CLAUDIA HIGO | DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & CATERING
Claudia’s expertise ranges from an extensive Food & Beverage background as she is an accomplished Red Seal Chef (2007) and she also holds a Hospitality & Business Degree (2010). Formally working for Starbucks as the Research & Development Executive Chef in North America, she managed the main production facility for the Province of British Columbia. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge having worked with many major aircraft carriers (Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Japan Airlines, XiamenAir) and multiple prestigious hotels (Hilton Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Pan Pacific Vancouver) in the Greater Vancouver area.
Claudia is both thoughtful and thorough, detailing a high level of professionalism with her approach in always providing exceptional customer service – and this is what makes her truly special. Her ability to make all our clients feel welcomed at each event ensures for an unforgettable experience. When not at work, Claudia can be found spending quality time with her friends and family, her partner and daughter on the local mountains hiking, biking and focusing on her personal physical fitness.
ANDY SLINN | EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Andy Slinn is the Executive Chef at The Joseph Richard Group and has been a key part of the team since the opening of Townhall Public House Langley in 2010. Chef Slinn earned his Red Seal certification in 2011 and had over ten years’ experience in a lead culinary role prior to joining the company. Andy was the first chef hired at The Joseph Richard Group and is responsible for having developed the food and beverage selection that is currently available at all JRG establishments and divisions.
DESEREE LO | HEAD CHEF
Chef Deseree’s culinary journey started after working in the finance sector in New York City in the mid-2000s, before deciding to pursue a lifelong passion for cooking that had been simmering on the back burner for years. She came by it honestly – her culinary desire was instilled in her at an early age while growing up in a multigenerational family of talented home cooks in Taiwan and eating at night markets and street stands with friends.
She went back to her roots, enrolled at the French Culinary Institute and from there embarked on a decade-long career that saw her hone her skills and climb the culinary ladder at some top New York City restaurants, including Bar Masa, La Grenouille and Locanda Verde. She came to Vancouver in 2016 and stepped into the role of sous chef at CinCin Ristorante + Bar, before joining the team at Old Bird as its opening chef in 2020 and then moving on to the role as executive chef and sales director at Fresh Ideas Start Here (FISH) during the pandemic. Chef Dez most recently competed on season 10 of Top Chef Canada before joining the team as Head Chef at Blank Canvas Catering.
COLIN BURSLEM | CULINARY DIRECTOR
Chef Colin Burslem has a diverse culinary background with over 20 years’ experience in hotels, restaurants, catering, private dining, philanthropic events, weddings and consulting. In 2017 Chef Colin participated in an Accor Group chef exchange at their headquarters in Paris, France and in the same year received the People’s Choice Award from Chef Meets BC Grape. Chef Colin’s most recent accolade in 2020 is the notable Vancouver Notch8 which was named Best Vancouver Lounge.
CULINARY AND SERVICE TEAM
Blank Canvas Catering provides JRG trained culinary and service teams. With the guest experience being the guiding principle, you can expect the best with a notable culinary team and a genuinely kind-hearted service team.
Sean Cousins, Director of Culinary
Sean joined The Joseph Richard Group in September 2018 after an impressive history as Executive Chef and Co-Owner of SoCial at Le Magasin in Gastown. He graduated from the Professional Culinary Program at Dubrulle Culinary Institute and he spent time training in London, England, working at the Dorchester Hotel and the Michelin 3-star L’Odeon Restaurant. Upon returning to Vancouver, Cousins moved to C restaurant to work with Chef Robert Clark and “discover and understand contemporary skills after working in many classical environments”. He has worked as Executive Chef for Raincity Grill and was Executive Chef/Partner in Ocean 6 Seventeen on the False Creek Waterfront. He most recently completed 10 years as Executive Chef at the Vancouver Club.
Andy Slinn, Executive Chef
Chef Andy Slinn has been a key part of The Joseph Richard Group team since the opening of Townhall Public House Langley in 2010. Chef Slinn earned his Red Seal certification in 2011 and has over ten years’ experience in a lead culinary role. Andy was the first chef hired at The Joseph Richard Group and is responsible for having developed the food and beverage selection that is currently available at all JRG establishments. In addition to working directly with Chef Cousins, Chef Slinn will continue to work directly with our instore culinary teams to ensure the highest level of food product is presented at each of our locations.
David Jorge, Corporate Chef
After years of self-directed culinary studies, experimentation with techniques and ingredients, and honing his skills through events and gatherings, Jorge’s lifelong dedication to his passion for cooking secured his victory on MasterChef Canada Season 2, where he earned the title of his dreams: Chef.
Following his MasterChef victory, Chef David Jorge joined The Joseph Richard Group as Corporate Chef. He began developing the menu for the latest concept, S+L Kitchen & Bar, including his signature ‘Dream Seasoning’, his famous Master Chicken, and the Sablefish that started it all, while also adding many exciting dishes to the menus at other JRG establishments. Chef Jorge’s contributions reflect a love of comfort food and honest flavours.