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Chef Profiles

Talking about things that matter to us

Chef Denise Marchessault

Denise Marchessault, couldn’t decide between a sweet or savoury path so she studied both. Classically trained in French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu, Ottawa, Denise holds Le Grand Diplôme, a blue-ribboned’ two thumbs up for diplomas in pastry and cuisine. A British Columbia native, Denise believes food tastes best made from scratch, using local and seasonal ingredients. Her classes emphasize fundamental cooking techniques that can be applied to any recipe.   Before moving to Vancouver, Denise taught and hosted cooking classes at her cooking school, French Mint, in Victoria, on Vancouver Island and wrote a Master Class cooking series for EAT Magazine, British Columbia. Her cookbook, British Columbia From Scratch (Whitecap Books-2016) celebrates the bounty of British Columbia and the joy of cooking from scratch. When not teaching or developing new recipes, Denise can be found in the kitchen sharing her love of food with her two favourite apprentices, her twin daughters. www.frenchmint.ca

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Chef Jonathan Chovancek

For more than 20 years, Chef Jonathan Chovancek’s abundant enthusiasm, inspired creativity and commitment to healthy eating has provided a winning recipe for some of British Columbia’s most celebrated restaurants. He has cooked in China, Mexico, Italy, United States and Canada and consults on culinary programs and menu development throughout North America. In addition to being an in-demand speaker and instructor as well as a dedicated coach and mentor to up-and-coming kitchen talent, Jonathan is the co-founder of Vancouver’s Bittered Sling Bitters, a retail line of high-quality, small-batch cocktail and culinary bitters, and was most recently the Executive Chef for the new Café Medina.

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Chef Ned Bell

Executive Chef Ned Bell’s cooking philosophy is farm-to-table. He is passionate about creating globally inspired dishes crafted with locally grown ingredients with an emphasis on sustainable seafood.

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Chef Chris Whittaker

Chef Chris Whittaker is fast becoming a well-known name in Vancouver, and not just in culinary circles. Whittaker is the force behind Forage, a vibrant addition to Vancouver's West End dining scene. With his guidance, Forage has become the pioneer restaurant for responsible management through zero waste efforts, reduction of energy consumption and support of our local communities, from farmers to fishers, and everything in between. Forage supports Ocean Wise and Whittaker is a double gold medal winner at their annual Chowder Chowdown.

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Kimiko Suzuki

Kimiko Suzuki loves sharing her passion for locally sourced, simple and delicious dishes

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Eagranie Yuh

Eagranie Yuh is an author, editor, and chocolate expert. She’s the author of The Chocolate Tasting Kit (Chronicle Books), senior editor of Edible Vancouver and Wine Country, and Sweet Spot columnist for The Vancouver Courier. You’ll find her writing in The Washington Post, National Post, Tasting Table, and Chemistry in Australia, as well as the 2012 and 2014 editions of Best Food Writing. After completing her master’s degree in chemistry from Queen’s, she attended Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa and obtained a Diplôme de Pâtisserie. She’s worked in fine dining restaurants, hotels, pastry shops and chocolate shops in Ottawa and Vancouver, and assisted the Le Cordon Bleu chefs at the 2007 James Beard Awards. She has taught chocolate-tasting classes throughout North America and judges competitions around the world. She is easily distracted.  thewelltemperedchocolatier.com  

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Chef Anna Hunt

A native of Victoria, Anna Hunt was born into a family big on sharing food, wine, and each other’s company.  Fuelled by a passion for food and learning, Anna has spent much of her life in the kitchen.  She began to develop her culinary talents more seriously in Montreal, where she studied French pastry and rose through the ranks at Montreal’s popular Taverne sur le Square.

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Chef Akemi Akutsu

Chef Akemi Akutsu was born and raised in Japan.  Akemi’s love of food is deep-rooted; her family has cultivated rice, soybean and shiitake mushrooms for four generations and her parents own a busy restaurant in Tochigi, Japan.

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Chef Cosmo Meens

Co creator of Mo:le Restaurant, Cafe Bliss and the late Village Family Marketplace, Cosmo Meens has been featured in Western Living, Eat, Boulevard, Monday, Vancouver Sun and the Times Columnist.

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Chef Tara Black

Tara is a local BC girl, she grew up in the Kootenay's and moved to Vancouver Island as a teenager. Tara started to play in kitchens before she could walk. Her family taught her that backyard gardening, game meats, fresh dairy and home baked bread were the starting points to a good meal. 

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Chef Michael Williams

Once Chef Michael (a.k.a. Shaw TV's 'Island Chef') received his culinary diploma from Camosun College, he hopped a plane to Switzerland and worked at an award winning 5-star hotel in the capital. On the way home he stopped in Boston and New York for a work stint, including working along side Daniel Boulud at his world famous Daniel’s, before landing at the Aerie Resort.  

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Chef Megan Hennis

Megan has been making pastries and cooking since her parents let her use the kitchen. She grew up with a family who was passionate about food and cooking, and enjoyed learning to bake using fresh ingredients from their garden and fruit trees. 

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Khalil Akhtar

Khalil Akhtar is an award-winning radio journalist at the CBC.  His weekly food issues column appears on local CBC radio programs across the country.  Whether it's the growing taste for wine in China or how marmite shortages affect New Zealanders, Khalil takes a weekly look at how the food we eat shapes the lives we lead. 

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Chef Joseph Lake

Passionate, driven and undeniably talented, Chef Joseph Lake started his culinary career when he was14 working as a dishwasher at a Truck Stop in Missoula, Montana.  Joseph turned his innate cooking ability into a career by completing the Professional Cook Program at Camosun College in 1999. 

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Chef Jason MacIsaac

After graduating from Dubrulle French Culinary School, Chef Jason MacIsaac has been slipping through the shadows of the culinary underbelly, cooking both locally and internationally in search of the Holy Grail.

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