We are lucky to have a talented group of chefs from the Yukon and across Canada join us for the Yukon Culinary Festival.
Chef Michele Genest
The Boreal Gourmet
Michele Genest is the author of two best-selling northern cookbooks, The Boreal Gourmet and The Boreal Feast, and writes a regular cooking column for Yukon, North of Ordinary Magazine.
She loves the North and loves experimenting with its flavours, whether living and growing wild in the boreal forest, or cultivated in the Yukon’s farms and market gardens. Most recently, she has collaborated on a cookbook project for the Porcupine Caribou Management Board and Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation on cooking the whole caribou, from antler to hoof; concocted northern cocktails and appetizers for two books written with Jennifer Tyldesly of Free Pour Jenny’s Handcrafted Bitters–Cold Spell and Add Light and Stir; and co-authored Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds with Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds.
Miche looks forward every year to the excitement and creative buzz of cooking at the Yukon Culinary Festival, showcasing our fabulous northern food and northern producers for locals and visitors.
Chef Carson Schiffkorn
Owner, Inn on the Lake
Marsh Lake, YT
Chef Lyn Fabio
Chef Catherine (Cat) McInroy
Well Bread Culinary Centre Inc.
Born and raised in the Yukon wilderness, Chef Cat and her six siblings grew up foraging, hunting, growing and eating local food long before it was culinary movement. Her parents were of the first farmers around Whitehorse to develop a 60 acre farm with cattle and grain. Chef Cat earned her designation of both Chef and Pastry Chef while raising two kids and working shift work. After 20 years in the RCMP, she is now living her culinary dreams in her own highly successful culinary business; Well Bread Culinary Centre Inc. Chef Cat and her husband converted an old warehouse space into the only privately owned, cooking education centre in the Canadian North. Along with guest Chefs and other culinary instructors, she teaches home cooks of all ages new skills and challenges experienced home cooks with advanced lessons to up their culinary game.
Chef Michael Bock
Executive Chef, Air North
Michael Bock’s passion for cooking was inspired by his grandmother, who would take simple ingredients from their family garden and transform cheaper cuts of meat into mouth-watering meals. Michael’s culinary journey began after high school, where he worked his way up through various positions in professional kitchens and took on new challenges experimenting and creating recipes. It is there he gained valuable experience and a passion for working with ingredients of the highest quality. He then enrolled in culinary school in Vancouver, BC where he completed an apprenticeship and earned his Red Seal in the culinary arts in 1991.
Today, Michael heads up the Air North, Yukon’s Airline flight kitchen and manages the airline’s cabin services department. Michael is a leader in Canada’s skies, creating delicious meals at 30,000 feet; and has won notoriety for the freshness
and quality of the in-flight meals, including their famous warm, chocolate chip cookie service. Chef Bock’s inflight menus are inspired by different food
cultures and are often derived from the fusion of aromas, herbs and spices that feature fresh northern ingredients. The scale of the airline’s facilities has
given Michael and his team the opportunity to branch into event catering and specialty retail food offerings in Whitehorse.
Chef Sydney Oland
Owner/Operator, Yukon Chocolate Company, Whitehorse, YT
Sydney was born in Toronto and grew up in Nova Scotia. She attended University of Toronto for her BA, after which she moved to Boston MA and completed her culinary degree from Cambridge Culinary, and her Master in Food Studies and Gastronomy from Boston University. During her 10 years living in Boston she worked as a Product Developer for companies including Nestle and Taza Chocolate, as well as working as a freelance product developer for many small companies around Boston and Cambridge MA. During her time as a product developer for manufacturers she also published recipes for the home cook writing two weekly columns for seriouseats.com as well as being a regular contributor for the Boston Globe food section and other websites and publications. After leaving Boston in 2016 and moving to the Yukon she began a writing for What’s Up Yukon contributing a weekly recipe column. In 2018 Sydney and her husband Ben Keddy opened Yukon Chocolate Company – the first bean to bar chocolate company in Northern Canada. She is currently studying towards her PhD in Cultural Heritage from University of Birmingham (UK), her research is focused on foodways as a reflection and representation of cultural heritage in the Yukon Territory.
Chef Vanessa Younker
Cook, Alpine Bakery & Wayfarer Oyster House, Whitehorse, YT
After an apprenticeship and short stint at SAIT Vanessa Younker gained her Red Seal in 2008. She has worked in catering as well as owning and operating a food truck in Whitehorse, Yukon. Vanessa is currently cooking at Alpine Bakery and Wayfarer Oyster House.
Chef Chris Whittaker
Executive Chef, Quaaout Lodge
Former chair of the Chef’s Table Society of BC, Chris has been the recipient of Western Living Magazine’s “Foodie of the Year”, and most notably was inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2015.
In June 2018 Chris passed on the torch of his two iconic Vancouver restaurants and moved his family to the BC Interior where is now the Executive Chef at the Quaaout Lodge & Spa. A passionate outdoorsman, fisher and hunter, Chris Whittaker could not feel more at home. With the amazing bounty of the Shuswap region and making connections to the local Indigenous traditions watch for Chris to be even more rooted and connected with the land and people producing the food on your plate.
Chef Michael Roszell
Chef Cezin Nottaway
Owner/Founder, Wawatay Catering
Rapid Lake, Quebec
She is the owner and founder of a 4 x award winning company, Wawatay Catering. Wawatay catering specializes in Anishnabe cuisine with a modern twist, inspired by her kokoms recipes. Wawatay is her family name and it means Northern Lights in Alqonquin, means the colors of the spirits of our ancestors who continue to guide
us from the spirit world. she has been featured in the New York Times.
She is one of three indigenous chefs hosting The new docu-serious, Red chef revival.
Chef Eric Pateman
Executive Chef & President, Edible Canada, Vancouver, BC
Chef Welbert Choi
Executive Chef, Forage