Feisty in the City…. The five iconic femme fatale iconic chefs totally rocked totally rocked us at Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks 8 at the Westin Grand Hotel as they have offered us insights to their inspirations along the foodie path of success.
If life hands you a lemon, most people makes lemonade but In Meeru Dhalwala’s case, she makes a keg of lemon drop martinis and then proceeds to invite the whole neighborhood for a block party. Because Meeru believes that food is the driving force behind her generosity of spirit which seems to set off an infectious chain of successes.
Jumping heart first into her marriage with Vijram after passionate five days is just proof that when you follow your heart that success follows as they have just opened a new restaurant in Seattle called Shanik.
Meeru is also involved in the Joy of Feeding which is a fundraiser for UBC Farms where for the mere price of $50, you have the opportunity to taste authentic cuisine cooked by 16 people.
The road to culinary success is paved with broken egg shells says Karen Barnaby, a baker that accidentally fell in the culinary world. It takes real passion and motivation to succeed when the only thought at the end of the day is “I think this is a good day to die.”
And 36 years later, Karen Barnaby has held the position of Executive Chef at restaurants such as the Raintree, the Fish House in Stanley Park and is now the Chef of Product and Business Development for Albion Fisheries, Intercity Packers, and Fresh Start Foods under the Gordon Food Service umbrella.
Susan Mendelssohn created the Lazy Gourmet 35 years ago for people with busy lifestyles who still wanted a home cooked gourmet meal. Hello, I stand accused as this was my go to place when I had two jobs. So why does a social worker trade her 9 to 5 government job for 28 hr. workdays? Sheer lunacy or just sheer love of cooking for the masses? Either way, Susan shares her secrets to success:
- Love what you do. Passion has energy and sustains you.
- Work hard play hard.
- Balance in all things.
- Be creative — don’t be afraid of being silly.
- Fiscal responsibility.
- Get ideas from elsewhere and then pretend they’re your own.
- Never rest on your laurels – constantly do better.
- Constantly reinvent yourself. You won’t be successful in everything you do.
- Trust your intuition. It will give you the answers.
- Keep the media interested in you. Do the circuit and work with them. Each media outlet gets a story with a different theme and focus.
- Constantly learn new things and hire consultants who have the knowledge you need.
- Keep up with technology. The Lazy Gourmet was the first catering business with a fax machine, computer and cell phone, website and custom software.
- Give back to the community. The Lazy Gourmet is involved with the Arts Club, Big Sister, Covenant House and other charities.
- Stay current and stay fresh and hire people who are.
- Be nice to people on their way up because you might meet them on the way down.
- Own your mistakes because that is the only way you’ll learn and do better.
Angie Quaale is proud to be a valley girl but not so happy that the best food from the Fraser Valley is shipped to Vancouver leaving the natives desperately seeking local sustainable fare. So to that end, Angie opened Well Seasoned which is a storefront that develops relationships with small independent food producers with the purpose of not only providing them an outlet to sell their food, but to provide customers with the opportunity to consume the food in their own region.
More than just a valley girl, Angie is proud to be one of three women who is the mistress of the grill as she competes in various BBQ competitions.
Last but not least, Merri Schwartz who has worked as a pastry chef at restaurants such as the King Pacific Lodge, C Restaurant, Quattro on Fourth, Raincity Grill and The Granville Island Hotel, can be found either educating children on how to grow food through the Growing Chefs! program or creating chocolate from bean to bar at East Van Roasters. More than just a decadent chocolate store, its a stepping stone for female addicts to gain employment as shelling cacao beans is a long and tedious process and requires many hours of labour.
Binh’s Lollipops were also present to hand out treats to commemorate Food Talks first anniversary and custom created these special treats. Well done!