In a noteworthy event dedicated to celebrating the outstanding women in British Columbia’s flourishing hospitality community, “Yes Shef: Elevating Women in Food & Beverage” is set to transpire at Fairmont Pacific Rim’s dazzling Star Sapphire Ballroom on November 6th, 2023.
More than 20 of Vancouver’s top female-identifying chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and bartenders will be collaborating for a remarkable evening of culinary finesse. Participating chefs include Fairmont Pacific Rim’s very own Executive Chef Kate Siegel, alongside Sous Chef Leah Patitucci, where their inspiring stories not only enlighten the palate but evoke hunger for excellence.
Executive Pastry Chef Kate Siegel
Kate Siegel followed her passion and joined the hospitality industry with a start in local restaurants, where she worked for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts with the pastry teams in Toronto and Whistler. Following this time, she received her first Executive Pastry Chef role alongside Executive Chef Hamid Saliman, who became one of her greatest mentors and inspired her to harness her creativity in pastry arts.
In 2012, Siegel went back to Toronto to lead the pastry team as Executive Pastry Chef at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, where she met Executive Chef Damon Campbell, who is now Executive Chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim. Four years later, a passion for chocolate led Siegel to join the team at Soma Chocolatemaker as Production Manager, where she developed a true appreciation for ethically sourced chocolate.
Siegel then returned to B.C. to join North Arm Farm, an organic vegetable and berry farm featuring a bakery, restaurant and full-service wedding venue where she began allowing the seasonality of the farm’s fresh produce to craft her menu—a practice she continues to harness at Botanist.
The iconic Fairmont Chateau Whistler next came calling and eventually led Siegel to be reunited with Executive Chef Damon Campbell of Fairmont Pacific Rim. Today, the two culinary stalwarts bring their craft together to manage one of the leading culinary programs across the brand.
“I’ve crisscrossed this country a couple of times now to work with and learn from some amazing chefs,” says Siegel. “It’s due to the generosity of these culinary professionals sharing their vast knowledge with me that I have this opportunity to work alongside Executive Chef Damon Campbell and bring my vision for pastry to Fairmont Pacific Rim.”
Sous Chef Leah Patitucci
From a young age, Leah knew what career path she wanted to follow. She began her culinary career at Vancouver’s Hawksworth Restaurant as an Apprentice Cook while still in high school. While completing her Red Seal at Vancouver Community College (VCC) and being awarded VCC Student of the Year, she worked as a Pastry Cook at Temper Chocolate and Pastries.
Shortly after, Leah spent three years working as a Line Cook at The Pear Tree Restaurant under the mentorship of Executive Chef Scott Jaeger. While working at The Pear Tree, Leah won and participated in the 2018 National Skills Competition in Edmonton and competed in the World Skills Competition representing Canada in Culinary Arts.
In July 2020, Leah joined Mission Hill Family Estate in Kelowna, BC as Chef de Partie at the Terrace Restaurant. Two years later, she competed in both the Chaine de Rotiseurre Jeune Chefs International Completion in Mexico City as well as in Luxembourg at the Culinary World Cup where the team placed second in the world. Leah is now Sous Chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim under the guidance of Chef Damon Campbell.
Here’s a glimpse of what the evening has in store:
- 5:30 PM – Tasting & Mingle
- 6:30 PM – Live Music from The Dimes & DJ Pri
- 8:30 PM – Awards Presentation
- 9:45 PM – Silent Auction Closes
Your ticket includes:
- Over 20 food & beverage tasting stations featuring creations by 15 of BC’s Top Female Chefs and Canada’s Top Beverage Professionals and Companies.
- An opportunity to meet and connect with the leaders of BC’s Recreation, Tourism & Hospitality Industry.
- The chance to win over $20,000 worth of prizes in a Silent Auction.
- $200 General Admission
- $175 Early Bird WORTH Member Pricing (SOLD OUT)
Proceeds from ticket sales will contribute directly to scholarships and the development of essential programming and resources that pave the way for the next generation of hospitality leaders.