Restaurent Central


2011 Conference Speakers

Educational Program Sponsor:


Chef Michael Allemeier has traveled the world and Canada learning his craft. Prior to joining SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) the 43 year old culinary adventurer had lived at 26 addresses on three continents. He started his first official kitchen job at the St. Boniface Golf Club in Winnipeg and spent time during his apprenticeship at the St. Charles Country Club. Finishing at the top of his class, Allemeier worked at the acclaimed restaurant Amici. Allemeier moved to Vancouver and while at Bishop’s Restaurant was promoted to Executive Chef in 1993. It was this restaurant’s high standards and commitment to using local, seasonal ingredients that defined Allemeier’s style as a chef! He moved to Whistler to work with Fairmont Hotels, as the Restaurant Chef of the Wildflower Restaurant and then to Calgary to be the Executive Chef of Teatro Restaurant.In 2003, Allemeier’s passion for food and wine pairing was realised with the call to man the stoves at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley. Here that he launched the Terrace Restaurant, created a culinary school, private dining program, retail line of preserves, designed and built Canada’s first Varietal Kitchen Garden and many other initiatives for sales and marketing. Allemeier is a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC), Canada’s highest professional culinary accreditation designation, Allemeier is also a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a food and wine organization originally founded in Paris in 1248. A published author, Michael co-authored the book Bishop’s - The Cookbook. In addition to this he has contributed recipes to several cookbooks such as: Anita Stewart’s Canada, Pacific Northwest - Wining and Dining, Cooking with BC Wines, Barbecue Secret Deluxe, Planking Secrets, On Cooking, Vancouver Cooks, High Plains – The Joy of Alberta Cuisine, Cook Like a Chef, Food and Wine – annual cookbook 2005 and Fresh Canadian Bistro.

His advice for aspiring cooks “One must have the right attitude, which is more important than experience. I can teach anyone anything in the kitchen, but the candidate has to want to learn and develop first!”

Presenting: Industry Roundtable

Robert Carter is a dynamic speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer behavior in the foodservice industry. A foodservice veteran of 20 years, Robert is an industry opinion leader frequently quoted in major newspapers and magazines; he appears on television newscasts and writes a regular column for Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine. Robert is a key note speaker at numerous industry events such as The Canadian Coffee Conference, The Alberta Foodservice Expo, The North American Tea conference, the North America Foodservice Packing Conference, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice show and the Foodservice Interchange conference. As Executive Director of Foodservice with the NPD Group, Robert provides key insights and strategy on consumer behaviour in the foodservice market, guiding Canadian, U.S. and global foodservice manufactures and operator business decisions.

Not shy of controversy and demonstrating his strong advocacy for the Canadian foodservice industry, a question he put to former U.S. President George Bush at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago made headlines and was broadcast on CNN. When not monitoring consumer behavior, he has become a dedicated ‘foodie’ sampling the delights of new restaurants performing what he calls “market research with a sample of one”.

Presenting: Industry Roundtable

Henry Chan is an Associate at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP where his litigation practice focuses on insurance law and general commercial disputes. His work on insurance matters includes coverage opinions and dispute resolution. Henry’s commercial litigation experience includes drafting pleadings and other legal documents, negotiating settlements, and advising clients throughout the litigation process. Henry also advises corporations and individuals on immigration matters and assists with temporary and permanent entry into Canada and the United States. Henry was called to the Alberta Bar 2007, received his LL.B. in Victoria (2006) and graduated with a B.Sc. with Distinction (Calgary 2001).

Presenting: Toto, We're Not in Kansas


Chef Cam Dobranski was sparked with a passion for cooking at a very young age through his studies, travels and collaboration with masters. Through his restaurants, Muse, Winebar Kensington, AKA Winebar and Brasserie Kensington, Owner/ Executive Chef Cam Dobranski brings his different styles and skills to each kitchen. Having refined his technique and culinary aesthetic, Cam has created the modern freestyle approach. He works with local producers, butchers and ingredients that have the same high quality and standards which are displayed in his open kitchen concept. Experience in high-end kitchens on both sides of the Atlantic, help Chef Dobranski bring an innovative concept to top tier dining – approachability!

Presenting: Industry Roundtable

Kevin Freeborn created Freeborn & Associates after 20 years of Senior Management in the Hospitality Industry. This Management Consulting practice is driven by his desire to help business succeed through the collective evolution of the organization. Leading companies, such as ARAMARK, Compass Group, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Fairmont Hotels have retained Kevin to provide advice that results in higher sales, lower costs, improved quality, reduced risk and increased customer satisfaction. Kevin received the 2003 Award for Excellence in Management Advisory Services from the FCSI (Foodservice Consultants Society International) for his work in HACCP Implementation. Kevin has created the National Food Safety Training Program’s Train-the-Trainer program for the CRFA. He has developed the food safety certification programs for the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation and has been recognized at one of their “All Star” trainers and Subject Matter Experts for HACCP. He has delivered programs recognized by the International HACCP Alliance for the National Sanitation Foundation and certified by the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council as a national Trainer for industry evaluation of other trainers and has earned the designation of Certified Management Consultant (CMC). He has been recognized and designated as a Professional Consultant for the Food Service Consultant’s Society International (FCSI). Kevin graduated from Guelph University with a Master’s in Business Administration. He is a published author and sought after speaker, Kevin's experience and education provide an insight into a business that continues to benefit his clients.

Presenting: Killer Food


Jill Holroyd joined Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) as Vice President of Research and Communications in 1997 and in 2009 was promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In this role Jill is responsible for integrated marketing, communication and public relations strategies to raise awareness of the foodservice industry among media, government and industry stakeholders. In addition, Jill and her team are responsible for a comprehensive research program to track, analyze and forecast foodservice industry performance and trends. She has also developed marketing and communication strategies for successful CRFA campaigns on issues ranging from meal taxes to dairy prices, and oversees the CRFA member magazine, Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News, as well as, an online resource centre for foodservice operators. Before joining CRFA, Jill worked for 13 years in communications and marketing at George Brown College in downtown Toronto and at Centennial College in Scarborough. She has a degree in Journalism from Ryerson University. The CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers and other members of Canada’s $61-billion foodservice industry. CRFA helps its members to grow and prosper by lobbying governments across Canada on key industry issues, and by offering an array of member services and money-saving programs.

Presenting: Foodservice Forecast


Andrea Holwegner, the “Chocoholic Dietitian” is founder and president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000, a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and a media expert for the Dietitians of Canada. Andrea is a regular guest on Global News-Morning, CITY-TV’s Breakfast Television, and columnist for the Calgary Herald newspaper and CBC News Online. She is an inspiring professional speaker who captures audiences with a buzz that’s better than caffeine with simple nutrition and lifestyle ideas to look and feel your best every day. As a consultant and spokesperson to the food industry and restaurants, Andrea draws on over a decade of experience learned from counselling thousands of clients. She helps marketers understand the needs of health conscious consumers and improve brand strategy and credibility of healthy products. Visit for more information.

Presenting: Bite-sized Changes for SUPERSIZED RESULTS - Nutrition for better energy, health and weight management

Barbara Krar is a certified Public Health Inspector and an Ontario Meat Hygiene Officer with over 30 years experience. She has worked throughout Canada at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels of government. With her specialty focus on food, Barbara has participated in many committees over the years including the Haines Report and EatSmart! She has been committed to ensuring that all learners have the opportunity to learn. Barbara has 20 years consulting experience in her own small business including HACCP & GMP audits which includes expertise in hands-on processes: inspection; investigation and compliance; development and implementation of policy and procedures; training professionals and the public; as well as research and development of continuing education programs for adult learners of varied backgrounds. Barbara was recruited to be the Subject Matter Expert Lead for developing courses for Keystone to Knowledge Corporation, a full range educational services based Canadian company.

Presenting: How to Work With Your Inspector

Munira Peermohamed is an experienced Environmental Public Health Professional (EPHP) with over 26 years of experience in the field. With the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors Certificate, CPHI(C) as well as a CDC Certificate in Epidemiology, she has worked with the local health authorities in various capacities as: food specialist/educator; social (adult/child) care consultant; recreational, housing and personal services specialist; infection prevention & control complaints specialist; and as food/waterborne illness and enteric outbreak coordinator. She has been involved in the decision-making local/provincial regulatory committees and projects.

In her voluntary projects, Munira has worked extensively on national and international public health projects for mass gatherings, emergency response, infection prevention and control, and H1N1 awareness materials.

Munira’s consulting/auditing experiences include third party audits of a major international hospital, large educational institutions, adult care facilities, medical clinics and major oil and gas company workcamps.

Presenting: The Changing Faces of E.coli

S. Leonard Polsky, Counsel at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP, involves a broad spectrum of commercial disputes, construction law, wrongful dismissal actions, human resource policies, the purchase and sale of businesses, corporate downsizing and the drafting of employment contracts, non-competition agreements and confidentiality agreements. His clients include individuals, small businesses and multi-national corporations. Len has provided advice on insurance coverage disputes, property and liability claims (including multi-million dollar construction disputes) and has successfully defended insureds on claims involving fires, explosions, pipeline construction and environmental liability.

Len has extensive trial and appellate experience. He has appeared before the courts of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, the Supreme Court of Canada, and in private Alternative Dispute Resolution processes and judicially-supervised mediation proceedings before the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Len was called to the Alberta Bar (1983) the Hague Academy of International Law (1981) and received his LL.B. and B.C.L. with Honours (McGill, 1981)

Presenting: Toto, We're Not in Kansas

Chef Liana Robberecht, began her training with the Professional Cooking Program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Edmonton) and passing the Red Seal qualifying examinations in 1995. A course in Two Dimensional, Three Dimensional Art & Design, Sculpting Design at Alberta College of Art (Calgary) followed in 1996, and in 1998 she completed the Dubrulle French Culinary School (Vancouver) Professional Pastry Arts and Desserts Program. As Executive Chef at the Calgary Petroleum Club since 2002, Chef Liana is passionately committed to regional cuisine. A farm-to-table philosophy pervades the three kitchens and staff of 45 under her leadership. This commitment extends out from her kitchen to include fellow chefs, diners and food enthusiasts in the community at large as evidenced by her involvement in professional organizations and participation in special and educational events for the public. Her professional memberships include the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Board , and the SAIT Advisory Committee for the Professional Cooking Program for which she is chairperson which substantiate her commitment to education of up and coming chefs.

Presenting: Cooking Stage

Glenn Robertson has spent the last thirty five years as a student of the food Industry. Inspired by his grandfather who had spent some of his career as a grocer and baker, Glenn started baking as a youngster with a national grocery chain after school, and within a few short years managed a bakery in Halifax. Various roles with national chain restaurants and hotels quickly lead to an opportunity with Clover Group, a newly formed food distribution company.

Those years allowed Glenn to learn the dynamics of the distribution business throughout the Maritime Provinces opening several facilities as the industry continued to mature. Clearwater, the leading shellfish exporter took note of Glenn’s success and offered an opportunity beyond the domestic market, to manage distribution, marketing and sales from a global perspective, as Director of Sales and Distribution.

When Oshawa Group formed the first national food service distribution company Serca, Glenn was approached to be part of their team as divisional leader of Atlantic Canada. Further opportunity came by way of moving to Calgary, heading up the rapidly expanding Southern Alberta market.

Early in 2003 Glenn was offered the role of leading Groupex. As CEO of Canada's largest group purchasing organization for independent operators he helped bring significant value to Groupex members and to their vendor partners.

After departing Groupex, and several years as successful owner of multiple businesses, Glenn returned in 2010 to the part of the food business he is most passionate about, distribution. He is currently Director of Marketing and Procurement, for GFS Calgary where he continues to be a student of the industry.

Presenting: Industry Roundtable

Chef Paul Rogalski, is the very personable Co-Owner and Chief Culinary Officer of Rouge Restaurant. Chef Rogalski met his business partner Olivier Reynaud in the mid-90s. They discovered mutual respect for each other’s professional abilities and experience, and a common dream of using their vast restaurant experience to create their own fine dining establishment in Calgary. The dream was for a restaurant that would showcase the best cuisine and service that Calgary had ever experienced by tapping into their cumulative 38 years of international experience and provide them with the opportunity to be really chatty with their patrons! Paul and Olivier have independently cultivated their skills and culinary perspective in nine different countries. They knew if they could take the best in service and food preparation from their experiences, they could dazzle patrons, food critics and food writers, alike. In May of 2001, Paul and Olivier combined their tremendous experience to create The Cross House Restaurant, and in April 2003 introduced us to ROUGE - At The Cross House. Since the formation of their partnership, they have enjoyed outstanding reviews. It’s more than just the critics who are taking notice, though. Calgarians are making ROUGE a part of their Calgary culinary scene.

Presenting: Cooking Stage

Chuck Rose is known as the Attitude Tuner. Team building excellence and loving his customers are just two of the reasons why Chuck has had a long history of success. He has succeeded in two fields, independent restaurants and entertainment. Chuck is the Managing Partner and proud proprietor of one of Calgary’s most successful pubs, the Hose & Hound Neighbourhood Pub. A sought after solo entertainer, Chuck has been delighting audiences across Canada for over thirty years. He has combined his entrepreneurial and entertainment skills to share the lessons he learned from over forty years in the hospitality industry. If you’re looking for real-life lessons, from an industry professional, Chuck will get you laughing, learning and singing.

Presenting: Love’em or Lose’em: Finding and Keeping the Best Employees


Heather Sanderson, Counsel at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP, regularly advises North American insurers and, on occasion, European re-insurers on all matters related to the defense of covered commercial and personal lines claims. In addition to being a skilled advocate, she has extensive experience with policy drafting, providing coverage opinions on property and liability policies of every description, defending property and casualty claims of all descriptions, actions within the self-insured retention and bad faith actions. Heather has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and all levels of Courts in Alberta, and was co-counsel on the longest civil trial in the history of the Northwest Territories. Heather has testified as an expert witness on insurance and civil litigation issues before the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Quebec Superior Court. The two major works Heather has authored are standard industry reference materials and are on the required reading lists of several Canadian universities and community colleges. Both works have been cited in numerous insurance publications and by courts across Canada. Heather was called before the Alberta Bar in 1982 and has her LL.M. (Alberta, 1988) and LL.B. with Honours (McGill, 1981).

Presenting: Toto, We're Not in Kansas

Mark von Schellwitz combines two of his passions – the hospitality industry and public affairs - as Vice President-Western Canada of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. His involvement in the hospitality industry came at a young age as his family built, owned and operated, a small resort hotel on Vancouver Island. While obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Mark helped support his education by working part time at various Vancouver restaurants. In 1985, Mark completed his degree and his interest in Canadian politics took him to Ottawa, where he became an Assistant to the Honourable Pat Carney in two portfolios, Minister of Energy Mines and Resources and International Trade. In 1988, he returned to Vancouver and worked as the BC Regional Assistant to the Minister of Western Economic Diversification. In 1991, Mark moved to Vancouver Island to manage the family’s resort hotel for the next five years. During that time he successfully expanded the business to include a new neighbourhood pub. In 1997, Mark returned to Vancouver and accepted a government affairs manager position with Canada’s largest hospitality industry association, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. In 2001, Mark was appointed the association’s Vice President for Western Canada. Mark’s work on numerous public policy issues over the years has helped CRFA members in the challenging foodservices industry grow and prosper. Mark continues to be a strong advocate for the hospitality industry and represents CRFA on numerous small business and tourism related organization boards and committees. Mark is currently the Chairman of the Coalition of BC Businesses and is a past Chairman of Go2 (BC’s resource for people in tourism).

Presenting: Industry Roundtable

Chris Thomas is Labour Strategies Manager for The TDL Group Corporation (Tim Hortons). Chris has fifteen years’ experience in the development and application of organizational effectiveness strategies, including ten years’ experience in the international recruitment field.Chris holds Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology and Sociology, specializing in organizational behaviour and personnel selection.

Presenting: Industry Roundtable



David West is the founding partner of eKzact Solutions Inc., a full service internet marketing agency, and Continuus Internet Consulting Inc. David is that rare breed of speaker who comes from a technical background, but doesn’t sound like it. In fact, he prides himself on adding a healthy dose of fun to every keynote, breakout, and training series he gives. As he tells it, there is a lot for business owners and managers to learn, but that doesn’t mean you have to “speak geek” to teach them. There isn’t any such thing as a business or industry that can afford to ignore the Internet anymore and David teaches audiences how to understand and compete in the areas that matter most.

Presenting: Social Media - It's Your Business. It's Your Reputation.




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 Thank you, to our 2012 Sponsors
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