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Vancouver's newest movers and shakers in the food industry share stories at Food Talks 3

All Photos by Ariella Fong

Continuing his successful Food Talks series, Richard Wolak hosted a third edition of his speaker events featuring experts from the Vancouver's food scene.

At Westin Hotel Vancouver's Pop Up Patio, guests were treated to an assortment of canapes prepared by Executive Chef, Matthew Richmond.

Watermelon with feta and olives

Westin's feature slider with bacon, avocado and chipotle mayo

Braised short ribs with vanilla scented peaches

The first speaker of the evening was Eric Pateman of Edible Canada.


Pateman is President and Founder of Edible Canada. The company was first a one-man culinary concierge service and has since grown to become a key ambassador of Canadian cuisine, Pateman said.

Pateman said his goal is to turn Edible Canada into a global brand that defines Canadian cuisine. Straying away from poutine and maple syrup,  Pateman's goal is to showcase the cultural richness of Canadian food.

Zach Berman and Ryan Slater of the mobile Juice Truck spoke next.

Berman and Slater's journey into the food truck industry began when the two best friends travelled to Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. Noticing that many of the locals frequently visited juice bars and consumed vibrant blended berry drinks as a form of consuming vitamins, Berman and Slater decided to bring juice back to Vancouver. Serving the juice from a food truck provided a front of service for their product and was a means for the two friends to engage with their consumers. Their daily presence, primarily in Gastown, allows them to garner an element of friendship with the community; particularly the residents of Vancouver's downtown east side. Though not from a culinary background, they credit the support of their friends and loving parents for their growth and success, even charmingly asking the audience to buy their juice so that their parents could one day retire. 

The next speaker was Preet Marwaha of Organic Lives.

Marwaha's relationship with food changed when he was faced with health problems. Coming from Calgary, where a meat-centric diet is very much the norm, Marwaha started OrganicLives as a means to facilitate change. Marwaha believes that food is no longer just about consumption, but has an impact on increasingly important issues such as health, poverty and the environment. OrganicLives was started as a means to bring people together in community and to provide organic, fully sustainable, fair trade products that benefit the producer and end-consumer. Marwaha encouraged the audience to be educated food consumers.

The next speaker was Mary Mackay, Head Baker and owner of Terra Breads.

Terra Breads specializes in crusty, sourdough-based breads made from natural starters and baked in stone-hearth ovens. Mackay's start in the food industry began when she enrolled herself into a French Culinary School against her parents advice to study accounting. During her talk, Mackay educated the audience about live cultures in sour dough and shared samples for tasting.

The final speaker of the evening was Patrick Murphy co-owner of Vista D’oro Farms & Winery.

Vista D'oro is a 10 acre farm located on Campbell Valley Park in the Fraser Valley. The farm grows an assortment of orchard fruit including, apples, pears, plums and cherries, all used in their preserves and baking for the shop. The winery’s flagship is their D’oro – a fortified green walnut wine.

The evening ended with a question and answer period. Each speaker shared their advice on starting a business in Vancouver. At the end of the evening, guests were treated to chocolates by Cocoa Nymph.

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