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 22, 2018 /CNW/ - On April 23, Toronto will host more than 60 of the most visionary, knowledgeable and innovative professionals in hospitality and tourism at the annual Terroir Symposium. Now in its 12th year, Terroir is North America's marquee gathering for sommeliers, chefs, hoteliers and producers, which has made Ontario a world-class destination for culinary travelers. Guests will engage with renowned speakers, network with industry leaders and influencers, and explore trends in food, beverage and travel.

This year's conference theme, Terroirnomics: The Powerful Economics of Local, aims to provoke discussions around the value of supporting local businesses and producers, while showcasing the talent of chefs, growers, artisans and entrepreneurs.

"When we shrink our supply chains, source locally and support our regional growers and producers, the positive impact on the economy is extraordinary," said Rebecca Mackenzie, President of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, the organization behind this year's event. "We have always been huge supporters of Terroir and are thrilled to be managing the event because it aligns so closely with our mission and core values."

The Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) is managing Terroir for the first time after years as a partner and supporter of the event. With deep connections in the industry and a vested interest in the success of local businesses, the organization will bring together key stakeholders, experts, business leaders and media to discuss the profound economic impact food tourism can have on a given region. The public event will be held at the stunning Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

"We are ecstatic to host this inspired event for the third year in a row," said Renée Bellefeuille, Executive Chef, AGO. "Terroir's reputation has grown and now more than ever helps us attract some of the most curious, ambitious and knowledgeable hospitality professionals in the world to our beautiful city. Chefs see food as an art form, so the AGO is a natural backdrop for this incredible gathering."

Speaker Highlights

Elena Arzak (ARZAK, San Sebastian, Spain)
Revered and decorated chef and restaurateur

Farmer Lee (The Chef's Garden, Cleveland, Ohio)
James Beard winner, farmer and champion of sustainable agriculture

Jason Clampet (SKIFT, New York, New York)  
Co-Founder of SKIFT Table, a top trend-spotting resource for restauranteurs 

Dennis Prescott (Eat Delicious, Moncton, New Brunswick)
Best-selling cookbook author, food photographer and social influencer

Dr. Sylvian Charlebois (Professor, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia)
Researcher, author and champion of terroir

Event Highlights

Keynote addresses from technology, culinary, beverage, hospitality and tourism experts.

Interactive panel discussions featuring a diverse and gender-balanced group of presenters.

World Food Court lunch, showcasing global cuisines curated by Suresh Doss, editor of Foodism.

Guests can opt to attend master classes which will each highlight a segment of Ontario's bourgeoning beverage industry. Experts in wine, spirits and beer will lead intimate discussions around these key drivers of local hospitality and tourism. The Great Ontario Craft Brew will showcase an exclusive beer brewed collaboratively by Great Lakes Brewery and Beau's Brewery. Wine lovers can spend the morning and afternoon portions of the event immersed in wine theory. The Wine Marketing Association of Ontario will host two of the master classes: Women in Wine and Cabernet Franc.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit


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