Stellar Food Group
James is a fourth generation “Islander” with family root going back as far as the Colony of Vancouver Island. His childhood is overflowing with stories of small farm life, food production, commercial fishing and food preservation. It is no wonder that he started working in commercial kitchens by the age of 15, quickly working his way up to Kitchen Manager at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort at the age of 17. Apprenticing under three of the islands’ top chefs, he achieved Red Seal Chef Certification at only 19. A robust food career spanning over 25 years has seen James not only at the helm of high profile restaurants, but using his expertise and passion for the industry as:
- Past President of North Vancouver Island Chefs Association
- Co-owner of Brambles Market in 2008 to 2010 – BC (Canada’s) first all local full service grocery store
- Contract Restaurant and Event Consultant
- Substitute instructor for Culinary Arts Program at North Island College
- Director at large Coombs Farmers Institute
- Active with local food security initiatives
- Co-owner of Stellar Food Group – parent company for Whole Hog Farm Sausages and other value added brands
AN ENDANGERED BREED?
AN ENDANGERED BREED? How do we preserve, protect and grow numbers of and access to Artisan Producers on Vancouver Island? November 16, 2016 En·dan·gered spe·cies - noun
- a species that is seriously at risk of extinction.
- "special collections of rare and endangered species"
- a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
- Shokunin is a Japanese word for "artisan" or "craftsman", which also implies a pride in one's own work. Shokunin means not only having technical skill, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness... a social obligation to work his best for the general welfare of the people, [an] obligation both material and spiritual.
- Have a greater understanding of the Vancouver Island supply chain of Artisans: providers, processors, sellers and consumers.
- Gain clarity on what differentiates Artisan Producers from the competition - i.e. light industrial growers
- Be aware of business growth issues through the lens of small business (e.g. bottle neck with processors, risks of mixing premium and commodity processing, getting product in usable quantities)
- Be able to identify the market gaps and in creating a sustainable industry.
- Be invited to contribute ideas and/or resources to positively influence increased access to local artisan producers
- Create clear actions that will increase capacity and encourage growth