I was born the youngest of 3 daughters. My upbringing was very typical of a middleclass Canadian family. Hard working parents, extracurricular driven children and nightly family dinners worked into our daily routines. I struggled for a very long time to fit in with my older sisters. Our differences physically, mentally and emotionally struck a huge barrier on the enjoyment of each other’s company in the young, influential years in my life. In my childhood I grew jealous of my sister’s deep and connected relationship with one another. I often created a lot of negative attention at home trying to fit in, and my interactions with them would result in a fight and tears. When my voice wasn’t being heard or taken seriously, I would feel the fire building inside of me to express every emotion that I was feeling at that very moment. For someone who is driven by passion, heat and excitement, expressing myself in a calm manor was never an option. My sisters knew how to get a rise out of me, which forced me to avoid them on a personal level and not allow myself to be vulnerable to their judgments.
In many areas of my life I felt I had to prove myself – athletics, coaches, family, academics and above all responsible life choices.The one area I never had to prove myself was with bringing groups of friends and family together to celebrate and enjoy the lighter moments in life. No judgments, no arguing, no competition. Celebrating what matters most in love and life and breaking down barriers by connecting people with people and memorable experiences.
Flocking to large groups of friends who valued my talents and didn’t try to pick out my flaws was an easy environment to thrive in. I always had a lot of friends and I strived to be a leader, the center of attention and someone they looked up to.
As I grew older, the place where I found my happiness with my family was around the dinner table. I was given an opportunity to voice my opinions, and give feedback on the food we were eating. Every meal we shared had a story or an experience tied to it. We ate to tell stories, create memories and preserve traditions. Food shapes my family and to this day connects us all on equal, common ground.
These influences have shaped my destiny to connect people on a deeper level of understanding and appreciation. Food allows us to open up and be heard with equal opportunity. It allows the need as humans to connect, share and feel a part of something special. My focus is to touch as many hearts as possible with my food. My passion, heat and fire has been refocused to see opportunity in my differences to create a unique and special food entertainment experience. Design to Dine allows me to build relationships with my clients to highlight their stories and create memories and connections with the people they love and cherish.
All throughout my childhood I was very soft spoken and content with keeping to myself. I was not a confident speaker and often had troubles expressing myself and was concerned with what others would think if I opened up to them. I was comfortable being unexpressive and showing few emotions.
At school most people knew of me and I knew of them, but I never fully integrated myself socially or connected with peers on a personal level to grow long lasting relationships. I never found myself invited or taking the opportunity to attend large social gatherings. I became complacent and comfortable not meeting new people. At home my personality would come across to my family as “not caring”. This was unintentional and understandably misread because I was quiet which lead to frequent arguments with my mom and sister.
I spent a lot of time with my dad growing up and looked up to him greatly. His work ethic, creativity and knowledge inspired me. Much of the personal time we spent together was often in silence. We had each other’s company but vocally we were not very expressive. In an accident at a very young age my dad lost his father and spent many of his teenage years growing up without a dad. My dad related to and supported me the best he knew how.
Meeting Alison in 2008 was the best thing that ever happened to me. She was the outgoing, expressive, emotional and personable half of me that I was missing. She has taught me the value of relationships and being relatable.
Growing up in my household, special events, celebrations and even daily dinners were more often than not viewed as high tension, stressful times. My mom would take on all the responsibilities due to her own pride. Days leading up to the special event, tension in the house would run high and my mom spend the whole time in the kitchen unable to enjoy the event herself. My mom was rarely treated to being a guest at her own event. When social gatherings would commence a common phrase would be: “Thank God we don’t have to do that for another year.”
It is with Design to Dine that I am passionate about expressing myself, connecting with new people and trying new things daily. I am no longer shy and quiet, instead I enjoy connecting with new people on a personal level. Providing food entertainment services at events makes me feel as though I am an important part of the parties that I was never invited to as a child. I love hearing the stories of others and their visions for their events to understand how important these social moments are in their lives. I take great pride in ensuring clients are treated to being guests at their own events and they can fully enjoy themselves amongst their company. It is these events that define who our clients are and it is important that they are enjoying them without stress or worry.