BUSBOY TO SERVER
At 18 I began a parallel career in the food and beverage (F&B) industry.
1981 I landed a job as a busboy at, Shandy’s, a short-lived Toronto, Eatons Centre restaurant. After two months, I embellished my work experience to get my foot in the door at, Mushrooms, a high-end, übergay, restaurant and piano bar in Toronto. At the end of their opening night, the fastidious general manager, Bernie Green, commented, “You haven’t waited a day in your life, have you darling? It’s ok. You’re cute. We’ll teach you.” And teach me he did.
Over the years his lessons have served me well. All through my twenties I subsidized my income in-between theatre and film gigs with stints at various restaurants. I actually worked at Mushrooms on and off for a good seven years. And my service skills served me well for the many years of both performing and serving tables at The MOHO, a dinner theatre in a venue called, Showplace, in The Cambridge Motor Hotel on Toronto’s airport strip.
In 1995 I moved to West Coast Canada and immediately began working with a rapidly evolving Vancouver company, Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events.
I started as a cater-waiter and immediately owner/CEO, Debra Lykkemark and I hit it off. Within a few months I was supervising events, and before a year was up I was Deb’s personal assistant, as well as taking on duties: of staffing coordinator; operations assistant; IT and special projects; delivery driver; and the list kept growing…
Over the years I held various titles, but it wasn’t until 2008 that I actually committed to a full-time position. The company had secured a half year contract in Beijing at the BC Canada Pavilion and I went for the full six months as the resident event planner and sundry problem solver.
By the fall of 2009 I had become a member of Culinary’s elite sales team of event planners.
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was an incredible time for the company, doing three months of normal business in the span of two weeks. And I rode the wave of that experience right up to the end of 2014.
In January 2015 I stepped into the role of General Manager…
In my twenty two years at this company I became a close friend and confidant to Debra and partner/COO, Michael Harries, as well as a key partner in developing company standards, policies and IT systems and strategies.