Next Monday, August 15, the WORTH Association is hosting a sold-out long table dinner called Yes Shef! at  Vancouver’s Chambar. WORTH stands for Women Of Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality, and according to president Joanna Jagger, their “mission is to educate, elevate, empower and advocate to see more women in leadership roles.” Yes Shef! is an action point of this advocacy mission—they’re bringing together female industry leaders—“shefs” and sommeliers “who desire equal representation in hospitality leadership,” says Jagger­—and pairing them with female student apprentices in order to create five unique courses with complimentary wine pairings. 

Yes Shef 5Credit: Mark Kinskofer of Vision Photos

The event was co-founded by chef Tia Kambas of Chambar. Jagger explains that they “both felt inspired to create an event where up-and-coming culinary students can partner with an established female chef and sommelier to gain important mentorship and experience.”

Yes Shef 3Chef Tia Kambas and her student apprentice. (Credit: Mark Kinskofer of Vision Photos)

The mentorship portion of Yes Shef! is what makes it so special—of course the dinner itself is set to be an exceptional feast—but the commitment to the next generation of chefs is rewarding not just as a diner, but of course as a participant. In addition to the mentorship itself, all participating students earn a scholarship to help them fund their education in culinary arts. As a graduate of culinary school myself, I know it’s not cheap, and this can make a huge difference in laying the foundation for the future of the industry. 

Yes Shef 1Credit: Mark Kinskofer of Vision Photos

The event is hosted by Meeru Dhalwala of Vij’s and My Bambiri who explains that she hopes that the event will be uplifting for all women—especially because according to Tourism HR Canada, over 10,000 women left the B.C. hospitality industry from June 2019 to June 2022. Dhalwala says that they’re “hoping that this event will not only empower the women in the industry, but entice those who left to come back.”

Yes Shef 3Chef Tia Kambas and her student apprentice. (Credit: Mark Kinskofer of Vision Photos)

 READ MORE:  Restaurateur Meeru Dhalwala Introduces "My Bambiri"

 Yes Shef 2Chef Andrea Carlson and her student apprentice. (Credit: Mark Kinskofer of Vision Photos)

Some of the notable chefs and sommeliers in Yes Shef! include: