I am Shirley Lang, my Spirit name is Kaug Auk Shee, (Festival of the Raven), I am of the Cree Nation. I am a Culinary Explorer and the owner/head chef of Kitchens of Distinction Culinary Arts Ltd. Exploring cuisine of all Cultures is my passion! I have owned my Private Catering company since 1999, after many years in Aboriginal Justice, Dakota West Consulting. In 1995 I relocated from Toronto to BC after 20 years of Self-Employment with Brooke International Studios; hair-salons and a talent agency that catered only to the entertainment industry.
Awards & Recognition
- “Nominated for 2012 Outstanding Customer Service Award” Westshore Chamber of Commerce.
- “2011 Chef Member of the Year Award” Canadian Culinary Federation Victoria.
- “2010 Peoples Choice Award” – Savoury Category: Savouries, Sweets & Sips, for my Moroccan scented pork tenderloin, Eldercare Foundation.
- “2009 for the Peoples Choice Award 3rd: Rib Cook Off RC Grillhouse for my Juniper Berry Ribs & 1st Prize for my table decor.
Published in “Exalt Magazine” June+Exalt See page 19
The True Meaning of the name “Kitchens of Distinction”
I am always asked, why did I name my catering company “Kitchens of Distinction”?
The dictionary defines the word ‘distinction‘ as “excellence that sets someone or something apart from others: a novelist of distinction“.
I feel that the kitchen is the heart and the soul of any home, any where in the world. We share the preparation of food in the kitchen, we share the flavours of the food we lovingly prepare, we share laughter, we share secrets and stories in our kitchens, we share our family and friend time in the kitchen. We bond with one another in the kitchen, it is an intimate safe haven. When you are at a party, where does everyone eventually end up at one point or another? Yes, you guessed it, the kitchen, the one place where everyone is on neutral ground. We are all equals in the kitchen, human, vulnerable, and so authentically magnificent.
Childhood to Chef
For me, the kitchen has always been warm, welcoming, comforting, safe. My fondest memories are of days gone by as a child, growing up on a large working farm, watching my mother and grandmother cook wonderful comfort meals using the freshest and finest ingredients of the meats and poultry that we raised ourselves, and produce that we planted, nurtured and harvested throughout the seasons. These are heart warming memories of my mother and grandmother, lovingly taking the time, to teach me to cook, to read recipes, to learn measurements. The kitchen was the place that I learned to never give up, if you make a mistake … it can be corrected or adjusted to create something else, to be resourceful. The kitchen was the place that I learned to try new things without fear, to be confident in my abilities. This location and the teachings that took place there, would one day prove to be where all things fundamentally began in my world. No matter what path I took the kitchen was the space that fed my soul, that calmed my world, and that continued to nurture my gifts, allowing me to succeed in other crafts. The kitchen is today the place that allows me to share my gifts and my passion for food and everything associated with it.
So when I was deciding on a name for my company, knowing the gifts and skills that I wanted to share with others, I couldn’t help but draw from my life experiences. When I think of catering in my client’s homes, I feel that their kitchens are the “Kitchens of Distinction”, excellence that sets them apart from all others, authentic and magnificent.
I look forward to the opportunity to share my passion and enthusiasm for the culinary world with you! Let’s explore the culinary world together!