Chef James Holehouse
Executive Pastry Chef– Edmonton Shaw Convention Centre
James discovered his passion for cooking early when he started working in the culinary field at the age of 14. Taking his Culinary Arts training in Toronto, he realized that the creativity of making pastry appealed to him. So he returned home to Edmonton to do his baking apprenticeship at NAIT and the Shaw Conference Centre. After completing his apprenticeship he went on to work in Banff and Calgary for 5 years before being asked to return to the Shaw Conference Centre as the Executive Pastry Chef, where he currently runs the production pastry shop with 10 staff.
Between 2000 and 2005 James competed with Culinary Team Alberta and Culinary Team Canada, capturing the World Championship title in 2002 (Luxembourg) and 2005 (Scotland). Plans are under way to return to competing with the National team for the 2010-2012 term. James loves to travel, and has been fortunate to train with top pastry chefs in Paris, Florida, Washington DC, and Edmonton in such skills as sugar blowing/pulling, pastillage, gumpaste flowers, chocolate showpieces, and wedding cakes. This constant state of learning new ideas and skills is what keeps James passionate about the Pastry Arts.
Sous Chef Serge Belair
Sous Chef– Edmonton Shaw Convention Centre
Born and raised in small town Gatineau, Quebec in 1978, Serge was raised by a family who enjoyed the experience of cooking. Serge spent two years at Centre Relais de la Lievre/Seigneurie learning and perfecting his culinary arts. After graduating from culinary school in 1998, Serge spent the next few years refining the art of cooking, loving the fact that everyday you learn something new, and the experience of becoming a Chef has been and continues to be the highlight of his life.
Since graduating, Serge went on to work at La Pergola Italian Restaurant for five years then turned on to French Belgian cooking for another year where skill and dedication were critical.
In 2005, Serge decided to move to Alberta and expand his culinary knowledge and talent at the Shaw Conference Centre, where today he is, delegating, inventing, building new and innovative recipes. Recipes have been challenging yet thrilling for Serge taking part in creating recipes for the Gold Medal Plate, Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, Festival of Trees, Snowflake Gala and VIP’s for Chef Simon. Serge has also mentored two students for competing in the Knorr Junior Chef Competition and Junior Skills Competition both winning a gold medal.