This event spotlights the women “Crushing it” in the Vancouver food scene


Vancouver, we need to talk. Specifically, we need to talk about some women who are absolutely rocking it in the food industry.


An upcoming Food Talks event aims to put the spotlight on some of the city’s women are who totally killing it. The event’s organizer, Vancouver Foodster founder Richard Wolak, says he curated the panel with an eye for bringing together women he saw have been truly “crushing it” in the industry, which is how the event’s theme and subtitle came about: “Crushing it in our Food Community.”

The May 8 event, which kicks off with appetizers and a welcome cocktail, is centred on the speakers talking about their experiences in the food business, followed by a Q & A session. Wolak assembled a stellar line-up of speakers:

  • Chef Lynda Larouche – Co-owner of the Argo Café
  • Chef Parinya Lopston – Founder and owner of Ban Chok Dee Thai
  • Chef Barb Finley – Founder of Project Chef
  • Chef Shobna Kannusamy – Founder of Soirette Pastry Boutique
  • Dana Lee Harris – Executive Director of BC Hospitality Foundation
Finley, Kannusamy, Larouche, Lopston, Harris

Wolak says there are many facets of these talented women’s careers that most people aren’t familiar with–for example, how Larouche has been a longtime mentor to so many in her professional kitchens.

The endeavours the panelists have undertaken, like Lopston opening a first-of-its-kind in Canada Thai cooking school, or Finley’s far-reaching work with children in the Vancouver school system through Project Chef, clearly deserve recognition and to be more widely known as examples of how women have done and continue to do so much in the industry.

In addition to the aspect of leadership, there are innovators in their fields, like Soirette founder Kannusamy, and Hariss’ profound impact on the B.C. wine industry.

By engaging these accomplished women in a dialogue, and inviting the audience to take part, Wolak hopes the event will prove inspiring, and that “people will see what people can do with just an idea, and perhaps some of these women will end up collaborating on future projects with each other together.”

Want to be a part of the fuel for some food biz momentum and learn from these trailblazers? Tickets are available now for this exciting Food Talks event, and are priced at $18 before May 1, and $21 the week-of.

Food Talks Vol. 16: Crushing it in our Food Community

When: May 8 from 6pm-9:30pm
Where: Dockside Lounge in the Granville Island Hotel – 1253 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Cost: Early-Bird Tickets: $18 per person (before May 1, 2018); Regular Tickets: $21 per person (after May 1, 2018). Tickets available online.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom