Born and raised in Burnaby, Ashley began his foray into the culinary world in Vancouver. After making a move to London in 2010, Ashley was lucky enough to land a job at Viajante working with Nuno Mendes, alongside a very talented kitchen crew made up of travellers. It was there that his cooking began to be influenced by his co-workers and fellow slayers, an experience he is forever grateful for. Ashley has since set out on an endless pursuit for deliciousness which has taken him from London, back to Vancouver and on to In de Wulf in rural Belgium, via Copenhagen.
Born in Toronto, Justin’s first wine-related job was as a cellar rat in Ontario’s up-and-coming Prince Edward County. It wasn’t until he moved to Vancouver that he really began to get into wine. He cut his teeth at Chinatown’s Bao-Bei before joining the opening team at Wildebeest. Justin believes in honest wine that is both true to the place that it's made and true to the people who made it.
After gaining two-thirds of an english degree, Josh traded the frozen tundra of Edmonton for Vancouver, where he attended cooking school and landed a job at West Restaurant. In 2010, his mentor/tormentor sent him to work for the Galvin brothers in London, UK. Josh spent his spare time in London working at Viajante under the guidance of Leandro Carreira. Recent stints in forward-thinking restaurants in Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as extensive travels in northern Europe continue to influence Josh's cooking style and development. Since returning, he has dedicated himself to exploring his adopted home of the Pacific North West.
Native to the East Coast, James grew up on Cape Breton Island where his inspiration for cooking began under the influence of his mother. He studied business before deciding to pursue his true passion of cooking, and shortly thereafter enrolled at NSCC in Halifax. His culinary pursuits began under Chef Steve Galvin who soon became a mentor to James, eventually persuading him to travel west to work at Araxi Restaurant in Whistler and The Sonora Resort. It is in British Columbia where James has felt the most inspired, surrounded by the wilderness and mountains. James is especially interested in indigenous cultures and continues on his quest to pay homage to tradition and to honour the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Melanie first discovered her love of cooking while working on a private Salt Spring Island estate under the guidance and mentorship of Chef Belinda Schroeder. After attending culinary school on Vancouver Island, Melanie worked in Montreal for three years, where her most notable experience was at Lawrence Restaurant. There she conquered her fear of the bandsaw and tasted cod milt for the first time (delicious!). Since moving back west and working at Wildebeest, Melanie has begun to tackle the arts of bread making and pottery. She can't wait to continue to share what she has learned at future Elementa events.
Having completed his wine training in the Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Nick spent time refining his front of house prowess at Restaurant Gary Danko. Upon returning to the lower mainland, he moved into a shack on Crescent Beach and was for better or worse unleashed on the dining public of Vancouver. A Jack of all trades, Nick's service trademark consists of losing control of his temper and the dining room. In his limited downtime Nick enjoys: Giants Baseball, throwing dinner parties and riding his bike. He also owns every issue of Bon Appetite magazine published since 1974.