Food Talks Volume 8

Food Talks Vol 8 Speakers (from left to right) Karan Barnaby, Angie Quaale, Merri Schwartz, Susan Mendelson and Meeru Dhaliwala

Food Talks Vol 8 Speakers (from left to right) Karen Barnaby, Angie Quaale, Merri Schwartz, Susan Mendelson and Meeru Dhalwala

On June 11th we presented the Eighth event in this Food Talks series which celebrated its first year of hosting inspiring speakers from our community. Our wonderful line-up of all women speakers spoke about themselves and their role as a Woman Chef in the Food Community. See each of their video presentations here!

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The evening began as guests mingled over delicious appetizers from the chefs team at The Westin Grand.

Our 5 Speakers:

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Chef Karen Barnaby

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Chef Meeru Dhalwala

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Chef Susan Mendelson

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Chef Angie Quaale

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Chef Merri Schwartz

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The owners of Binh’s Lollipops (from Left to Right is Binh and Cindy) were talked about the treats they created to celebrate the Food Talks first Anniversary which they custom created for the event.

There was a Q & A following the speakers which Richard Wolak moderated and guests had a chance to ask questions and engage with the speakers.

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View all of the speakers presentations and the Q & A here which were filmed by Geoff Peters.

Thank you to Dianne Chow for taking the photos  (see more photos), as well as our Videographer Geoff Peters, and our volunteer Taylor.

By: Richard Wolak

Food Talks Volume 8, June 11

This is the eigth event in this Food Talks series which will celebrate its first year of hosting inspiring speakers from our community. Come join us to meet and mingle with other foodies, and to hear some enlightening women chefs as our speakers.

Our Speakers Line-up:

Karen Barnaby


Karen Barnaby started cooking at the age of eight and has not been able to stop. Her professional career started twelve years later on a pink, four-burner electric stove in the basement of The Bohemian Café in Ottawa where she baked carrot cakes, cheesecakes, quiches and other culinary marvels of the late 1970’s.

Karen has lived and worked in Toronto at The Rivoli and the David Wood Food Shop, and in Mexico as a private chef. Vancouver has been her home since 1991 where she has held the position of Executive Chef at the Raintree Restaurant and the Fish House in Stanley Park.  Her current role is as Chef of Product and Business Development for Albion Fisheries, Intercity Packers, and Fresh Start Foods under the Gordon Food Service umbrella.

With her no-nonsense and approachable style, Karen is a well-respected cooking teacher, speaker and inspirational role model. She is the only female chef to be honored with the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Back of the House Award for Excellence and has received a Minerva Award for Community Leadership.

Karen has written and edited award-winning cookbooks, contributed recipes to numerous publications and writes a popular column for the Vancouver Sun.

As a volunteer, she has edited the Helping Hands Cookbook, written to support Vancouver’s Community Kitchens Project, sat on the board of The Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and was the Scholarship Director and past president of Les Dames d’Escoffier Vancouver Chapter. Karen looks after her neighborhood first and lends her skills to various services in the DTES.


Meeru Dhalwala


Meeru Dhalwala was born in India and moved to Washington, DC, at a very young age with her parents. In DC, she worked with various international non-profit organizations on human rights and economic development projects. She received her Master’s degree in Development Studies from Bath University in England. In 1995 Meeru moved to Vancouver and joined her husband, Vikram, to work at his newly opened restaurant, Vij’s. She quickly took over the menu responsibilities and has been creating new recipes since the summer of 1995.

In 2002, Meeru and Vikram opened up a second restaurant and market called Rangoli. Meeru continues to work closely with her all-female kitchen staff – all of whom hail from villages in the Punjab – to experiment with various cooking techniques and spice combinations. In addition to her responsibility for the recipes at Vij’s and Rangoli, she is also responsible for their packaged gourmet curries, which are sold at Rangoli and many gourmet markets across Canada.

Meeru’s particular interest and focus at Vij’s and Rangoli is to forge business relationships with other local businesses and farmers. She is committed to improving her business environmental footprint. In 2009, Meeru signed up Vij’s to join local CSA (community supported agriculture) farms and has started long-term business relationships with various BC farmers. Meeru’s special community project is an annual international food fair called “Joy of Feeding” that is held every summer in Vancouver. Joy of Feeding features 15 – 16 home cooks of various ethnic backgrounds and professions showcasing their family favorite comfort foods.  This event is held at UBC Farm and is also a fundraiser for the farm.

Meeru and Vikram have penned two cookbooks: Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, which won Cuisine Canada’s 2007 Gold Award for Best Cookbook, and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey. Meeru also wrote a regular monthly column called Food for Thought for the Vancouver Sun for over a year and was a regular Point Person for CBC radio’s 2009 national show The Point. In November 2012, Meeru opened a new restaurant called Shanik, in Seattle, Washington in partnership with Oguz Istif, who is also involved in heading finance and operations for the Vij’s companies in Vancouver.


Susan Mendelson


Susan Mendelson co-founded the Lazy Gourmet in 1979 and her catering company has been going strong ever since, she loved working with people and loved cooking. Her first cookbook started with the concept of simplifying classical recipes for people who wanted gourmet food but who were to “lazy” to follow all of the complicated steps, it’s title, “Mama Never Cooked Like This” in 1980. Susan has also written, “Let me in the Kitchen” in 1982, “Nuts about Chocolate” in 1983, “Fresh Tarts” in 1985, “Expo ‘86 Souvenir Cookbook” in 1986, “Still Nuts about Chocolate” in 1992, “Food to Grow on” in 1994, “The Lazy Gourmet Cookbook” in 2000. Over 30 years later Susan Mendelson released her newest and magnificently orchestrated group of recipes in “Mama Now Cooks Like This” in 2006.

Over the years she has shared her recipes on radio, television and in the ten cookbooks. It’s been over 30 years and Susan still feels passionate about delicious and beautiful food and believes that only the finest ingredients should go into any food that is created. Susan has supported many organizations over the years with donating a percentage of royalties of her books including Big Sisters of BC along with the Vancouver Jewish Family Service Agency Food programs.


Angie Quaale


Angie Quaale founded Well Seasoned in 2004 after working for several years in hotels & fine dining and a career in commercial food sales specializing in menu development and retail food distribution.

Angie is also the Head Cook/Pitmaster of her competition BBQ Team which has traveled all over North America competing in BBQ contests.  Angie has been the President of the BC chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a Board Member of the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association and the 1st Vice President of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, the Co-Chair & a founding board member of the Langley Community Farmers Market &  has also been recognized by Women’s Enterprise Centre as one of BC’s 100 New Pioneer Women Entrepreneurs 2008.  In 2006 Angie was recognized by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce as the Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2007 as the Small Business of the Year.   Angie LOVES the work she has the opportunity to do everyday and the fantastic people she gets to do it with.


Merri Schwartz

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(photo credit: Heather Goldsworthy)

Merri Schwartz credits her childhood with awakening her interest in baking. Raised by back-to-the-land hippies, she didn’t buy her first bag of granulated sugar until the age of 18. She learned in a kitchen filled with carob, honey, and whole wheat flour that everything could and should be homemade. A whirlwind pastry career later, Schwartz has been lucky enough to serve as pastry chef at some of BC’s best restaurants since 2002, including King Pacific Lodge, C Restaurant, Quattro on Fourth, Raincity Grill, The Granville Island Hotel, and Cocoa West Organic Chocolatier, as well as training at the Valrhona Chocolate Institute, outside of Lyon, France.

The same passion for food and agriculture led Schwartz to found Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture in 2005. This Vancouver-based, non-profit organization pairs chef volunteers with elementary school classrooms, where the chefs help the students plant, grow and cook their own vegetables. Schwartz founded Growing Chefs! with the hope that sustainable practices will become integral to living and cooking in Vancouver, and in cities like it all over the world. After acting as the executive director of Growing Chefs! for four and a half years, Schwartz joined the board of directors as the chair in 2010.

The Evening: Enjoy tasty appetizers by the chefs at The Westin Grand followed by a wonderful line-up of speakers who will talk about themselves and their role as a Woman Chef in the Food Community. Following the speakers, Richard Wolak -Founder of Food Talks, will moderate a Q & A where you will have a chance to ask questions and engage with the speakers. There will be a draw for prizes.* Wine, beer, cocktails and other beverages will be available for purchase.  You will also receive a treat from Binh’s Lollicakes to celebrate our 1st year Anniversary of Food Talks.

Growing Chefs is our designated charity, support their wonderful organization that educates children on the food community in the public schools.

Buy Tickets via Eventbrite:

Advance Tickets: $30 per person

Regular Tickets: $40 per person after June 8th

Note: Eventbrite fee extra. A donation of $3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Growing Chefs.

Note: Limited tickets available. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however they are transferrable in advance with printed proof of ticket. ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc

Charity Partner

Growing Chefs

Location & Appetizers Sponsor

westin grand

Video Sponsor

Treats Sponsor

Food Talks Volume 3

Food Talks Vol 3 Speakers & Host – L-R: Zach Berman, Mary MacKay, Preet Marwaha, Eric Pateman, Patrick Murphy, Richard Wolak, Ryan Slater (photo by: Ariane Colenbrander)

On August 14th we presented the third Food Talks Vancouver event that featured 5 inspirational speakers from our food community.

Watermelon Skewers with Shaved Feta and Kalmata Olive with Mint Puree

Bacon & Aged White Cheddar Certified Angus Beef Sliders with Avocado and Chipotle Mayo

Albacore Tuna Poke set on Fried Taro Root Chip with Micro Herbs

Nk’mip Cellars Wine

DJ Bob Graham of Airwaves

The evening began poolside on the PopUpPatio at the Westin Grand Hotel where guests mingled over Executive Chef Matthew Richmond’s delicious appetizers. Guests also enjoyed wine from Nk’mip Cellars as well as music from DJ Bob Graham of Airwaves Music.

Novus TV Food Talks feature on Vol 3 was filmed on location  for their #CityLights show.

Our 5 Speakers:

Eric Pateman is the President and Founder of Edible Canada

Ryan Slater and Zach Berman are the co-founders of The Juice Truck

Preet Marwaha is the CEO and Founder of Organic Lives

Mary Mackay is the Head Baker and co-owner of Terra Breads

Patrick Murphy co-own Vista D’oro Farms & Winery

We then had a prize draw for people to win.

Cocoa Nymph Chocolates

Cocoa Nymph Chocolates provided the creative box of treats for everyone to take home at the end of the evening.

Thank you to Alfonso Arnold and his team of photographers as well as Ariane Colenbrander for the group of speakers photo, as well as our Videographer Geoff Peters, and our volunteers Jonathan Yee & Audrey Ling.

By: Richard Wolak

Food Talks Volume 3, August 14

This is the third event in this Food Talks series! Come join us to meet and mingle with other foodies, and to hear some enlightening speakers from the food community.

Our Speakers Line-up:

Eric Pateman


Eric Pateman is the President and Founder of Edible Canada, he has grown his company from a tiny one-man culinary concierge service into one of the leading ambassadors of Canadian cuisine. Beginning simply as Edible Vancouver in the spring of 2005, Eric widened his scope beyond city limits with a culinary artisan retail store and expansion to Edible British Columbia. In 2010, only 5 short years after the company was founded, EBC took another big leap and became Edible Canada.

Zach Berman & Ryan Slater

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Zach Berman & Ryan Slater co-founded The Juice Truck in 2011. Childhood friends have tossed around ideas of going into business together for years, after a trek through the Himalayas the juice truck was born. Two weeks into the trip they were snowed in, in a small Nepalese village. Zach and Ryan noticed the locals were always drinking a vibrant, sweet smelling, orange drink. This orange drink was made from Seabuckthorn berries and supplied these high altitude locals with most of their nutrients. This juice, so essential to their health, sparked an idea.

Lee & Patrick Murphy

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Lee & Patrick Murphy co-own Vista D’oro Farms & Winery that started in 2001, a 10 acre farm located on Campbell Valley Park in the Fraser Valley. They grow naturally, quite a diversified farm, they grow orchard fruits, apples, pears, plums and cherries, all are heritage varieties and grown for taste, which are primarily used in their preserves and baking for the farmgate shop. The winery’s flagship is their D’oro – a fortified walnut wine, The D’oro is also one of the main ingredients in their best-selling preserve and made with Green Walnuts grown on their farm.

Mary Mackay


Mary Mackay is the Head Baker and co-owner of Terra Breads, a Vancouver bakery-café specializing in crusty, sourdough-based breads made from natural starters and baked in stone-hearth ovens. Mary is the author of the bread-making video Rolling in Dough and a contributor to the popular Vancouver cookbooks The Girls Who Dish, Seconds Anyone? and Inspirations.

Preet Marwaha


Preet Marwaha  is the CEO and Founder of Organic Lives, an organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting organic, sustainable, fairly traded food that is good for the body and good for the planet. Through his passion for food, health, and healing the planet, Preet started OrganicLives as a means to facilitate change. He currently owns and operates a restaurant along with a food and beverage line of products. Most recently he opened a Take-Away Café in the Chopra Yoga Center. As an instructor with the Institute of Holistic Nutrition he teaches Nutrition & The Environment and Holistic Food Preparation. He also spends his time as a personal health coach, teaching at the OrganicLives Education Centre and performing public health talks for schools and corporations. Preet has also been involved globally on numerous projects including the World Wellness Project, Safe Planet Campaign and the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Evening: Enjoy tasty appetizers on the patio poolside followed by a wonderful line-up of speakers inside who will talk about themselves and their passion related to the food community.  There will be a Q & A where you will have a chance to ask questions and engage with the speakers. Each guest will receive a tasting glass of Nk’mip Cellars wine, there will also be a draw for prizes and to finish off the evening you will take home a sweet Treat from Cocoa Nymph.

Growing Chefs is our designated charity,  support their wonderful organization that educates children on the food community in the public schools.

Tickets: $30 per person (eventbrite fee extra); $100 when purchasing a 4-Person Pak of tickets (get a group of your friends together and save $20) (eventbrite fee extra) before August 10th.  * $40 per person after August 10th.– ticket price includes appetizers and a glass of wine, along with a sweet treat in addition to hearing from some great speakers, a Q & A follows.  A donation of $3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Growing Chefs.

Note: Limited tickets available. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however they are transferrable with printed proof of ticket. ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc

Buy Tickets via Eventbrite:

Charity Partner

Location & Appetizers Sponsor

westin grand


Wine Sponsor

Treats Sponsor

Video Sponsor