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Culinary Capers Chef Margaret Chisholm receives Above & Beyond Award 2011

Our Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm (pictured right with Les Dames BC President Angie Quaale) was awarded the 2011 Above & Beyond Award by the members of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s, British Columbia Chapter (LDBC).   This annual award is given to a member who embodies the vision of LDBC including: sharing their knowledge; support members; and provide leadership, educational opportunities and philanthropic events in the community.

Les Dames d’Escoffier International is an invitational organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy.

We are extremely proud of Chef Margaret on receiving this award from her industry peers.  In 2011, she was also recognized by the International Caterers Association by garnering the Chef of the Year Award.

Below is one of the speeches made at the award’s dinner we wanted to share.  It is from food activist/chef Emily Teel from Washington DC who spent a week in Vancouver for a hands on workplace experience with Chef Margaret. Emily won the 2011 Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) Legacy Awards in Food, Wine and Culinary Entrepreneurship.

By Emily Teel –
It was clear to me in the first few minutes of my stage as a Legacy Award winner at Culinary Capers Catering that Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm is the kind of leader in the food world that I’d like to be.  Her kitchen is meticulously organized, but without the territoriality and machismo that I’ve grown accustomed to in my years in restaurants.  I was immediately impressed by the congenial, collaborative atmosphere and by her ability to be at once authoritative and friendly. 

Even if she hadn’t made such a great first impression, it was abundantly clear to me from the first moment of my stage that I wasn’t on some generic set of field trips.  Chef Chisholm had clearly considered by background and my interests – which are as much about food access as fine dining.  – in pulling from her network of friends, professional and Dame contacts to find hosts for me.  This work on her part meant that my experience in Vancouver was singular and particular to my own multi-faceted place in the world of food, my insatiable curiosity about it, and my appetite for learning.  I spent mornings in the kitchen and afternoons trekking all over the city learning about as many of the different facets of what food is in Vancouver as I could. 

I’m so grateful to everyone who made my Legacy Award week in Vancouver such an incredible experience by so generously sharing with me their time, insight, meals and –  in the case of the cooks at Culinary Capers designated to baby-sit me – their patience.

I’m especially grateful to Chef Chisholm for acting as the hub connecting me to all of these other contacts and experiences.  In the brief week I spend under her tutelage, she exemplified, in the truest sense of the word, the Les Dames Escoffier core value more abstract than either food or wine: hospitality. 

She is so deserving of the Above & Beyond Award.  I only wish that I could be back in Vancouver to raise a glass in her honour!   Cheers, Chef, and a hearty congratulations!


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