Yolanda MacLaren has had a passion for food preparation since childhood. Hanging off her grandmother's apron strings as she grew and learned the basics of cooking and baking.
Starting in the food industry in 1993 at the age of 17 she has many years of different forms of training. From simple cafe style foods up to classic french cuisine, and even baking and pastry.
Yolanda started with Dawn in 2012 and has never looked back. Starting off as a server and prep cook and moving quickly up to being the Sous Chef and later Catering Chef. Yolanda has worked hard to earn her Red Seal Certification in record speed, and takes any opportunity to learn new techniques and styles of food preparation.
Yolanda has volunteered with the Culinary Team BC, Been a chef for the Seafood Festival Gala reception and Seafood Festival Buyers Expo. Taking part in Flavour Festival and Filberg Festival, also Food Fest events with the Comox Valley Farmers Market and North Vancouver Island Culinary Association.
Yolanda is a standing board member for the North Vancouver Island Culinary Association, and often volunteers and talks to youth about entering the culinary field as the Junior Liason Officer.
Sourcing ingredients from as close to home as possible is important to Yolanda and leaving as little of an impact to the environment as she can.
Purchasing Custom Gourmet from Dawn Sept 1st 2019, Yolanda offers the same great quality and care, and continues on the ideals that Dawn McRae has instilled with Custom Gourmet over the years.
Dawn McRae is passionate about food and the founder of Custom Gourmet Catering 2004-2019
When Dawn attained her Culinary Certification with Red Seal in 2000, she never looked back. Her passion for food and her creative talents, enriched while working at multiple catering companies and restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria, marry to produce sumptuous meals that not only look beautiful but also taste wonderful.
Over 25 years in the industry has allowed her to develop a personal cooking style that is a fusion of West Coast and various international cuisines.
Dawn has decided to hang up her apron and continue on with world travels and retire from the Catering world. We wish her all the best in her continued success and travels.