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OUR TEAM

Our seasoned event planners will help you to visualize and execute every detail of your event - venue selection, menu design, event rentals and tenting, décor and floral, entertainment and service staff.

From an intimate dinner to a lavish gala, our team of dedicated professionals will focus on ensuring
that every guest at your event experiences an enjoyable and effortless occasion. 

Our award winning culinary team constantly pushes the creative envelope in food presentation, service, decor and design.

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Debra Lykkemark

Debra Lykkemark

CEO

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CEO and company founder Debra Lykkemark oversees a high energy team who share her passion for fine food and exceptional service. In Debra’s words, “Our goal with Culinary Capers has always been to provide restaurant quality cuisine and seamless, professional service to each of our clients. We have never wavered from that commitment.”

Debra Lykkemark served on the International Caterers Association Executive Board from 1997 to 2005, including two years as President. As President of the ICA, she completely revamped the Washington, DC office and left the organization in a strong operational and financial position at the end of her term. Debra has been a highly regarded and frequent featured speaker at the top international special event conferences. She is active in the community with speaking engagements that include business and women’s groups and guest appearances before students in hospitality and culinary programs.

She has been featured by Profit magazine for several years as one of Canada's top 100 women business owners. For the last five years, Debra has been on the organizing committee of the British Columbia Cancer Foundation's Inspiration Gala and was instrumental in helping to raise a record breaking amount of funds for cancer research.

Other career highlights include successfully launching Culinary Capers Catering on to the international stage by taking part in three Olympic Games: Torino, Italy in 2006, Beijing, China in 2008, and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. In 2008, excited about the opportunity for growth in the Beijing market, Debra partnered with Executive Chef Billy Kawaja to open a second catering company, Culinary Capers Beijing Catering and Special Events. The thriving Chinese economy resulted in the Beijing operation opening SWITCH! Café, which features the same fresh, modern cuisine that has allowed the Culinary Capers brand to garner an international reputation for hospitality.

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Michael HarriesMichael Harries

Managing Partner and COO

Michael joined Culinary Capers Catering in 1991. With fifteen years of senior management experience in both Canada and the US, Michael adopted the challenge of marketing Culinary Capers, which was almost exclusively involved in providing catering to the corporate market.

From sales of under $500,000 in 1991, the Company has grown to a full service catering company with décor and barbecue divisions and annual sales of $7,000,000.  Michael remains in charge of marketing and also oversees purchasing and equipment and facilities management for Culinary Capers. 

EVENTS TEAM

Kevin BergsmaKevin Bergsma

Event Planner

Since 1995, Kevin has been active in every facet of catering operations. As the company has grown and developed, Kevin's role has continued to evolve and he has been able to thrive with each new challenge.

His ability to juggle many tasks has included managing on-site events, in-house operations and working on strategic projects. He was also instrumental in the development and implementation of our innovative catering software and IT systems.

During most of his 18 years with the company, Kevin has also balanced a successful professional dance career. While choreographing and performing internationally with critically acclaimed contemporary dance companies, he also arranged his own productions and taught classes.

In 2009, Kevin made the full-time transition to planning events. He has worked through three Olympic experiences, highlights included working at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games overseeing events at the BC Canada Pavilion and managing BC Government events at the Vancouver Art Gallery during the 2010 Winter Games.

Kevin's sense of fun and infectious enthusiasm combined with his wealth of intuitive and practical knowledge consistently delivers outstanding experiences for clients of Culinary Capers.

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Mandy HamiltonMandy Hamilton

Event Planner

Having served in our kitchen as Executive Sous Chef for three years, Mandy moved into events in 2005. Born and raised in Ontario, Mandy began her culinary career after attending Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and spent a year and a half in the kitchen of Chez La Vigne in Wolfville.

She received her formal training from the Dubrulle French Culinary School in 1997 and went on to gain experience at the acclaimed Lumiere and as a Sous Chef at the Rain City Grill. She spent a year catering for the movie industry before joining Culinary Capers.

Mandy's extensive cuisine insight has translated seamlessly into creating delicious menus for all types of affairs from intimate parties of 12 to corporate productions for 1000. As her clients will attest, her detailed and thorough approach to all facets of her events is what makes Mandy a stand-out catering professional.

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Sarah MacKenzieSarah MacKenzie

Event Planner

After attending college in Arizona, Sarah graduated from the Culinary Arts program at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. She directed catering operations for the Secret Garden Tea Company prior to joining Culinary Capers.

Recent commitments to the industry include teaching event planning at The Art Institute of Vancouver and serving on the board of the International Special Events Society (Vancouver Chapter) from 2004-2006.

A seasoned member of our event planning team since 2000, Sarah brings a chef's sensibility and passion for innovative cuisine along with a vibrant and savvy flair to her role of designing and executing events.

Sarah is dedicated to leading and developing the event team and her unwavering commitment to excellence and creativity exemplifies the qualities that make her the next generation of leaders in shaping the continued growth for Culinary Capers.

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Elizabeth Parsons

Elizabeth Parsons

Event Planner

Elizabeth joined our event planning team in 2007, arriving with twelve years of experience in the hospitality industry in world-class establishments across Canada and in the United Kingdom.

She is a graduate of the four year management training program at the world famous Savoy Hotel in London. That strong foundation, and extensive catering and sales management experience, translates into five-star service when creating and executing events tailored to the needs of her clients. Elizabeth's down-to-earth sensibility, wry sense of humour and creative flair are all much appreciated by her event customers.

Prior to moving to Vancouver with her husband Lee, who is Executive Chef at the Wedgewood Hotel, Elizabeth was the Wedding and Event Manager at the exclusive Swinton Park Castle Hotel in the north of England.

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Karyn RoseKaryn Rose

Event Planner

After working in our kitchens for three years, Karyn made the transition in 2004 to Event Planner. She earned her professional Red Seal designation while apprenticing at the acclaimed Pear Tree Restaurant. A graduate of the Culinary and Hospitality program at the Dubrulle French Culinary Institute, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Karyn contributes a well-rounded wealth of knowledge and experience. 

Her relaxed, personable manner and warm sense of humour coupled with a strong culinary foundation enables her to bring a refreshing, imaginative approach to menu and event planning.

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Molly StevensMolly Stevens

Event Planner

Before settling in Vancouver to commence her culinary education, Molly had a fourteen-year stage career in New York, performing with the Empire State Ballet Company and in a variety of shows from Oklahoma to Copacabana. Graduating in 2001 from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Molly was awarded the school’s top honour, the Award of Excellence.

Molly’s elegant, professional approach combines the focused discipline of a dancer with the inventive creativity of a chef to ensure the flawless execution of her clients' events.

 

CULINARY TEAM

Margaret ChisholmMargaret Chisholm – 2011 Chef of the Year

Executive Chef

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Born in Montreal into a family that hails from the great food loving traditions of the Maritimes, Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm started cooking at a very young age and was a veritable gourmet by her teen years. She apprenticed with well known Chef Anne Rosenzweig of New York’s Arcadia Restaurant after graduating from Peter Kump's New York Cooking School.

Before joining Culinary Capers in 1997, she was a highly acclaimed chef instructor at Dubrulle French Culinary School who taught and mentored thousands of amateurs and professionals “to cook with love”. In 2011, Chef Margaret was the recipient of the Chef of the Year Award from the International Caterers Association. This celebrated award honours her 14 years of leadership within our company, the community, and the culinary industry.

A Culinary Capers’ career highlight was executing the food service plan for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. In addition to managing a busy catering kitchen, Chef Margaret enjoys giving back to the industry with guest speaking and teaching engagements and judging junior chef competitions. She is also a member of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier.

Chef Margaret has contributed her expertise and mouth watering recipes to three national best selling cookbooks, "The Girls Who Dish", "The Girls Who Dish - Seconds Anyone?" and “Inspirations” (Whitecap Books).

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Rob FosterRob Foster

Executive Sous Chef

Rob brought 26 years of experience as a professional chef to our kitchens when he joined our team in 2004.  After apprenticing in the hotel industry in his home city of Edmonton, he went on to build his resume at clubs, hotels and restaurants throughout Western Canada and Australia. 

He was Chef de Cuisine for Club France at the Calgary Winter Olympics and brought his considerable talent and expertise to use for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

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Kim CollishawKim Collishaw

Pastry Chef

Kim's mission to use only the freshest, highest quality ingredients translates into desserts that are both beautiful and mouth-watering. Her inspired enthusiasm for the art of pastry is infused into creating both fine individual sweets and high-concept plated desserts.

Kim's philosophy is that dessert is the most memorable part of a meal and she continually strives to create delectable desserts that complement Culinary Capers' distinctive west coast cuisine.