Chefs

August 1-4, 2019

Participating Chefs

We are lucky to have a talented group of chefs from the Yukon and across Canada join us for the Yukon Culinary Festival.

Michele Genest 

The Boreal Gourmet
Whitehorse, YT

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. 

Carson Schiffkorn

Owner, Inn on the Lake
Marsh Lake, YT

Carson was born and raised in Whitehorse. Since 1967, his parents have owned property on Marsh Lake, and this area always felt like home. In 1996, he started Inn on the Lake, where the original Marsh Lake Lodge was located. For the last 19 years, Inn on the Lake, has been known for its comfort and cuisine. Food has been an integral part of the Inn’s success.

Lyn Fabio

Freelance Chef
Whitehorse, YT

Growing up in an Italian-Argentinian, Slavic household, good food has always been an important feature of Lyn’s life, and cooking became an inevitable activity and passion.
In Yukon, Lyn worked at The Chocolate Claim for over 20 years – mainly as cook, but at different times, did virtually every other job from dishwasher to manager. It was during her time there that she earned her Chef’s Red Seal.
The years at The Chocolate Claim brought many exciting and challenging culinary experiences – everything from romantic dinners for 2 to conferences of 500, as well as cooking for film sets and commercials, transporting food in helicopters or snowmobiles to mountain tops, feeding crews on roadsides, wall tents and houseboats.
After a long stretch of fulltime cooking, Lyn decided to balance her cooking career with her art practice. She considers herself a “free-lance” chef, taking on short term jobs in a wide variety of situations providing rewarding learning experiences and adventures. 
Apart from The Chocolate Claim, she has cooked with Mary-El Fine Food & Catering, Yukon College and Alpine Bakery. She also enjoys working with Michele Genest at various events such as the culinary festival.
Outside of Yukon, Lyn’s cooking career has found her working in a castle in Tuscany, private homes in Rome and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. 
A large part of the joy of being involved with Yukon’s Culinary Festival is the opportunity to help showcase the amazing local food and talents of Yukon chefs as well as the shared camaraderie of all the team members.

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.

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
Chase, BC

Chris Whittaker is well known as an inspired and humble champion of local cuisine. Instilled from his youth, Chris’ philosophies are deeply rooted with an intensive focus on respecting our land and water, supporting communities, local suppliers, small farms, and foragers. His passion for promoting and supporting BC foods, featuring both wild and farmed cuisine led him to conceptualize and launch the award winning Forage and Timber Restaurants in Vancouver.
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 

Quaaout Lodge 
Chase, BC

Michael Roszell is often described by his colleagues and peers as quiet, polite and dedicated to his  profession. Born and raised in Whitehorse Yukon, he began his life passion with cooking at the FH Collins Foods and Nutrition Program in which he exceled immediately.
He left Whitehorse after high school to pursue a diploma in Culinary and Pastry at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts of Vancouver earning top marks in both studies. During school he took on a job at the Four Season Hotel Vancouver under Chef Ned Bell. After Graduation Michael then found himself working for both Chef Chris Whittaker at Forage and Pastry Chef Kirsten Deginhart of Sweet Spot Bakery. 
To perfect his craft Michael left Canada to work in Scotland with Tom Kitchin and his restaurant group for 2 years which was described as rewarding and tremendously hard. Once back in Canada Michael found himself working with Scott and Stephanie Jaegar of the Pear Tree Restaurant for 3 years. Allowing Michael such opportunities to represent Canada in the Worlds Jeune Chef Des Rotisseur placing 4th and competing in the Hawksworth Scholarship winning best dessert and placed 3rd overall.
Now once again working with Chris Whittaker at Quuaout Lodge and Talking rock Golf Course, Michael strives to help promote a healthy kitchen environment, relationships with producers while helping to promote the Indigenous Ingredients and Culture of the area.

Chef Cezin Nottaway

Owner/Founder, Wawatay Catering
Rapid Lake, Quebec

Cezin Nottaway is an Alqonquin anishnabe from Rapid Lake Quebec, born and raised. Both her parents are residential school survivors. She is A mother of 2 beautiful teenagers, a proud auntie, life partner to her soul mate.
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

Eric Pateman is one of the world’s leading experts on Culinary Tourism and is our nation’s leading ambassador of Canadian cuisine and and a story teller for hundreds of small artisan food companies, farmers, fisherman, foragers and is known to bring together chefs and influencers from all aspects of the culinary world.
Eric owns and operates the successful Edible Canada brand of companies, which includes a restaurant, retail stores and a culinary travel division. Additionally, Eric also has an award -winning salt company and a consulting practice that keeps him travelling around the world about 75% of the time working for both public and private sector clients to define cuisines, build brands and shape the future of food.
He is regularly sought as an expert for food and wine for research projects, cooking demonstrations and speaking engagements. He is the co-author and contributor to three books, and was named as the recipient of the Mayor of Vancouver’s Art Award for Culinary Arts, was one of Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40 Business People, and was named to Western Living Magazine’s list of the Top 40 Foodies Under 40.
Eric was recently nominated by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) as its newest Fellow. In 89 years, since the establishment of ‘The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’, Eric is the first Chef who has ever been nominated a Fellow of RGCS. The acknowledgement is awarded to distinguished individuals who not only excel in their fields but do so while promoting Canadian geographical and cultural knowledge to audiences throughout the globe. 
When Eric isn’t working on the road, he’s home in the mountain town of Squamish or hanging out in Whistler, his favourite place to relax and unwind.

Chef Welbert Choi

Executive Chef, Forage
Vancouver, BC

Chef Welbert Choi is quietly driven. Everything he does is steeped in his innate creativity. As a Chef he brings a humble, but generous spirit to everything he cooks. His main motivation as a Chef is to have his food be a part of memorable moments.
Welbert was born in Hong Kong. He and his family moved to North Burnaby during his teenage years. He trained at Dubrulle Culinary Institute. His resume includes catering at the Hilton Burnaby, working in the kitchen at Opus’s former restaurant Elixir, and he helped open Forage in 2012 as Pastry Chef. After 2 years, he was given the title of Forage’s Chef de Cuisine. He has run daily operations in the Forage kitchen since that time. Now he is the Executive Chef of Forage, Timber, and Forage Catering. 
Fostering the menu at Forage has deepened his relationships with local producers. He believes that it is the responsibility of all Vancouver chefs to help build long term farming, fishing and foraging legacies in BC for generations to come by working closely with local producers. 
Food for him should bring people and families together, build communities, and be a flavourful part of gatherings and celebrations. He chooses his ingredients with respect, considers the environmental impact of what he brings into the kitchen, and approaches food in a way that celebrates the whole ingredient.