Dennis’ first introduction to the culinary world was through the café his father owned. However, as a young man, his attention was focused on playing hockey rather than behind the counter. It was only when he took a role as a dishwasher in a local restaurant that he found his calling. The connection to the comradery and culture of kitchen life was instantaneous, and in turn, Dennis made the decision to relocate to Vancouver, BC, to attend Dubrulle Culinary Institute, later graduating in 2001.
In the years that followed, his talent and tireless dedication would pay off, seeing his dream play out in the kitchen of Vancouver’s Lumiere Restaurant (Mobil Five Star), at Thomas Keller’s California restaurant The French Laundry (Michelin Three Star) as the Chef de Partie in 2004, and even on television screens as a winning contestant on Food Network’s Chopped Canadain 2016, and as a competitor on the same network’s Top Chef Canadain 2019. Dennis was also previously with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts as Executive Restaurant Chef at Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, before finding his new home at Notch8.
The chef credits his successful career to the line chefs he’s worked shoulder-to-shoulder with over the years. “When you’re on the line with someone, you see how they approach their craft”, says Dennis. “You have a shared passion, and everyone has different backgrounds, so you end up learning everything from making the perfect pasta dough to the fastest way to break down a whole pig.”
When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find Dennis at the rink playing rec hockey, or on a walk at the lake with his two year old Doberman pinscher, MacGyver. Working out and healthy living are integral parts of his life, having trained for and competed in fitness competitions for the past three years.
Born in Hong Kong, Curtis got his first start in the industry at a young age in Waterloo, ON and bolstered his back-of-house savvy while staging under celebrated chef Marc Lepine at Atelier in Ottawa in 2008. He went on to become the Sous Chef at Courtyard Restaurant in the Canadian capital before heading to Vancouver to help Trevor Bird open Fable in 2012.
After a year at Fable and follow-up roles as Executive Chef at The Parker and Bambudda, Curtis embarked on his first job as Chef/Owner when he opened Kitsilano’s Mission in 2015. The new venture quickly earned rave reviews and was shortlisted by enRoute Magazine for its prestigious ranking of Canada’s Top New Restaurants 2016.
A contestant on both the second and fifth seasons of The Food Network’s Top Chef Canada, Curtis is excited to put his own stamp on the menu at Cibo Trattoria and UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar while also reinforcing the restaurants’ singular focus on showcasing the very best local, seasonal ingredients available.
Chef Jasmin is truly a master of his craft. From his classically trained European fine dining roots to leading some of Canada's finest acclaimed restaurants, Chef Jasmin's accolades are endless at home and internationally. As former Executive Product Development Chef of Cactus Club Group of Restaurants, Chef joined Edge Catering in 2019. His desire to be part of a thriving company and an entrepreneurially spirited team, his talent has created nothing short of a magical transformation for Edge Catering. With endless devotion, a fierce pride and passion for his art creating world class cuisine is only matched by few true artisans. With his incredible leadership mentoring a passionate kitchen team, Chef Jasmin is developing Edge Catering to be an unstoppable force as one of Canada’s top catering brands.
As former Sous Chef at Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Botanist Restaurant, Chef Mark’s talent has brought a fast forward, progressive creativity to Edge Catering. With endless drive, incredible passion and focus, Chef Mark’s commitment to
local, sustainably driven ingredients creating authentic, approachable cuisine reflects his natural artistry as one of Vancouver’s top Chefs. As lead of Edge Catering’s retail division – Edge Kitchen – East Village, Vancouver, Mark’s creations will soon grace the city with some of the finest and cutting “edge” cuisine there is to discover.
Vishwa is an experienced chef in the industry for over 18 years, with a Diploma in Hospitality management he is a professional in both the kitchen displaying his culinary skills and on the floor showcasing his strong operations management. Vishwa has worked in multitude of settings before, including The Oberoi in India, Four seasons in Maldives, Fairmont Dubai and Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Fairmont Beijing in China, Royal York, and Pacific Rim in Canada, as well as owning his restaurants in Vancouver. He is also very well-travelled chef. His training in India and experiences travelling through many countries, allows him to bring the fusion if International flavors and cooking techniques to North American Cuisine.
Executive Chef Jenny Hui is the force behind the 80-person kitchen team at The Lazy Gourmet. Under the mentorship of catering pioneer Susan Mendelson, she has created memorable and diverse culinary menus for a host of events in the past two decades. From small and intimate celebrations to large galas and parties for more than 10,000, every little detail is executed with a passionate and experienced hand.
Chef Westley has reimaged the Showcase concept focusing on 3 main pillars Fresh, Local & Social, delivering fresh, local products in a social setting.
Westley is formerly a member of Culinary Team BC, representing the province at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2012. As Executive Sous Chef at the Vancouver Club, he headed up the events department, designing memorable experiences for club members and guests through lavish events and dinners. He then went on to start a successful catering business and worked with other progressive Vancouver restaurant groups including JOEY restaurants, helping to develop and grow their apprenticeship program and working with the development team to create, cost, source, train and effectively execute all new menu items across 3 concepts. He spearheaded the opening of the JOEY hospitality campus and was integral in its success in the first year.
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.
Following the completion of his culinary education, Michael left Vancouver to further broaden his knowledge and experience in working with the Hyatt company. He stayed with the organization for 12 years at three different properties. Upon completing his apprenticeship in Toronto, Michael moved back to Vancouver to be closer to home. He quickly rose the ranks through hard work and determination. His accomplishments include receiving the award for “Manager of the Quarter” in 2014 as well as placing 3rd in the 2015 Hyatt “Good Taste Series” culinary competition in Honolulu.
Chef Yoshi has been with Hapa Izakaya for three years and has a strong background in the restaurant industry working in many established restaurants in Japan. You can find him cooking Italian and Japanese style meals and coming up with new and exciting dishes with the Hapa Team.
Bruce is a certified Red Seal Chef and partner at Ono Vancouver specializing in restaurant consulting and private chef services. Bruce's love for cooking grew from a passion for creating and learning new techniques, and he finds inspiration through seasonal ingredients with a focus on sustainability. Bruce see's artistry in the details and is committed to telling the story of the process and ingredients that go into each dish he creates.
Tj has a passion for both West Coast and Asian cuisine. His culinary curiosity began with his roots in the Philippines and has taken him as far away as kitchens in Taiwan and Chile. Organic, local and sustainable ingredients are the highlights of his dishes.
Chef Ellie Jubene is co-owner of EL PLTR and a serial entrepreneur in the food industry. She owns 3 catering companies and is in the midst of writing a recipe book. She is the CEO and head chef at Mealsaweight, which in just over 7 years has quickly grown to be the largest and most reputable meal prep company in the lower Mainland. Ellie feeds thousands of people on a weekly basis and strives to make it possible to eat healthy, nutritious food without sacrificing flavour. She is an advocate of using fresh ingredients, homemade spice blends and sauces, and garden grown herbs to create aromatic and incredible food, that leaves everyone wanting more.
EL PLTR’s second co-owner is Lillian Chow, whose passion for food began early on as she grew up in the kitchen of her parents’ multiple restaurants in South America. As a Chinese Venezuelan, Lillian finds inspiration through her multicultural background combining flavours and techniques in every dish she puts together. With a vast interest in culinary diversity, she seeks opportunity to create unforgettable experiences and bring people together through food.
"I was able to grow under the wing of pastry Chef Lili Linda to express myself through the diversity of such different cuisine (traditional Italian and modern French) and was pushed harder to focus on consistency and attention to detail. I learned the traditional methods of classic dishes and techniques, such as chocolate tempering, tiramisu, and petite fours. Wanting to explore further, I undertook a short course at Le Cordon Bleu to enhance my understanding of patisseries like Croissants, Danishes and bread. My passion has always leaned more towards the beauty and intricacy required of cakes, which is why I'm thankful to be settling in at Bao Down where I've been given the freedom and structure to explore in the kitchen."