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Through tough times, great creativity is born. No industry knows this more than the hospitality industry. Although the global coronavirus pandemic has dealt out some blows, Toronto’s food industry keeps fighting. Come join moderator Roberto Sarjoo (Restaurants Canada) as he leads the conversation on how some business owners have pivoted to meet the unique challenges that have faced them in 2020. Panelist include Meagan Bowden (Phancy Food & Catering), Martine Bauer (Pompette), Shane Harker (Rethink Resource) and more.


Martine Bauer has an impressive CV including heading the kitchen at, Hôtel de Matignon, the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. After vacationing in Toronto, Martine decided to follow her dreams to open her own restaurant with partners Jonathan Bauer and Maxime Hoerth. Then right as they were set to open, the pandemic hit. Pompette (which means to be in a blissful state) had to change course. They went from “to go” to the neighbourhood “go to” with their contemporary French dishes made with seasonal local ingredients. You’ll find Martine baking fresh sourdough spelt bread in the sleepy hours of dawn in the wake of a new world.


Meagan Bowden is the chef and owner of Phancy Food & Catering. After graduating from Ryerson University’s journalism program Meagan immediately turned to Toronto’s food industry. She’s worked in restaurants, catering, farmers markets, and any freelance work she could grab, plus her own side hustles including selling cheesecake to a local bar and catering for her own clients. Fast forward to three years later and Phancy Food & Catering is her full-time job. Meagan is also the founder of Female Foodie Entrepreneur Network – a group comprised of 500 women in the food industry who meet to discuss topics unique to women in the industry.

Shane Harker is the founder of Canada's most comprehensive and environmentally friendly waste management company; Rethink Resource. He is on a mission to make the world a better place by diverting waste from the landfill and contributing to a circular economy. 

Will Lew studied zoology and animal biology at the University of British Columbia. What led him to become a chef was his grandfather’s inspiration of and love of cooking and creativity. Will started as a dishwasher at a local Vancouver restaurant and worked his way up to cooking at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Then the opportunity to combine his love for food and zoology presented itself to his now position as chef at the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Café. It’s the perfect space for Will to showcase his food creations while also teaching others about the wonder and appreciation for our oceans.



Roberto Sarjoo: As the Director of Marketing and Communications at Restaurants Canada, Roberto Sarjoo oversees all brand marketing as well as MENU Magazine for the 30,000 members belonging to Restaurants Canada and the industry at large, including restaurants, bars, caterers and other foodservice providers.

Sunday, Oct 25th 3:30pm – 4:30pm

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