Welcome, Julien!

Julien Toscano-Saoui has entered the building as our new food services coordinator. Working in Vancouver’s restaurant scene since he was 16, he fully embarked on his culinary journey at Mahoney’s Tavern (Vancouver Convention Centre location) before moving on to help open Tap & Barrel‘s North Vancouver location, oversee Tacofino‘s food trucks, work as chef de partie at Kitsilano’s Oddfish Restaurant and, most recently, as sous chef at Yolks on W. Broadway.

Only a few weeks into his new Kerrisdale Community Centre Society role, Toscano-Saoui says: “I like it, it’s exciting, it’s fun. I love the team . . . I’m really lucky to have people here that take care of everyone.”

Looking to add his own flair to the Seniors Lunch menu, he envisions more international cuisine, perhaps one day a week to start. Growing up in a multicultural house in Vancouver (his father is Lebanese-Palestinian, his mother French Canadian-Italian), he’d like to bring Middle Eastern touches and more Italian dishes to the table.

“I hope I live up to everyone’s expectations,” says Toscano-Saoui. “From a young age, I’ve had it in my heart that I want to cook for people.”

Sounds like he’s off to a great start, and the recent gift of an industrial food processor from the Kerrisdale Seniors Council – presented by chair Richard Dopson (photo below, left) – is sure to be a boost to Toscano-Saoui’s innovations and the kitchen overall.

And So Long, Lis!
Though she was our food services coordinator for a mere eight months, Lis Dixson  (photo above, right) still managed to change things up on the menu with new dishes like chicken biryani and teriyaki salmon – all the while making many friends among her senior lunch guests.

Her favourite memory during her time here: “My first intro to the kitchen, when I met the crew before starting the job. What sticks with me is Joel’s big smile as I entered the kitchen. It was so welcoming and kind.” (Joel Lecap is a food services assistant.)

Recently buying a house in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, Dixson and her husband look forward to small-town life and having their own yard.


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