinary education was at the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, but his true culinary education took place working for culinary giants such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud and Christian Delouvrier. In Vancouver, he worked with Pino Posteraro at Cioppino’s and Frank Dodd at the Wedgewood Hotel, was the award winning Executive Chef at Tapenade Bistro and most recently the Managing Partner/Executive Chef at Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria. Chef Alex Tung has found inspiration in the surrounding environment. His determination to use high quality, indigenous and sustainable ingredients adds to the authenticity of his cuisine. His philosophy towards food is very clear; “simple, yet elegant cuisine,” cooked with proper technique and passion. Chef Alex serves on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Schoolyard Society and spends most of his leisure time with his beautiful wife and children. Read about his culinary adventures on his blog,