Tag Archives: Live at Squamish

A Bit About Shannon, Chef

ShannonChef Shannon Oxley is our go-to gal in all of our catering operations – wherever Truffles goes, chances are she’ll be there!  Each day, she oversees all the food preparations for our VanDusen location, then delves into whatever catering ventures come up – everything from BBQs and weddings to phone orders and plated platters.  That’s what she loves most about the job: every day is different.  “We’re always busy,” she says happily. “There’s never a time when we’re looking for things to do or watching the clock.  We’ve always got new clients to cater, and our menus are never the same – we carefully tailor them to suit each individual, so they’re always tweaked to accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences. It definitely keeps us on our toes and pushes us to greater performance!

For many of us, that type of environment would seem stressful, if not completely overwhelming.  But not for Shannon! In her ninth year of working in the food industry, she still revels at every chance to experiment and grow as a chef. “I love having free range to get inventive and play with the menus till they’re just right. It’s great to work in an environment where the people are fun and creativity is encouraged.”

Needless to say, Shannon fits in perfectly here at Truffles.  Originally from Nova Scotia, her family moved to a farm in Port Hope, Ontario; since then, home-grown food has been part of her nature.  Throughout her childhood, she and her sisters would host family events and fancy tea parties for the British neighbours.  Later, she sought further adventure after high school, and landed a job at a golf course restaurant in Invermere. She then dedicated four and a half years to honing her skills at Stella’s (now known as BierCraft) before exploring a diverse array of other venues, including a butcher shop, various bars, and the Waldorf Hotel.  She graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver’s Culinary Program in 2011, and eagerly anticipates earning her Red Seal as she apprentices under Chef Reto here at Truffles.

Shannon and Staff “Learning on the fly, hands-on in the industry has definitely been the best way for me to grow,” she reflects. “For anyone who’s interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts, I would highly recommend they start right in the kitchen, on the job, and gain experience before investing in a formal education program. That’s the best way to find out if it’s truly where your heart lies.”

And there can be no doubt as to where Shannon’s lies! Even after a hard day’s work of catering with Truffles, she loves cooking real comfort food at home.Mac and cheese is my favourite thing to make on our menu,” she says, “because I love cheese and cream.  But at home, it’s meat on the BBQ, shepherd’s pie, roast chicken – and mussels, my absolute favourite!” Outside the kitchen, Shannon’s a real outdoor adventurist: you might see her hunting or fishing around the outskirts of Squamish, or hiking one of our many beautiful local mountains. She also nurtures an appreciation for the diverse arts and culture alive in the city, something she never experienced much in the small towns of her youth.

One day she hopes to work on the larger film industry trucks, catering to cast and crew on a full-time basis. Owning her own restaurant doesn’t hold her appeal, but she would consider operating a food truck that could “move with the business”. In a perfect world, however, she would reconnect with her roots and live on a self-sufficient farm, growing her own fresh produce and raising chickens and cows to her heart’s content.

Continue Reading

Excitement Ahead: Catering a Summer of Music

A summer rich with catering opportunities is coming to an exciting peak – this weekend, catch us at MusicFest Vancouver; next weekend we hit LIVE at Squamish for a lively gourmet, music-centered experience.  We absolutely love these festive pairings of music and culinary arts; they’re a large part of why we so cherish our Vancouver roots.  Rich arts, vibrant culture, exquisite food – what better wealth exists?

MusicFest MusicFest 2011 Regina Carter

MusicFest Vancouver, which began August 10th and closes on Sunday the 19th, celebrates its 12th season with over 40 phenomenal concerts and events.  It features a dynamic mix of classical, world, and jazz music performed by talented virtuosi from Canada and half a dozen other countries.  The perfect chance to “explore extraordinary music”, the festival spans the stages and centres of the city’s finest venues, incluKerplunks Band (large)ding CBC Plaza, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Christ Church Cathedral, Cory Weed’s Cellar Jazz Club, the Orpheum Theatre, the Vancouver Playhouse, the Vogue Theatre, and – to our particular delight – VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

Right here, in our ostensible backyard, we’ll have the great pleasure of hosting two of these spectacular events on the Great Lawn this Sunday: BMO Family Day, Music in the Garden (11am – 3pm) and World at the Garden, New York Voices (7pm-9pm).  The former features the musical whimsy of Charlotte Diamond and the Kerplunks, with stories from the Green Man, drumming with Groove Masters Percussion, and the Tom Lee Music Petting Zoo in between; the latter closes the wonderful Festival with an evening al fresco with cool vocal jazz, performed by the Grammy Award-winning ensemble that has delighted audiences worldwide.  Find out more about MusicFest Vancouver here.

New York Voices C Diamond banana hat

At this event, we’ll be offering an array of our favourite BBQ fare, including Tandoori Chicken Kebabs, Beef Souvlaki, luscious Potato Salad, and a spread of freshly-baked cookies and squares.  For the artists, we’ll be hosting a private affair catered with additional dishes like Roasted Corn and Squash, a Cumin-Scented Brown Rice Pilaf, and a flavourful Tomato Avocado Salad with crunchy spiced tortillas.

Catering Array

As for LIVE at Squamish, we’ll be rolling into the 3-day music festival (August 24th – 26th) with our state-of-the-art food truck, equipped with convection ovens, 10-foot walk-in coolers, a portable water system, 6000-watt generators, deep freeze, and swanky entertainment systems.  Our team will be onsite from the 23rd to the 27th, armed and ready with an exhibition of epicurian excellence.

food truckWhile spectators rock the Silent Disco, party at the Virgin Mobile Glamping sites, chill at the Molson Canadian Beer Garden, and take in three amazing stages, we’ll be plying a whole different party of musical greats like The Tragically Hip, City and Colour, The Airborne Toxic Event, Lights, Wintersleep, Rococode, Current Swell, Plants and Animals, the Pack A.D. and many more with our gourmet delectables.  Artists and crew members will feast to their hearts’ content on our best breakfast, hot lunch, sandwiches and burgers between putting on an incredible show for fans.  We’ll be right in the middle of all the action!  Check out the LIVE at Squamish website for more info.

Live@Squamish 2011 stage Live@Squamish 2011 at night

Now you know what’s keeping us busy this month – but don’t worry, we’re still here to serve you at both cafe locations.  Come by anytime – you just might hear an inside scoop or two while you visit!

Continue Reading

Alive after LIVE!

Truffles enjoyed a FANTASTIC weekend, along with over ten thousand guests, sponsors, staff, volunteers, artists, and vendors,  at one of the best years of the Live@Squamish yet.  Everything about it was ideal – the weather was amazing, our food was gratefully savoured by staff and performers, we got to meet some of the hottest stars in the music industry (including Weezer, Metric, Sweet Thing, the Zolas, Major Lazer, and Bend Sinister), and we completed all our catering ventures without a hitch, smiles abundant, and spirits high.  Who could ask for more?  Oh, let’s not forget that we also scored a bunch of wicked swag from all the sponsors, including little lemon-shaped bottle openers and a bunch of board games (you all know what’s happening around the coffee table next time we’re rained in!).  Thanks to all the support of fans and partners, the weekend was an enormous success for our modest little catering business, and with any luck the achievement will open more doors for future business. Even though it may have exhausted some of us into an even groggier state than the worst of all the other participants’ hangovers, the opportunity was beyond worthwhile.

Cool pics below:

Continue Reading