Business Resource Specialist & Chef, Sysco
Andrew started his hospitality journey working in hotel kitchens washing dishes and continuing on to complete his Red Seal Certification.
Andrew then joined the Earls Restaurant group where he worked for 18 years starting off as a prep / line cook to Kitchen Manager, Chef, Quality Leader and eventually Owner Operator. Andrew also had the opportunity to lead the Earls opening teams to Phoenix, Denver, and Dallas when they expanded into the U.S.
In 2003 Andrew joined Sysco Vancouver where for the last 9 years he has held the positions of Marketing Associate, District Sales Manager and currently Business Resource Specialist.
Chef & Business Resource Specialist
Andrew’s 25 years of experience in the food service industry has encompassed everything from fine dining, high-end grocery stores and chain restaurants.
In the early stages of his career he spent 6 years learning how to implement and maintain kitchen systems, food cost controls and organization tools and procedures with the Earl’s Restaurant group.
Andrew earned his Red Seal Certification through the Westin Hotel Group and then went on to run the culinary side of the Urban Fare Market in Yaletown. Most recently Chef Andrew opened the Kingfisher’s Waterfront Bar & Grill in Maple Ridge with Chuck Currie of White Spot fame.
Darren Upshaw, joined the emelle’s team in october 2003 as one of our catering chefs. he later took over our urban diner deli, showcasing his fresh flair. we were happy to promote darren to sous-chef in 2005 where he quickly gained a loyal following for his smashing soups and delicious entrees. now, as chef, darren continues to WOW.
darren had a rural upbringing, tending to a 10 acre farm in nova scotia where he gained his appreciation for “farm to fork” dining. he quickly realized that for him, life was in the city and after high school found himself in a local pizza parlour. back then, times were different, when from scratch, was the only option. his love for food, cooking with only the freshest ingredients and creating signature sauces started here. his travels then took him to downtown halifax to work along side corado & flavia who flew in from Milan to open cafa san marco, an upscale restaurant catering to professionals. two years later he moved to an even bigger city. he found himself working with executive chef peter george at 360 revolving restaurant at the cn tower.
After three years, the beckoning of the better weather of the west had him arriving in victoria. For the the next seven years, his career was as kitchen manager at rebar, a funky well known vegetarian restaurant. he was a contributor to the very popular cook book inspired from the recipes at rebar rebar modern cooking.
David has built his career in the culinary industry for over 20 years, and his work has earned him a strong reputation as a passionate and engaging chef as well as excellent and inspiring tutor.
As owner and head chef of Vancouver’s renowned The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, David's infectious enthusiasm for the products he uses and his patient nature have proven to be the perfect blend of ingredients to offer the most talked about cooking classes, delicatessen and catering in the city.
David’s first cookbook, The Dirty Apron Cookbook: Recipes, Tips and Tricks for Creating Delicious, Foolproof Dishes, launched in October of 2014. The beautifully illustrated book, featuring tried-and-true signature dishes from the cooking school, quickly became a national bestseller.
Founder of Drew’s Catering & Events
Drew was born and raised in beautiful BC. As a teenager, Drew began his apprenticeship under Paris-trained chef Brian Roodenrys, quickly developing a passion for the freshest local ingredients, beautiful presentations, and above all, great tasting food.
Drew remains very hands on in the kitchen and office, considering himself a chef first, and a businessman second. He is passionate about charcuterie, recently completing a Master’s program in Italy, training with the finest norcinos (butchers) in Tuscany, and cares deeply about sustainable food choices, choosing only to work with producers and vendors who care equally about quality and environmental impact.
Corporate Foodservices Manager
Kyle began his career in the foodservice industry 12 years ago as a dishwasher, which he believed to be just a summer job. His passion for food grew quickly as he worked through different positions in the kitchen. He is currently a Foodservices Manager for The Keg and has the pleasure of working with amazing kitchen staff and managers at various Kegs across the country. When he's not on the road, Kyle enjoys exploring all that Vancouver’s restaurant scene has to offer with his wife.
Maria Huynh Chau
Chef & Owner, Chau Veggie Express
Community-based vegetarian eatery, serving primarily vegan savoury dishes inspired by Vietnamese roots in family and culture. At Chau, you will experience traditional Vietnamese flavours blended with fresh produce. As a member of the local community, we take initiative in food security, sustainability, consciousness and education - one veggie meal at a time
“For most, the story of Chau is what lies on the plate in front of you. My story, however, began when my mother discovered her passion for food when she was 13 years old, working at a soup-stall on the streets of Saigon. In my family, we have always believed that Vietnamese cooking and a complete dining experience can co-exist together in one space. The ability to share a small piece of our belief with everyone at Chau has become a reality, rather than an ambition. So, from my family, we hope you enjoy your experience here at Chau, and we thank you for allowing our story to continue on.”
- Maria H., Owner
Mary Lee Newnham
President, Executive Chef
Mary Lee Newnham has an accomplished history as a highly-reputable chef and event planner. As formal education she has obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and a Certified Management Accounting designation, as well as graduated from the Pierre Dubrulle Culinary School as an honour student.
Mary Lee has worked as a corporate, executive and private chef in a variety of restaurants, hotels, off-premise locations, yacht charters, convention and conference centers. As the executive chef for Plaza Catering and the Atrium Hotel, as well as cooking for such luminaries as Queen Elizabeth, Jean Chretien, Bill Gates, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Mel Gibson, Mary Lee has established herself as one of the premiere catering chefs in Vancouver.
Peake of Catering
Chef Patrick Miller is a passionate and driven chef whose menus are flavoured by a diverse culinary background with a focus on fresh and local ingredients. Past gastro centric positions include; Baker, Head Chef and Farmers Market Coordinator, enabling perspective and insight when cooking for a wide array of clients, in settings both large and small. Chef Patrick’s genuine love of food is matched by his keen attention to detail and the ongoing pursuit of excellence and a desire to be on the leading edge.
Jesse Hochhausen & Rory Higdon
Chefs, Showcase Restaurant & Bar
Originally from Calgary, Chef Jesse began with independent restaurants before joining the Marriott Downtown Calgary where he oversaw the Banquet Kitchen at the TELUS Convention Center. Jesse Moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to work with the New Orleans Marriott. During that time Jesse worked as Chef in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands as well as Charleston, South Carolina. Jesse joined the Vancouver Marriott Downtown in 2015 where he has had a great impact on both Catering as well as Showcase Restaurant and Bar.
Chef Rory started his career on the sunshine coast working for Rocky Mountain Resorts. After spending a year working abroad in Sydney Australia, Rory came to Vancouver first joining the Observatory at Grouse Mountain then the restaurant chef for Left Bank in the West End. Rory joined the Vancouver Marriott Downtown in 2015. Now the Sous Chef Rory is the force behind Showcase Restaurant and Bar.
Chef, Hapa Izakaya
Chef Takayuki was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He started working at Hapa Izakaya in 2007 at the Kitsilano location. In 2012, Chef Sato then moved to Toronto to open a new Hapa Izakaya where he progressed as Head Chef and stayed until 2014. Soon after he moved to Melbourne, Australia where he worked at a Japanese restaurant and studied “Kappo.” A Kappo chef is trained to master numerous ways of cooking and to understand the seasonality of food, the quality of ingredients and the presentation.
Chef Sato gets his inspiration from others around him. He is surrounded by many talents and has learned many different cooking styles from all around the world such as Japanese, Italian, Mexican and Korean. You can find Chef Sato’s delicious creations at Hapa Izakaya in Yaletown.
Hapa Izakaya: Voted “Top Five Izakayas In North America” by Bon Appétit Magazine, topping “Industry” and “Readers Choice” Georgia Straight awards for Best Japanese in 2012 and Best Izakaya in 2014-2016, and “Best Casual Chain” by Vancouver Magazine from 2011-2014, Hapa continues to offer a winning combination of Japanese cuisine, fun, and culture, paired with local seasonal and Ocean Wise ™ ingredients.
Executive Chef, Culinary Capers
Born and raised in Surrey, BC, Stewart’s call to cuisine came early, working in a professional kitchen at age 15. Following an apprenticeship at the Fairmont in Vancouver and local restaurant experience, he travelled to Europe to gain international experience. Stewart obtained an ancestral visa, thanks to his Scottish lineage, and settled in Edinburgh to work as Chef de Partie for highly respected British chef Martin Wishart at his Michelin starred restaurant in Edinburgh.
Under the mentorship of Wishart, he developed a strong understanding and technical skill set for classic French cuisine. For a new restaurant, Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, Stewart was tapped to be the opening Chef de Cuisine. Stewart stayed for over 3 years, working relentlessly to build a strong team and a reputation of excellence. His hard work and dedication led to the restaurant receiving a Michelin star!
Prior to joining our team, he was the Chef de Cuisine for Hawksworth. In his role as Executive Chef, Stewart will be ambitiously striving to push the Vancouver catering scene to a new level. His philosophy is that food should be approachable, full of flavour, and the ingredients should always be treated with respect. Sourcing the very best local ingredients, he is constantly searching for innovative ways to elevate the culinary experiences of our clients and their guests.
Chef & Owner, Pigdin
Born and bred in Vancouver, Wesley spent his early childhood in the kitchens of commercial drive family restaurants. After completing his culinary training at Malaspina University College and Vancouver Community College, he earned his stripes working with the Four Seasons.
In 2005, Wesley moved to London and joined critically acclaimed Tom Aikens in London. He then returned to Canada and worked at Montreal’s 357c before coming home to Vancouver at award-winning West, where he worked under Chef David Gunawan. In 2009, Wesley further developed his love for the 100-mile movement at sustainable seafood champion C Restaurant as Sous Chef. In 2013, he lead the brigade at Wildebeest as executive chef. Now with PiDGiN, he has evolved into a calm and industry respected teacher, leading his team with a confidence that will push the award-winning PiDGiN to its next level.