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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.

Debra Lykkemark


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 served on the International Caterers Association Executive Board for nine years, including a two year term as President. She is a highly regarded and frequent featured speaker at the top international special event conferences. Debra is also active in the local 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. 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. Debra was honoured with the Caterer of the Year award at the 2016 Canadian Event Industry Awards. This award represents the pinnacle of professional achievement and is the highest Canadian honour for professional caterers.

Michael 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 and brand development for 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 operation with décor and barbecue divisions and annual sales in excess of $7,000,000. Michael remains in charge of marketing and also oversees purchasing and equipment and facilities management for Culinary Capers.

Karyn Rose

Director of Sales and Marketing

Karyn earned her professional Red Seal designation while apprenticing at the acclaimed Pear Tree Restaurant prior to joining our culinary team in 2001. After three years in our commissary kitchen, she made the transition to event planning. Her relaxed, personable manner and a warm sense of humour coupled with a strong culinary foundation, enabled her to become one of our top event planners. One highlight was organizing many of the events for the Russian delegation at Sochi House during the Vancouver Olympic Games, another was being the event planner for eight years for our largest annual dinner for 900 guests at the Surrey Mayor’s Gala. Karyn earned her CSEP (Certified Special Event Planner) designation in 2016.

The City of Surrey recruited Karyn in 2016 to join their Special Events team. Our executive approached her to rejoin Culinary Capers in the newly created position of Director of Sales and Marketing with the management group. We were delighted when Karyn accepted the challenge and are excited about working together to develop a refreshed approach to our client service and expand the capabilities of our entire event planning group.

Events Team

Sarah 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.

Sarah taught event planning at The Art Institute of Vancouver and has been a guest speaker with real world experience for other event planning courses. Her dedication to her craft has included serving on the board of Vancouver chapter of the International Special Events Society.

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 flair for designing and executing events. Her unwavering commitment to excellence and creativity assures the success of her clients’ events.


Molly 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. After a practicum at Semiahmoo Resort and internship at Lumiere, she took a position at Bistro Aubergine. Her interest in catering was spurred by friends requesting that she supply the food for their parties.

Originally hired by Culinary Capers as a catering chef, she advanced to a position on our event planning team. 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 events for her clients.


Mandy 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 a 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.


Brittany Saari

Event Planner

Brittany originally aspired to become a chef, but after three years in a kitchen, she realized that her passion was the planning, creativity and customer service of events.  She decided to come out from behind the scenes and pursue a new goal.  As part of the event planning program at UFV, Brittany did a practicum at Culinary Capers.  Following her graduation, she worked with our team in administration and corporate event sales.  With no immediate openings for an event planner, she decided to pursue new challenges and gained experience planning events and weddings with a busy Vancouver venue and a top wedding planning company.

Brittany returned to Culinary Capers equipped with hard earned and valuable experience.  Her enthusiasm and passion shines through the following quote, “I love anything beautiful whether that is how the food is displayed on a plate, the décor for an event or a blushing bride on her wedding day.  Romantic and intimate events are my first love and it is always rewarding to help clients bring something unique and personal to their celebration.”  Since rejoining the team, her professionalism, and diligent attention to detail has allowed her to become a top event planner in both client satisfaction and sales.


Jennifer Garcia

Event Planner

Jennifer set her sights on becoming an event planner when she was still in high school.  As a volunteer at a variety of Vancouver events, she fell in love with the fast pace and the social aspect of the events business.  She completed a diploma program in Event Management at the Art Institute of Vancouver to set the course for her career goal.

Jennifer joined Culinary Capers in 2014 and has held various positions within the company, proving herself a valuable and committed asset to the company at every opportunity.  Having received on the job training as an Event Planning Assistant, she was able to graduate seamlessly to becoming a full time Event Planner.

Known for her love of globetrotting travel and great food, she has had the opportunity to gain inspiration in many parts of the world.  With a keen eye on emerging event trends and an adventurous palate, Jennifer is well qualified to assist clients with important events.


Angel Chiu

Event Planner

Angel was promoted to a full-time position on our event planning team after exhibiting her ample talents as an assistant planner. Her travels have taken her to Taiwan, Montreal and Paris where she accumulated an eclectic range of experience that included pastry training at L’École Lenôtre in Paris, communications studies at McGill and hospitality experience in Taipei. Her ability with Mandarin, English and French is a marvelous asset to help serve a diverse group of clients in a cosmopolitan city.

Here is how Angel expresses her drive for crafting events, “I lived in Paris for a year to pursue my pastry training and learned to truly appreciate the art of gastronomy. My favourite part of event planning comes from my love for food and being able to share that passion with others. Being able to assist a client with the creation of an event and seeing it through from start to finish is a tremendously satisfying and rewarding experience.”

Away from work, Angel continues to experiment with cooking and baking new creations. Other pursuits include travel to enjoy other cultures, dance, photography and learning to golf.


Culinary Team

Stewart Boyles

Executive Chef

Born and raised in Surrey, BC, Stewart’s call to cuisine came early, working in a professional kitchen at age 15.  Following an apprenticeship at the Fairmont in Vancouver and local restaurant experience, he travelled to Europe to gain international experience. Stewart obtained an ancestral visa, thanks to his Scottish lineage, and settled in Edinburgh to work as Chef de Partie for highly respected British chef Martin Wishart at his Michelin starred restaurant in Edinburgh.

Under the mentorship of Wishart, he developed a strong understanding and technical skill set for classic French cuisine. For a new restaurant, Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, Stewart was tapped to be the opening Chef de Cuisine.  Stewart stayed for over 3 years, working relentlessly to build a strong team and a reputation of excellence.  His hard work and dedication led to the restaurant receiving a Michelin star!

Prior to joining our team, he was the Chef de Cuisine for Hawksworth.  In his role as Executive Chef, Stewart will be ambitiously striving to push the Vancouver catering scene to a new level.  His philosophy is that food should be approachable, full of flavour, and the ingredients should always be treated with respect.  Sourcing the very best local ingredients, he is constantly searching for innovative ways to elevate the culinary experiences of our clients and their guests.

Kim Collishaw

Pastry Chef

Kim decided to leave the corporate world and used the buyout from her employer to pursue a long time interest in baking by taking a pastry course at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. After completing a stage in our pastry department as part of her course work, she became a member of the pastry team.

Her talent and inventive approach led to her natural progression to her present position. Her mission to use only the freshest, highest quality ingredients translates into desserts that are both beautiful and delicious. Her inspired enthusiasm for the art of pastry is infused into the creation of fine individual sweets and high-concept plated desserts.

Chef Kim’s philosophy is that dessert is the most memorable part of a meal and she and her team continually strive to create delectable desserts that complement our distinctive west coast cuisine.

Linda Olson

Executive Sous Chef

Linda got her start in the food industry with a job at the Stock Market on Granville Island. She soon discovered a love of food and cooking, and enrolled in Dubrulle Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Vancouver.

While taking her course, Linda set her sights on working for the catering company she passed on her daily walk to school, which was Culinary Capers. Linda was hired in 2006, and has steadily progressed to her present position. Her attributes include a relaxed professional manner, keen attention to detail and dedication to the preparation of fine food.

When she is not at work, Linda gets schoolchildren excited about healthy food through her work with Growing Chefs, gardens on her tiny patio, and pursues her passion for noodles.

Kristen Chant

Chef de Cuisine

In her native Australia, Kristen initially pursued a career in the arts, before changing direction and completing a course in hospitality management.  She realized that professional cooking was her true passion so pursued a chef apprenticeship. After 12 years earning accolades at hotels and restaurants in her hometown of Melbourne, Kristen decided to take some time to travel and explore the world. She eventually landed in England, where she spent 2.5 years running  kitchens, and honing her skills, before making her way to Vancouver.

She applied for a one year Canadian work visa and decided to try her hand at catering, joining Culinary Capers in 2007. At the end of that first year, neither our company nor Kristen were ready to say goodbye.  With company support, she received a visa extension and is now an integral part of our kitchen team as Chef de Cuisine.

Kristen loves the challenges of her job, from setting up kitchens in remote locations such as the Great wall of China, to creating innovative cuisine influenced by her travels around the globe.

She is known for her positive attitude, great sense of humour and endless patience in mentoring kitchen staff. Whenever she has the chance, Kristen enjoys immersing herself in different cultures, eating amazing street food and volunteering with nonprofit organizations worldwide.

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