Chef Spotlight Series

Averill Creek

Chef Series, Winemaker Edition: Brent Rowland of Averill Creek

A first for our Chef Series we get to know a new kind of expert, winemaker Brent Rowland of Averill Creek Vineyard. With a focus on Pinot Noir production Brent has made a career of working with wineries across the globe. Brent has brought this knowledge to the Cowichan Valley’s wine region. Brent has included a recipe from Averill Creek’s previous Virtual Dinner Series, which pairs with their Joue White, Rosé and Joue Red wines. 

Chef Spotlight Series: Israel Alvarez Molina, Maiiz Nixtamal

In our Chef Spotlight Series, we were able to catch up with Israel Alvarez Molina, the Chef behind the insanely delicious corn tortillas that are Maiiz Nixtamal.  Israel grew up with an appreciation for fresh, high-quality food visiting markets with his mother and grandmother. From there, at 19, he completed a two-year program at the Centro Universitario de Artes Culinarias, in Mexico City and continued that training in Spain at the Centro Superior de Hosteleria de Galicia.  After his four-year education, he was Chef de Cuisine at Pujol Mexico City until life brought him to Vancouver Island to make the tortillas he’s loved his whole life!

sarah maw friends of dorothy

Chef Spotlight Series: Sarah Maw, Friends of Dorothy (FOD)

Leading the kitchen of Friends of Dorothy is Chef Sarah Maw. Sarah is young, female, and queer, which makes her an anomaly in the world of chefs. She’s an ambitious Chef who regularly enters culinary competitions, and motivates her team to get creative in the kitchen! We caught up with Sarah as part of our chef spotlight series to learn more about her and how to make her perfect Lamb Merguez Meatball!

chef joanne la roux

Chef Spotlight Series: Joanne Predan, La Roux Patisserie

Jo began her cooking journey with her spare time in the kitchen and learning, at age nine, from a Hungarian chef. Her formal schooling started at the Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, and continued at Camosun College in Victoria.  She began her apprenticeship in Victoria with Chef Daniel Vokey of Patisserie Daniel and ended with mentorship from Chef Phillip Headen (formerly Wharfside Eatery). Prior to becoming Head Chef at La Roux, Jo worked at Church & State Winery, Uplands Golf Club, and the Union club in addition to many smaller cafes and bakeries around town. 

Chefs Spotlight Series: Chef Castro Boateng House of Boateng Cafe

In our Chef Spotlight Series we were able to catch-up with House of Boateng’s namesake, owner and chef Castro Boateng.  Chef Castro was born in the West African country of Ghana, and moved to Canada when he was nine years old. He studied Culinary Arts at Humber College in Toronto and worked under European Master Chefs Stewart Cameron and Colin Watson at the prestigious Turnberry Resort, in Scotland.

Chef Spotlight Series: Daniel Shipley, Farm’s Gate Foods & Catering

Welcome back to the Chef Spotlight Series. Today, we’re getting to know chef Daniel Shipley who, together with his brother Michael, owns and operates Farm’s Gate Foods & Catering. Based in Duncan, the catering business travels across Vancouver Island, and the food truck is a staple at the Thursday night Esquimalt Market where you can find farm-fresh offerings.  Truly an advocate of the Farm to Table movement, Shipley uses local ingredients to create an ever-changing seasonal menu. Get to know Shipley in his own words, and check out his recipe for Winter Squash Fritters, perfect for the season. 

zambris victoria

Chef Spotlight Series: Julia McInnis, Zambri’s

In our Chef Spotlight Series, we were able to catch up with Zambri’s executive chef Julia McInnes. For Julia, food has always been a central part of connecting with family and friends. She grew up watching family members cook and after attending culinary school in Montreal, she took over as the main cook of the family. She started at Zambri’s just over ten years ago as a line cook and has worked hard to become Executive Chef.  She loves working for a family-run business where she is able to learn exactly what it takes to keep a small business going.