Our Collaborative Team
The collaborative team of Kitchens of Distinction is formed out of a collective of Culinary Artists & Event Experts with imaginative creative minds. It is within this collective that we found a group of peers that not only work well together to bring clients a respected and honourable service, but that our capabilities and passion for our art is magnified through one another.
Richard Wolf – Chef & Sommelier
Richard started his journey in the food industry early in life. Starting at the age of Nine as a “kitchen runner” in a Bavarian styled restaurant in the interior of BC. By the time he completed high school, he was running the kitchen of that same establishment. After moving to the Island in the mid 80’s, he did a traditional apprenticeship with one of Victoria’s top chefs as well as worked in many local iconic establishments. He spent years in several local restaurants working his way to executive chef in four separate operations, as well as Director of Food and Beverage for The Aerie Resort, a Relais & Chateau property, where in a leadership role they were honoured with the Conde Nasté Magazine’s coveted Resort of the Year, North America, as well as several years of top service and top food awards. Richard has also lead many cooking demonstrations and cooking classes.
Elizabeth Nyland – Chef, Photographer & Author
Elizabeth Nyland started cooking for her family at a young age as a way to help out around the house. Born to an avid hunter and a professional salmon fishing guide, learning how to cook started out as just another chore. As a teenager, her first job as a dishwasher led to a blossoming passion for food which then led to more and more responsibility in restaurant kitchens. After having children, a food blog started as a hobby led to the writing and publication of two cookbooks, Cooking with Coconut Oil and Cooking with Avocados, as well as becoming a food photographer for local magazine EAT. Elizabeth currently runs a meal service company, Guilty Kitchen, that delivers fresh meals to busy professionals.
Micheline Quimet – Sommelier & Mixologist
I am Micheline Ouimet. My passion for food and wine has turned into a successful twenty-five year career in the hospitality industry. I learned the restaurant business intricacies from two icons in the industry: Erwin Doebeli and John Bishop. I worked at The William Tell, Il Giardino, Bishop’s, C, Hotel Vancouver and The Wedgewood, all well-known for their exceptional customer service and their unique concepts. I am a veteran of the hospitality industry and through the years have worked at all levels of restaurants in many positions from server, sommelier, F & B Director to being a restaurant owner. Micheline’s Restaurant was a nominee for best restaurant of the year by the BCRFA in 1995. I received the Victoria Hospitality Award for ‘Service Excellence’ from Tourism Victoria in 1996. I am a well-known educator and wine expert, and have appeared in various media such as EAT and Monday magazines, Times Colonist newspaper, The Province online news, and television. I offer innovative training concepts, and I have developed the visual cocktail recipe format. I created and self-published ‘The Visual Bartender Guide’, a reference book for bartenders that is used in restaurants, bars, and in the bartending training course at Camosun College, Victoria.
Donovan McGarry – DJ
It takes a long time to really know what your doing behind that deck: to know what to play and when to play it, I get butterflies before every performance to this day. Then you get started; jack up the amp and begin the playlist. How rewarding it is to see the look on everyone’s face when music fills the air and snapping fingers and smiles begin to pepper the room. Previously appointed consultations produce a flawless, time blocked, personalized requiem that will unravel as the night goes on. Ensuring that my own suggestions are simply integrated amongst what was pre-emptively specified. Everyone talks a bit louder, and laughs a little harder when the atmospheric effects of music takes over. Once I’ve kicked off the night, all else seems to melt away into the wake of wine, woman, and song.
Rod Forbes – Bartender
Rod Forbes is one of the most experienced bartenders in the business having ran Joe the Bartender Ltd. for 40 years. Rod has had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of Victoria over the years but has always found a way to hold true to pouring perfect drinks and mixing amazing cocktails.
Tabitha Jones – Wild Foods Forager
My name is Tabitha and I am a wild plant-foods enthusiast and Ethnobotanist residing on the traditional territory of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) people. I own and operate Vancouver Island Wild Tea Co. and hold a degree with distinction from UVic, combining Geography and Environmental Studies with a special interest in Ethnobotany (the study of people and their relationships with plants). I have gathered much of my knowledge from local indigenous elders, professors, literature, and hands-on-experience. I am grateful for my time learning from the experts. I love to share my passion and knowledge of wild edible and medicinal foods with others through eco-tourism plant tours, as well as harvesting wild plant-foods in back country spaces of Southern Vancouver Island. It has been a blessing to spend time in nature; harvesting, creating, teaching and learning about wild edible plant-foods and I aspire to increase my knowledge and experience, so I can share with those who aspire to learn.
Our commitment to you
We are committed to using whenever possible, local Vancouver Island organic produce fresh from the garden; free range meats and poultry without hormones or antibiotics; and sustainable wild seafood. Everything is made fresh from scratch, from premium ingredients.
- We honor authenticity to cultivate and nurture meaningful relationships with love and respect for one another and our Mother Earth, honoring our interconnectedness;
- We continuously explore the use of diverse Cultural cuisines and unique ingredients;
- Each decision is made consciously, each ingredient we use is purposeful, to reflect the true nature of the ingredient;
- Our passion for culinary art is expressed in the highest quality cuisine and exquisite experience we offer;
- We give the highest quality customer experience, striving for excellence in everything we provide;
- We support the health and well-being of our community as a fundamental practice.