Meet the Team!

 

CHRISTINA ALLAIN (NB)
Board Member

Christina Allain is a 20-something Acadian from Bouctouche, a beautiful small town on the East Coast of New Brunswick. She works as a development officer for a non-profit organization, which promotes economic growth for the Atlantic Provinces. Previously, she spent three years working on various projects empowering young adults to take part in economic development. She graduated from Université de Moncton in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in economics and followed courses at the Masters’ level from the University of Ottawa. An avid traveller and adventurer, she also studied global economics and French literature in Poitiers and Paris, France. She is an active member in the relatively new convivium, Slow Food Cocagne Acadie. Although she is a late-bloomer in the culinary arts, she rapidly caught-up thanks to her bilingual food blog, éclectique eats: ‘‘a diverse collection of recipes, rooted in the Maritimes.’’ The blog features local products that respect Slow Food’s interconnected principles: “good, clean and fair.” Equally important, the mission of the blog is to unveil the rich cultural history behind each recipe.

VOULA HALLIDAY (ON)
Executive Board Member

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Voula Halliday is a chef, recipe developer, writer and artist living in Toronto with her family and Cleo, her canine kitchen scrap-taster. She has been an active member for many years, both in Toronto and Australia, where she trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu. Voula works for a variety of magazines and organizations as recipe developer and tester. She has been contributing editor at Food & Drink magazine, and Chatelaine magazine, where she learned to perfect the skill of recipe development, her greatest passion, under the leadership of Canadian food industry veteran Monda Rosenberg.

As a devoted advocate of a food system that is “good, clean and fair” Voula worked in the Toronto District School system as the Chef and Coordinator of the Dundas Street Public School Nutrition Program. Her “Gold Star” program provided delicious nutrient rich meals made from ingredients primarily sourced locally. Voula appears as a regular chef on CBC’s Steven and Chris where she cooks delicious main dishes and teaches home cooks how to turn leftovers into magical meals.

JANET HENDERSON (AB)
Executive Board Member

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Janet Henderson is a food advocate, adult educator and business and communications strategist. Her love of food comes from her Saskatchewan roots and time spent in England and Japan, where food and farming were part of her work. Her love for agriculture was sparked while studying ethno botany at Purdue University, quite a departure from her University of Victoria business degree.

Over the span of her agri-food career, she has pioneered a number of agri-food initiatives from the launch of the Canadian Culinary Tourism Committee to the development of the Canadian Language Benchmarks, a guide to help new Canadians, who often find one of their first jobs in the manufacturing sector, safely work on the job. She is the chair of the Calgary Food Committee, currently assessing the food system in Calgary with a view to developing new municipal policies and bylaws to encourage greater supply and access to local food.

Currently, she works for the City Palate: Favour of the Food Scene magazine as a brand manager. Prior to this marketing role, she was the Vice-President of Training and Business Development with the Alberta Food Processors Association. As a mother of young children, she enjoys coordinating agri-food initiatives for the students and faculty within the Calgary Board of Education. She is a founding member of Slow Food Calgary and presently its Vice-President.

MICHAEL HOWELL (NS)
Executive Board Member

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Chef Michael Howell is the proprietor of Tempest Restaurant in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Michael is the leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, is the incoming Chair of the Board of Taste of Nova Scotia and is President of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (link). He is a graduate of Dalhousie University. Michael trained as a chef at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. Chef positions have seen Michael in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit MI, Boston MA, New York and the Bahamas before returning to Nova Scotia in 2002.

In 2011 Michael was selected as the Province of Nova Scotia’s Local Food Hero. He is also the reigning Canadian Grilled Cheese Champion! Michael appears regularly on television, radio and in print. Michael’s first cookbook, ATLANTIC SEAFOOD (published in 2009), was shortlisted for the 2010 Cuisine Canada Cookbook awards.  He is a strident advocate for Slow Food, supporting farms and farmers, school gardens and healthy lunch programs and culinary tourism in Nova Scotia.

INGRID JARRETT (BC)
Board Member

Ingrid is the President of Ingrid Jarrett Management Consulting and the Vice President Business Development and General Manager for Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Ingrid owned and operated Red Willow Cattle Company. Ingrid’s Tourism Board experience includes Edmonton, Victoria and Kelowna as well as the Thompson Okanagan. Ingrid presently holds the position of Past Chair of the Board for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and sits as the President of the British Columbia Hotel Association. Ingrid was voted in the Top 20 most influential people in the Okanagan Valley for 2011, and won the President’s Award for the Economic Development Association of BC Initiative for the Burns Lake Economic recovery strategy in 2012 as well as the Marketing award under $15K 2012.

Ingrid successfully developed the Canadian Tourism Commissions Signature Experience in partnership with Covert Farms, A Culinary Journey through Canada’s Desert, in 2013. Ingrid is also involved in the support and development of culinary and agri-tourism in the Thompson Okanagan region through her affiliation with local producers and growers. Ingrid is currently the Convivium President for Slow Food Thompson Okanagan.

VALERIE LUGONJA (AB)
Executive Board Member

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Valerie has recently retired after thirty years with Edmonton Public Schools as an educator of English Literature and of Cooking with middle school students. As an active member of Slow Food Edmonton, she is the vice president of her local convivia. She has recently been appointed to the newly organized Alberta Culinary Tourism Board. She is also the founder of Eat Alberta which contributes to the local food community through a hands-on cooking and tasting full day conference completely aligned with Slow Food principles.

She is “A Canadian Foodie” where she authors a blog that reflects her prairie roots, food heritage and family culture. When she “makes or bakes” she is partly a mad scientist and partly a deeply reflective artist constantly thinking of those she is preparing for. The kitchen is the center of her home as she believes food made at home and shared between family and friends builds relationships, and creates traditions that bind us to one another for generations. Her website portrays, in real time, the evolution of traditional Canadian Prairie Cuisine. Her passion for the work of Slow Food Edmonton and Slow Food Canada are reflected through her writing; living on the expansive and deeply rich prairies, she inherently draws from the landscape of those who came before. She is also the owner of Taste Tripping: Culinary Tours, Travel and Cooking Classes, a writer, editor and lifetime educator deeply committed to enabling collaboration and communication of all convivia throughout Canada toward a common goal.

HEATHER PRITCHARD (BC)
Executive Board Member

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Heather Pritchard is the Farm Program Manager for FarmFolk CityFolk, a British Columbia non-profit group, who has supported community-based sustainable food systems for 10 years. She is a resident member of Fraser Common Farm Cooperative, a community farm in Township of Langley, BC where she has been farming for 30 years. Heather is the granddaughter of H. G. Neufeld, who has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame for his work as a plant breeder in the early development of canola seed, the mother of Kevin, Sam and Kathleen and the grandmother of Gerhardt and Liam. Her commitment to Slow Food started after attending the first Terra Madre in 2004.

 

CAM TRAN (MB)
Board Member

Cam Tran became a member of Slow Food in Canada in 2012 and in November 2013, he revived the Slow Food movement in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Tran is a pastry chef and owner of Café Ce Soir in Winnipeg, where he offers his customers natural, organic, fresh and homemade products from his region. He serves traditional French cuisine inspired by his Asian culture.  During the summer, Tran offers foraging courses to his customers with the mission of keeping the traditional food gathering techniques alive.  Tran studied culinary arts in Canada and French pastry in the south of France where he learnt about Slow Food.  He speaks five languages, has two degrees in the health field and is currently studying herbal medicine.

BENNY DI ZITTI (ON)
Board Member

An architect & planner by profession and an early researcher and advocate of sustainable development, Benny has lived, worked and eaten his way through Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, North America and the Caribbean. His belief in the need for change for a better world has propelled him into civic action and community engagement. His is a past chair of the Annex Residents Association in Toronto, the Centre Wellington Citizens’ Coalition and the Roseneath Theatre. Exposure to diverse ecosystems and cultures accompanied by a myriad of culinary experiences nourished an early interest in food, its preparation, its environmental and cultural roots and the culinary arts. This interest connected Benny to the Slow Food movement. In 2005 he established Slow Food Elora, then co-chaired the convivium until it merged with Guelph to form Slow Food Wellington County.

LAURA BUCKLEY (ON)
President of the Canadian Ark of Taste commission

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Laura Buckley is a chef, food writer, editor and educator. She is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Stratford Chefs School and apprenticed in the kitchens of some of Toronto’s top restaurants. She ran a catering company, Eats of Eden, cooking for rock stars to royalty. Laura’s work has appeared in magazines including Canadian House & Home, Canadian Living, Homemaker’s and Edible Toronto. She is co-editor of All Stirred Up: Over 150 of the Best Recipes from The Women’s Culinary Network and recipe writer for The G.I. Diet Cookbook. She has taught cooking classes for Loblaws, LCBO, Miele, as well as the Hospitality program at Brother Andre High School in Markham, ON. Laura has been a member of Slow Food since 2000, and is past board member of the Women’s Culinary Network.

 

SINCLAIR PHILIP (BC)
Canadian Councillor to the International Slow Food Board

Sinclair

Sinclair Philip has co-owned his seaside inn and restaurant, Sooke Harbour House, on Vancouver Island for 34 years. Sinclair received his Ph.D., Doctorat d’état, from the University of Grenoble in France and is also a recipient of the Canadian Governor General’s Nation’s Table Award. In 2001, Sinclair Philip co-founded the Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands Slow Food Convivium with Mara Jernigan and has served on their board for 14 years. In the absence of a Canadian National Board, he acted as president of Slow Food Canada from 2003-2007, is presently a member of the Canadian Board and has been the Canadian representative to the International Slow Food Board since 2003.

Sinclair was involved in the Canadian Ark Commission under the direction of Mara Jernigan and the herring spawn on kelp project was launched as a Slow Food Ark product at Sooke Harbour House. He also played an active role in the establishment of the Red Fife Wheat Presidium.