Chef. James joined the Maple Leaf Adventures team in 2013 and has been cooking on the remote west coast of British Columbia for 20 years. With a background in art and music James brings a strong creative edge to his culinary creations. A talented chef, James also leads the management of our on board food and provisioning systems for both MV Swell & SV Maple Leaf, enjoying the planning process as well as providing beautiful and delicious meals. James began working aboard SV Maple Leaf and now predominately is found aboard MV Swell, travelling to every one of our trip areas. Guests aboard the ships are a highlight for James as he truly enjoys working with people who are on a holiday adventure, people are at peace and happy and he is delighted that he can contribute to that experience. It is a great passion of his being able to contribute to something that creates happiness and provides a necessary service. Working aboard the ships in a wilderness setting is perfect for James, taking in the good air, freedom, and adventures that the trips entail. Few other chefs get to witness the wild BC coast from their own galley, cooking and exploring the coast all at one time. It is in this natural setting that James is his calmest self. Interesting fact: Jacques Cousteau is James’ hero. A fitting match for a man at sea. Photo: James and his hero Photo credit: Wendhi Gale
Red Seal Chef Food Safe Marine First Aid Marine Emergency Duties A2
Chef. For Lila, working aboard the Maple Leaf was a natural fit. Her culinary background in remote lodges, and as she states “working in tight crazy places with limited equipment”, made her a perfect fit!
Originally from Vancouver, Lila has traveled and sailed all over the world, notably the South Pacific and New Zealand.
Lila’s professional training included an apprenticeship at the world famous Wickinninish Inn in Tofino, BC, and a red seal certification.
Lila prides herself on her creative flare in the kitchen and flexibility of styles, from French petit four pastries to an array of international flavours. She concentrates on the freshest ingredients and natural flavours of the food. Lila presently lives in Cumberland with her husband and young son. On every tour Lila delights our guests with her beautiful food and lovely spirit.
Red Seal Chef Food and Beverage Management, Dubrelle Culinary Institute Culinary Arts Diploma, Dubrelle Culinary Institute Food Safe Level 2 Serving It Right Marine First Aid
Chef. Tom’s ‘call of the wild’ began when he was a boy, constantly surrounded by food. The arts of gathering, preparing and adventuring became second nature to him through time he spent at his family cottage retreat near Muskoka. Away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto, he came alive in the forests, and gardens, watching the golden hues of the sun setting in the west. The family always had something on the go there, from jam making as a way of preserving the wild blueberries to picking and drying an assortment of fungi. Back in Toronto, his parents, immigrants from the Czech republic, worked hard to establish their delicatessen, The Prague. Living there above the restaurant, home, food and business co-mingled, creating an environment for life that still motivates Tom. Tom’s cooking is influenced by his childhood, his apprenticeships with amazing chefs Henry Marcan, Susur Lee and John Higgins, and also profoundly by a visit to the Czech republic. The combination of rustic countryside and cultural richness that Tom found there has influenced him to this day. He ran the family deli for years in Toronto before striking out west. Tom looks forward to serving you a cuisine inspired by the nature of the BC and Alaska coast. Interesting facts about Tom: he can start a fire without modern day materials, he owns a teepee and he likes to cook with hot rocks. Also, he is apparently a medicine man. Hopefully, we won’t have to test this theory!
Red Seal Chef – apprentice with John Higgins at the King Edward Hotel
Marine Emergency Duties A2
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency
Red Seal in progress
Chef. It’s probable that Yasmin’s family have been culinary magicians since ancient times. Her last name means chef in Arabic, and on both sides of her Argentinian-Palestinian family, cooks of all kinds — chefs and chocolatiers, caterers and restauranteurs — arise in every generation.
With such deep, possibly genetic, roots in the art of cooking, it should come as no surprise that Yasmin instinctually knew at age 8 that she’d be a chef. Yasmin appreciates the element of mystery about what a day on the Maple Leaf will hold — and the inspiration she can take from the day’s events, weather, environment and from her guests themselves, for the dishes she creates.
Yasmin has travelled extensively and explored the world through food and cooking. Now she’s exploring the vast world of the British Columbia and Alaska coastline in the same way.
She likes to make modern takes on classic dishes — food that inspires memories and nostalgia in people, about good moments with food in the past. “Because,” she says, “when people relive the good moments, it keeps those moments going.” Some of these dishes include her secret spiced coffee rubbed chicken, and her Japanese inspired scallop carpaccio.
When not travelling, she lives on Vancouver Island.