|Name: Eric Pateman|
Meet Eric Pateman. Chef, author, entrepreneur and one of our country's best ambassadors of Canadian cuisine to the world.
This chapter in my series of 500 Coffees is sponsored by the networking app Shapr, and my challenge was to use it to connect with someone to feature here. During my first week using it Eric's profile came up and I swiped right, meaning it would be cool to connect. He did the same, so we arranged a time to meet for coffee at his Edible Canada location on Granville Island.
A 4th generation Vancouverite, Eric currently lives in Squamish with his family and works a lot in Vancouver, but he spends an average of 3 out of 4 weeks on the road.
At 44 years old he's done a couple of career pivots over the years. He once worked in hotel brokerage and has his realtor certification. He has an MBA and his master's thesis was about the impact of the Olympics on the hosting cities' restaurant industry. It makes sense that he opened up Edible Canada the year after the games left Vancouver; from what I gathered he took some of what he learned from researching other cities and applied it to make a successful venture here.
And successful it is. He now spends about 1 day of every month at his restaurant and the rest is consulting with clients like Destination B.C. and the Government of Canada, formulating a national strategy for food tourism, and doing other high level strategy and planning. Oh, and his company is actively offering luxury food tourism - they recently did a Bourbon, Blues and BBQ tour of the states where they sold seats on Barack Obama's old campaign bus (converted, of course) and rolled it around the South, cooking all along the way, staging dinners at places like the roof of the Gran Ol' Opry, where you'd never be able to go otherwise.
What strikes me about Eric is that while I previously knew of him as a celebrity chef he's really more of an entrepreneur than anything. And not just any old entrepreneur; one that's values-driven and hopes to see a change in the world while running successful businesses. You see a lot of people who open restaurants that close after a couple years as it's one thing to be a great chef and want to serve people incredible food, but it's entirely another to have the business acumen to make a go of it. Eric has such a wide-ranging skillset (combined with work ethic and great ideas) that he's not just making a go of it, he's killing it.
As we neared the end of our coffee he mentioned something about an upcoming "centre for excellence in seafood" that he's consulting on right now. I'll bring you more on that as it comes to life. In the meantime learn more about Eric on his site at EricPateman.com and follow him on Instagram at @EricPateman to see where in the world he's currently bringing Canadian cuisine.
And stay tuned for 412 more Coffees! Check out the caffeinated archive HERE.
No matter what your goal is for the year, be it a new job or a corner office, meeting new people is the smartest way to get there. Networking will help you get your foot in the door at interesting companies (hello new job), gain perspective on how to grow in your current role (hello new promotion) and build some new friendships with people in your field (hello awesome happy hours). The easiest way to make the right connections is with Shapr.