I love food. Good food. Always have. Perhaps I was influenced by my Eastern European upbringing where food is at the heart of every family. Cooking isn’t only a passion, it also serves as my escape—I find it soothing, relaxing, comforting and creative.
And I love wine. It fascinates me. The uniqueness of each varietal, the effect of terroir, the climate experienced during that vintage and how so many different elements collide to produce each bottle of wine. It’s liquid sunshine.
Over 15 years ago, while working in the advertising industry, I began searching for a way to combine these loves of mine to create both a life and a lifestyle. I arrived at event management as my first waypoint, managing the Savour Wine & Food Festival in Calgary for six years and then serving as Creative Director for the Salut Wine Festival in Calgary and Toronto. In addition to these large-scale events, I also managed individual consumer wine events, dining programs, corporate wine tastings, trade events and wine competitions for companies such as Visa, American Express, TD, IBM, Globe & Mail, Wine Access Magazine, Fetzer and Bonterra Vineyards, Chambord, Wines of British Columbia, Zinfandel Producers of California and the California Wine Institute.
But I was hungry for more—more knowledge, in particular. By this time I’d spent a considerable amount of time in France, so I decided it was time to go big or stay home. Never one to stay home, I am now a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and must offer a generous thank you to the James Beard Foundation who kindly awarded me a scholarship.
Along the way I’ve also completed the International Sommelier Guild Wine Fundamentals (Level one) and attended the Hautes Etudes du Goût program in gastronomy held in France.
I completed my thesis on a subject I am passionate about, “The Art of Pleasure: Examining the French Meal and the Positive Effects of Deriving Pleasure from Food” for which I was awarded a Master's degree from the University of Reims in Champagne.