Based in Vancouver, B.C., Dennis spent 20 years in small restaurants, starting in the late ’80s, with a passion for the local food movement and the development of a pacific northwest regional cuisine.
Currently Dennis works as Director, Industry Workforce Development with go2HR, BC’s tourism HR association, supporting the training and development needs of the industry, and volunteers his time on the boards of the BC Chefs’ Association and the Potluck Cafe Society.
He is also a serious amateur musician, writing and recording original instrumental music in a number of genres.
A fifth generation British Columbian, Dennis was raised in Vancouver, and began cooking professionally in 1987 at the Avenue Grill, a small bistro in the Kerrisdale neigbourhood. After completing his apprenticeship, Dennis took a position as chef of Barbara-Jo’s from 1991 until 1993. He then moved on to Bishop’s, serving as the Sous Chef, until taking over the position of Executive Chef in the spring of 1997, a position he enjoyed until September, 2007.
As well as co- authoring Simply Bishop’s and Fresh (with John Bishop), his recipes have been featured in many publications, from international magazines such as Gourmet and Canadian Living, to several cookbooks such as: Vancouver Cooks; Bishop’s, the cookbook; Cooking at My House; On Cooking; Chefs in the Market Cookbook; and Pacific Flavours, among others.
Dennis has long been a passionate supporter of regional food and agriculture, and during his time in the restaurant business, created weekly menus that drew from a palette of sustainable, locally sourced ingredients, and helped to define what small regional restaurants should be. Working closely to develop relationships with farmers, foragers, and purveyors to focus the menu to reflect the season, he has been a leader in the process of creating an identity for what truly defines Pacific Northwest cooking. He has been featured as a Guest Chef internationally to share that passion with others.
Since 2007, Dennis has applied his 20 plus years of cooking and kitchen leadership experience to his current role at go2HR. In that role, Dennis has developed expertise in training and assessment, particularly in the field of apprenticeship training.
He also occasionally does consulting work for projects revolving around food, cooking, kitchen leadership and design.