April 4, 2018: For the past 19 years, BCPMA Healthy Chef Competition & Dinner has taken place at the cusp of spring’s arrival. Always on a Wednesday. Always supported by the BC Produce Marketing Association (BCPMA) and the BC Chef’s Association (BCCA).

It’s been a unique relationship that has forged relationships that extend across a dinner plate into the shopper’s basket.  This long running initiative to connect foodservice, grocer retailers and the produce industry has been gaining momentum.

“An item introduced on a chef’s plate generates interest at the grocery store level,” states retailer Rob Johnson, Country Grocer - Vancouver Island, and BCPMA director, “Shoppers will often look for ingredients that they had during a restaurant meal.”

“The competition is a huge undertaking and we work closely to ensure that everyone walks away feeling like a winner,” states Margie Schurko, ABC Custom Brokerage and Secretary/Treasurer BCPMA.

“Thanks to the many volunteers, the generosity of the industry and the support of key sponsors like BC Tree Fruits and the Little Potato Company, we’ve become an insider’s culinary event.” 

Angela Santiago, CEO, The Little Potato Company, is thrilled to be a title sponsor. "Our mission is to bring excitement and growth back into the potato category - one creamer potato at a time and this event is one way we can achieve that." 

The competition features ten restaurants and culinary schools who are challenged to abundantly use fresh produce in each dish prepared for the 500 guests.

 “This year we saw celeriac spaghetti, mint melon balls and torched beet root meringues,” said Chef and BCCA judge Edgar Rahal, “each year we see wonderful ways of using fresh produce.”

Chris Yli-Luoma of FreshGuru, stated, “We had an excellent group of food writers and bloggers this year. They judged the best table presentations awarding points for use of fresh produce and originality. They take this task very seriously.

“We also want to continue our outreach program with food bloggers are active across a multitude of media channels. We’ve had tremendous coverage and this helps generate interest in the produce industry,

Winners: The Healthy Half Your Plate Entrée Trophy, plus $1,000, went to the Executive Plaza Hotel / Wild Fig for their Beet Cured Smoked Sous Vide pork loinBest Dessert went to the Vancouver Community College for their Pear Custard Bar, they also picked up the People’s Choice Award; Best Table Showcase was given to the Marriott Vancouver Airport – American Grille. They created a fantasy wonderland with hand craved fruits and vegetables complete with a sculpture of forest creatures

Planning has started for the 20th BCPMA Healthy Chef Competition in March 2019.  Margie Schurko, who produces the event, is already looking at ways to make it bigger and better.

The event, co-hosted with the BC Chefs’ Association (BCCA) givens it credibility and foodservice suppliers like Sysco and Gordon Foodservice are strong collaborators. The CPMA has been involved in the judging, keeping a sharp eye out to ensure the presence of fresh produce.


·        The BCPMA contributes $7,000.00 to the BCCA Junior Scholarship foundation.

·        Encourages established restaurants and up and coming culinary students to actively use fresh fruits and vegetables as the star performers on the plate

·        Connects the food service to grocery retail in a unique fashion.

Check out the for visuals and menus from this event.


April 4, 2018 (Winnipeg, MB) – Richardson International is investing more than $30 million to develop an innovation centre in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, featuring state-of-the-art technology and equipment for research and product development. This world-class facility will complement Richardson’s food and ingredients division and will provide an extensive opportunity for industry collaboration. The new centre will not only facilitate agri-food research and product innovation, it will help invigorate the downtown area and serve as a lasting legacy for the Winnipeg community.

“Our goal is that the Richardson Innovation Centre will become a centre for collaboration - as a training facility for our employees and customers and an education centre for food science students and the culinary community,” says Chuck Cohen, Richardson’s Senior Vice-President, Technology. “As a Winnipeg-based company, we look forward to bringing our customers, suppliers and partners from around the globe to this centre to showcase our products and capabilities and provide them with a rich experience in a very unique setting.”

The four-storey, 5,800 square metre (62,000 square feet) facility will house Richardson’s food development team, product development suites, analytical laboratory and a culinary test and demonstration kitchen. To support Richardson’s quality assurance and food safety teams, the centre will boast a cutting-edge microbiology lab and an extensive quality analysis area. The building will also include office areas with room for expansion to focus on innovation such as the increased use of robotics and automation in food packaging and processing. The strategic positioning of these core departments within the same multi-level space will optimize research, analytical and educational activities and facilitate the efficient development of truly innovative products.

“The process of product development requires a modern platform for testing solutions, troubleshooting issues and exploring new ideas as they relate to market needs and evolving customer taste profiles,” says Curt Vossen, Richardson’s President and CEO. “In order to test derivatives of existing products or create entirely new product streams, our team’s technical capabilities must be backed by the right technical facilities. We anticipate the Innovation Centre will provide them with the technical capacity and resources necessary to meet and exceed customer expectations.”

Located at the corner of Westbrook Street and Lombard Avenue, the Richardson Innovation Centre will be in close proximity to Richardson’s head office at Portage and Main. Construction will begin in April and is targeted for completion by the spring of 2020.

Richardson is Canada’s leading agribusiness and is recognized as a global leader in agriculture and food processing. The company is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of major Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds and is a vertically-integrated processor and manufacturer of oats and canola-based products. Over the past two decades, Richardson has become a significant player in the global food business, producing a wide variety of food products and ingredients for the retail, foodservice and industrial markets. One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, Richardson is headquartered in Winnipeg with over 2,600 employees worldwide.

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Charles Walter Shasky

1930 – 2018

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Shasky family convey the news of Charlie Walter Shasky’s passing, Sunday April 1, 2018.

The beloved namesake, co-founder and past President of C.W. Shasky & Associates Ltd. will be sorely missed by so many whose lives he touched in his kind, constantly witty, and ever humanistic way.

Charlie was a true people person, and the consummate sales professional. Well into retirement, at industry events, customers, and clients alike would constantly seek out Charlie, for his warm discourse and the inevitable quip of the day.

Survived by his wife Mary, and their five Children, Charlie left an indelible mark on his beloved foodservice industry, and his spirit and character lives on with the company he and his family founded.

Friends will be received at Dixon-Garland Funeral Home, 166 Main Street N. (Markham Road) Markham on Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Parish, 5633 Hwy #7, Markham on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 12 p.m. Interment and reception to follow at Christ the King Cemetery. Detailed service information can be found at the link below.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of We Care or to the National Youth Orchestra Canada. Online condolences and donations may be made at the link below.



On June 25th, George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts brings together a renowned group of wine industry leaders for an in-depth look at The Business of Wine in the new Global Economy. In the College’s inaugural Wine Symposium, winemakers, winery owners, restaurateurs, sommeliers, agents, enthusiasts and students alike will gather for an interactive day filled with discussions, workshops, tastings and presentations. 

Speakers will take an insightful look at subjects such as innovation in the wine business, the modern-day vineyard and the digital impact on the industry. Breakout sessions offer guests master tastings lead by top sommeliers and thought-provoking discussions from the world of wine. 

Keynote presenters include Dr. George Soleas, President of the LCBO, Darryl Brooker, General Manager of Mission Hill Family Estate in British Columbia, Toronto based Master Sommelier Jennifer Huether, and Global Wine Educator Marnie Old from Philadelphia to name a few. 


TORONTO, March 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Premium sparkling water brand Sanpellegrino unveils exciting product innovation and introduces new flavours to its beloved repertoire for 2018. First of its kind amongst competitors, Sanpellegrino introduces organic sparkling teas in two delicious flavours – limone (lemon) and pesca (peach) – containing 50 calories in each 250 mL format with no artificial colourings, sweeteners or preservatives.

Made from organic tea extract, pure cane sugar and 3 per cent real Italian fruit juice from concentrate, this marks the company's first foray into organic beverages. A perfect harmony of flavours, Sanpellegrino + Tea is a new sensation to hydration and ideal for those who desire to enhance their moments with a thirst-quenching sparkling beverage with a classic Italian flavour palate. Sanpellegrino + Tea is the latest addition to the ever-popular Sparkling Fruit Beverages family, which is available in six other refreshing flavours: Aranciata (Sicilian orange), Aranciata Rossa (blood orange), Clementina (clementine orange), Limonata (lemon), Melograno e Aranciata (pomegranate orange) and Pompelmo (grapefruit).

"Sanpellegrino's extensive growth and innovation showcases its leadership in the sparkling water category. They're continually setting the industry standard of excellence and reinvention with their modern and unique take on an Italian classic," says Jennifer Semley Robert, Marketing Manager, International Brands, Nestlé Waters Canada.

Sanpellegrino + Tea can be purchased from retail grocers across Canada at a retail price of $5.99 for a six-pack. Experiential activities introducing the new innovation will launch this spring in 3 key markets. Activations will occur in strategic areas where culinary enthusiasts converge in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, with the goal of reaching brand aficionados.


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