Up until 2020 I thought of my experiences and contributions in the corporate world as removed and totally separate from my creatively rich world as an artist. There exists a degree of shame between these worlds which may be the catalyst for my compartmentalizing the two.
I am that guy always looking at things with new eyes and wondering, Is there a better way? Spending six months in Japan in my early twenties gave me perspective in that there are many ways to accomplish a task or solve a problem.
BUSBOY TO SERVER
I began my career in the food and beverage (F&B) industry at the age of eighteen. I landed a job as a busboy at, Shandy’s, a short-lived Toronto, Eatons Centre restaurant. After two months, I padded my resume to get my foot in the door at, Mushrooms, a high-end LGBTQ+ restaurant and piano bar in the Front Street theatre district 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 over seven years. And my service skills served me well for the many years at The MOHO, the unofficial name of an airport strip hotel’s dinner theatre.
In 1995 I moved to West Coast Canada and immediately began working with a rapidly evolving Vancouver company, Culinary Capers.
I started as a cater-waiter but quickly 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 plus 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.