©2019 by Come Home For Dinner

Past Hosts

Marnie and Matthew Consky

ENTREPRENEUR AND INJURY LAWYER

Marnie is CEO and Chief Anti-Chafing Crusader at Thigh Society (www.thighsociety.com), a women's anti-chafing underwear company on a body positive mission to help women dress comfortably, confidently and free of body shame. While she mostly stays out of the kitchen (except to bake), she loves to eat and especially enjoys tasting all of her husband's (and neighbours'!) culinary concoctions. Matt is a personal injury lawyer with the Kahler Law Firm. In addition to his busy practice, in 2013 Matt obtained his culinary certification through the George Brown Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

Darcy Farrell and Donal Ward-McCarthy, Mike Layton and Brett Tryon

SICK KIDS REGISTERED NURSE/REALTOR/CITY COUNCILLOR WARD 19

Darcy is a nurse at sick kids hospital as well as a hyper pulmonary community nurse. Currently she’s on maternity leave having given birth to her son Gleeson on the 1st of January. Further more she’s a part time pilates instructor. 

Donal, born in Ireland came here in his twenties and loved Toronto so much he decided to make Canada his home. Passionate about many things, he’s always tried to give back to homeless and mental illness causes. A professional realtor he works helping people with their home needs, as a hobby musician he writes songs about the concept of home. Donal believes that the most home of all is the home we make within our minds.

Mike Layton - After years of working for one of Canada's leading environmental charities, Environmental Defence, Mike was elected to Toronto City Council in 2010 where he is now serving his second term as the City Councillor for Ward 19. Mike serves on a variety of City of Toronto boards including the Parks and Environment Committee, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Heritage Toronto, Artscape, Exhibition Place and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Mike is also an avid chef with a growing interest in canning and pickling. Mike spends his mornings playing ukulele for his young daughter Phoebe.

Brett Tryon is an avid birder and environmentalist. She travelled throughout North America and abroad monitoring songbirds before moving to Toronto, where she coordinated a bird banding station at the Leslie Street Spit. Since 2012, Brett has worked for Environmental Defence as the National Program Manager for Blue Flag, an eco-certification for beaches and marinas. Brett is also a passionate artist, with a focus on wildlife and portrait paintings. She is currently enjoying maternity leave with her daughter Phoebe.

Eron Novalski with Chef Nicolas Comazzi

CHEF

“I started my culinary career with 5 years of culinary school in Italy . I spent the next 5 years working in an Italian restaurant . At the aged of 20 I moved to London U.K. where I had the luck to work for many fine dining restaurants, including an experience at " Luciano Ristorante " owned by 3 Michelin star Chef Marco Pierre White . After 7 years in London I move to Canada . My first Job was in a small French Bistro call " Bistro 990 " . I also spent one year working for Oliver and Bonaccini and open the restaurant " Canteen " on King Street . I also was lucky enough to work for 5 years as senior sous chef at the " Granite Club " - the number one rated private club in North America . After an experience as Executive Chef at " Markland Wood golf club ", 10 months ago I joined the Aria Team” – Chef Nicholas Comazzi

Chef Eron Novalski began his culinary journey in the kitchen as a toddler, creating his own recipes. Upon graduation in Culinary Management at George Brown College, he studied at Le Manoir Culinary Institute in Paris. After completing his studies, Eron embarked on a wine and culinary tour through France and Italy and returned to Canada with a broader knowledge of French and Italian cuisine. A passionate food aficionado, Eron brought with him to Noce a wealth of knowledge acquired through his travels abroad. Just as he did in the kitchen at Noce, as Aria's Executive Chef, he spares no expense in sourcing the freshest, highest quality ingredients to create dishes of elegant simplicity.

Andrew Younghusband

HOST & WRITER

As host of "Canada's Worst Driver", "Canada's Worst Handyman" and his new hit show "Don’t Drive Here", Andrew Younghusband has become the most recognizable face on Discovery Channel in Canada. Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Andrew now lives in downtown Toronto.

Marni Whitaker and Richard Wozenilek

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE ESTATES TRUSTS & PENSIONS JOURNAL.

Marni was born in Winnipeg, moved to Toronto to go to law school and has stayed in Toronto ever since. She has been practicing law since 1975 specializing in estate planning and administration and legal work for charitable and non-profit corporations. Marni was a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programmes but now focusses on continuing updates to two chapters of Widdifield on Executors’ Accounts and acting as the editor-in-chief of the Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal.
Marni and her husband, Richard Wozenilek, have four adult children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, and a two year old grandson. Marni and Richard enjoy theatre and opera but spend most of their evenings out at the movies. They also are regular attendees at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Richard is an avid opera, theatre and film buff and particularly enjoys participating yearly in TIFF. Although not a scratch golfer, he does love the game and does try hard. He also enjoys travel and has visited many countries and cities of the world.

Richard is a corporate lawyer and the Principal of New World Law, the former Managing Partner of Keel Cottrelle LLP, and a former longtime partner of Weir Foulds LLP. He is a Past President of the Toronto Lawyers' Association, as well as the past Chairman and presently Chairman Emeritus of The Law Firm Network, an international association of law firms in upwards of 50 countries.

Leith Moore

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - URBAN

Leith joined Fieldgate Homes in 2014 to lead the diversification of the Fieldgate Brand into urban communities and condominium homes. Fieldgate Urban is an integrated division of Fieldgate that acquires, develops, markets and builds its own midrise condominium housing projects.
Prior to this Leith was Vice President of Development for the Sorbara Group of Companies (1985-2014). Leith managed land development and servicing, low rise housing (Orchard Ridge Homes) and high rise condominium housing (Sorbara Group) for the company.

Michael Kirkwood

CRIMINAL DEFENCE COUNSEL , LAWYER AT GOWLINGS' TORONTO OFFICE AND THE BIRCHWOOD KITCHEN

Chef Michael Kirkwood grew up in Ajax, Ontario where his appreciation for food and local ingredients flourished at a young age. Inspired by his parents’ gourmet interests, he began working in local restaurants as a teenager where his passion for cooking grew. Over his career, his cooking style has evolved from new vogue cuisine to comfort food to his current Canadian contemporary style. He’s committed to using fresh, local and artisan ingredients to create a clever fusion of flavors in his cooking. Chef Michael has created the Birchwood kitchen. A mobile culinary studio providing cooking classes for both children and adults, as well as private seasonal tastings and small event catering. Through this he is able to showcase his contemporary Canadian style of cuisine, as well as educate and inspire through modern preparation and presentation.

Richard and Pamela Earle

COLLEGE OF MAKEUP ART AND DESIGN CMU

Pamela and Richard Earle operate CMU College of Makeup Art and Design, a specialty college, unique in the world for Special Effects Makeup Artists. The college trains two hundred artists annually, many coming from all parts of the globe. The college is housed in Toronto’s Old Fire Hall at 110 Lombard Street. Built in 1886, it is considered one of the city’s major heritage jewels. The old Fire Hall was the home of the legendary Second City Comedy Troupe from 1974 -1997 and Gilda’s Club from 2001-2011. Richard is also a partner in Interwork Technologies, a software distribution company specializing in internet security software.

Patricia DiGasbarro and Nancy Toran Harbin

INNOVATOR/LAWYER AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE

"Driven by her passion to make the world a healthier place, Patricia DiGasbarro was shaken to learn childhood cancer has grown exponentially since 2000. Children are exposed to up to 50% of their lifetime cancer risk by the age of 2, in part from what is put on their bodies and absorbed through their skin. Discovering children’s products to be a toxic chemical soup, Patricia vowed to be part of the solution. Leaving her global corporate position, she devoted the next 3 years to developing Shoosha. Shoosha is the only complete line of FOOD GRADE, USDA Certified Organic skin care products. Safe enough to eat, designed for babies and folks with sensitive skin, Shoosha is great for the whole family.
Lawyer Nancy Toran Harbin, has been a child and human rights advocate for over 40 years. A proud partner in Shoosha, Nancy continues her work to help make the world a safer place for all."

Donald Schmitt

CANADIAN ART FOUNDATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ACADEMICIAN WITH THE ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS

Donald Schmitt is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Architecture where he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal. 

His experience as an architect includes academic, healthcare and research facilities with a focus on sustainable design. Significant projects include the master plan and building at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Symphony Hall, Detroit and the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at the University of Toronto. More recently he has completed the Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids Hospital, Allard Hall Law School, University of British Columbia, the Global Innovation Exchange Building at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and the Regent Park Arts and Culture Centre in Toronto. 

Currently he is working on the transformations of the Government Conference Centre and National Arts Centre, both in Ottawa, the new campus and buildings of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and Dennison Hall at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

A Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a member of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Schmitt and his firm have won over 200 design awards including six Governor General’s Awards. 

He is the Founding Chair of the Public Art Commission for the City of Toronto for which he was awarded the Civic Medal. He was a member of the Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Real Estate for the National Capital Commission, Ottawa for 12 years, and is a member of the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel and the University of Toronto Design Review Panel. 

Virginia M. Walley

MD FRCPC

Dr. Walley is the President of the OMA. She chairs the Executive Committee of the Board of the Ontario Medical Association, and has been on that Board for the last 10 years. She has served in the past as a Canadian Medical Association Board Director. 

Dr. Walley is a pathologist working in Toronto; she is the Ontario Medical Director for LifeLabs. She has held many senior leadership positions in academic and community hospital settings, and she has post-graduate degrees in areas of health-care management from the University of Colorado and York University’s Schulich Business School. 

Dr. Walley was a full-professor at the University of Ottawa and Dalhousie University, with over 150 scientific publications, focusing on cardiovascular pathology and quality assurance. Currently she has an adjunct position at the University of Toronto.

Richard Margison, Keren Morehead, Terry Walker, and Chef Eric Rogers

PERA EVENING @ THE DEPANNEUR

Hailed for his ringing top notes and spine-tingling power, Canadian tenor, Richard Margison, is one of the most critically acclaimed opera singers Canada has ever produced. An Officer of the Order of Canada, the recipient of three honorary doctorates (McMaster University, University of Victoria, and University of British Columbia), two life-time achievement awards (Giulio Gari Foundation, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation), and the Royal Conservatory of Music's highest honour, the Honorary Fellowship, Richard has performed regularly as a principal artist over the past 2 1/2 decades in all of the worlds leading opera houses at home and abroad, including fifteen consecutive years at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Opera Australia (Sydney Opera House), the Liceu (Barcelona), La Monnaie (Brussels), Opera de Montreal, Opera de Quebec, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Manitoba Opera, Edmonton Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company, where he most recently performed the role of Herod in Salome.

In recent years Richard has been devoting more time to his passion for teaching, helping the next generation of artists within his industry, and giving back to the community at large. In the summer of 2007, Richard Margison and Opera Director, Valerie Kuinka, founded the Highlands Opera Studio, a very advanced professional training program for emerging operatic professionals, chosen through competitive audition from across Canada with the main objective to provide these singers with the necessary skills to embark on a career in opera. The program includes 2-3 fully staged productions held in Haliburton in August each year. The faculty includes renowned opera professionals from Canada and around the world. Richard is sought after across Canada and internationally as a master class and private professor of voice, and, although still performing professionally, continues to offer his services for a variety of charitable organizations.

An Ontario resident for twenty-six years, Richard splits his time between his homes in Stouffville and Minden with his wife, opera director, Valerie Kuinka, and his daughter, Lauren Margison.

Keren is a Metallurgy & Materials Engineering grad from the University of Toronto from 8T9. Keren’s career started with 20 years in Automotive Industry working for General Motors in Oshawa & Detroit in the areas of Supplier Quality, Stamping, Production, Facilities Engineering (including the Corvette Launch in 1996 otherwise known as the C5) and Quality Engineering at Oshawa Truck. Since 2009, Keren has worked for Ontario Power Generation in Nuclear Supply Chain Quality, Darlington Operations on shift in the Control Room and for the Darlington Refurbishment Project (Breaker open started October 16th 2016!). Currently, Keren is the Manager for Supplier Audits; Quality Engineering and Performance. Keren’s Aunt, Sheryl Noonan (aka Wanda), inspired the Wanda’s Arts Awards (presented at Tie One On) for Homes First starting in 2015 which has been an incredible success and inspiration to the residents and social workers who support them! Keren is a member of the Homes First Events Committee.

Terry is the Managing Director of tdsmultimedia and the House Technician for the Molson Amphitheatre. tdsmultimedia does media broadcasting, consulting and media signage projects. Terry has been the integrator for LED signage at the Ripley’s Aquarium and CN Tower, Yonge Eglington Centre, Mississauga Civic Centre, 407 ETR, Royal Bank to name a few. Terry also works many events at the Royal Conservatory for concert series such as 21C as they webstream to bring their events to a larger audience. During the summer concert season, Terry is the house technician for the Molson Amphitheatre and has his camera crew shoot and direct the video wall productions for many bands. In August 2016, Terry’s crew shot and directed a 12 camera live websteam of Prophets of Rage from a mobile truck for the band’s facebook page which has 596,858 views! Terry volunteers for Homes First with technical support for the Homes for Dinner kick-off at William Ashley and for the annual Tie One On event.

Oh yeah – Keren and Terry are avid hockey players – Keren is a goalie and Terry plays either defense or forward, depending on the week!

Chef Eric Rogers have spent over two decades cultivating my passion for cuisine, beginning with such Toronto institutions as Browne’s Bistro, Auberge Gavroche and most significantly, as the right hand man to fresh food innovator, Jamie Kennedy at the acclaimed Palmerston Restaurant. 
In 1995, I cast my eyes on the catering world and so began my catering odyssey, beginning with Eric Rogers Fine Foods and The Berkeley Café. I started with a funky café in Toronto’s east end where I learned how to balance my passion for the restaurant experience with the demands of off site catering. Gone were the days of uninspired vegetable platters, boring canapés and over done chicken! It was time to provide the catering world with the same sort of attention to products and details as the restaurant world had been developing for the last 10 years. 
Soon came the need to expand and a partnership emerged that created Sumptuous Catering by Eric Rogers. Here, I was able to develop a talented kitchen brigade and train them to accomplish increasingly more complex and exciting cuisine. Sumptuous Catering by Eric Rogers ultimately emerged as one of Toronto’s premiere boutique caterers’, working with some of Toronto’s top venues and developing a long list of prestigious corporate and private clients. 
From this started the new exciting venture ‘Playing with Fire’ which brought a whimsical and exciting approach to all of our catered events. 
Tempted by Toronto’s newest and most exciting catering company Saucy Affairs, and the opportunity to work along side Kim Everest and her head chefs Glen Anderson and Greg Coulliard who have just returned from running Guadalajara Mexico’s most successful restaurant, ‘number FOUR’, I have joined their team and am thrilled to be running their brand new corporate catering division! 

Nadine Spencer, Devonia DeBeck and Chef Selwyn Richards

FOUNDER OF DEBECK GROUP INTERIORS/ CEO & PRESIDENT OF BRANDEQ GROUP/ PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE CHEF THE ART OF CATERING INC.

Nadine Spencer is the CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc., a global marketing and communications agency specializing in marketing, communications and PR. Nadine has earned a reputation as an experienced professional who accelerates strategic growth and brand visibility for clients. Through her coined “People Matter” concept, she has expanded market growth and increased revenues for various multinational enterprises by amplifying their messages to a wider audience. 

Nadine has held a variety of senior positions throughout her career. Clients include Burberry, Mercedes Benz, Merchandise Mart, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, The World Bank, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Jamaica National Building Society, and Holt Renfrew. Celebrity collaborations include Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Colin Cowie, Art Smith (former chef to Oprah Winfrey), Chef Selwyn Richards, and Padma Lakshmi. 

Recent projects includes created Canada’s first world class food event, the Delicious Food Show, securing the Food Network as media sponsor in its first year. She managed all aspects of the show’s production and strategic direction. The show was acquired by conglomerate Informa and is now the Toronto Wine & Food Show. 

Nadine has redefined every leadership position she has held, while simultaneously playing a philanthropic role across various communities. She has founded and led multiple successful businesses, and served as CEO and president of both corporate and nonprofit boards. Charitable activities includes the Junior League of Toronto, YWCA Montreal, Scarborough Women’s Centre, Lifelong Leadership Institute, The Jane Finch PanAm Games Host Committee, and Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs. 

Nadine holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from York University. She participates in discussions with the White House on issues regarding anti-discrimination, equity for women and girls of color, and and other relevant topics to the upliftment of marginalized in society.

Founder and Principal Designer, Devonia started her career as a second generation realtor. Real Estate was the family business, but Devonia found herself also redesigning her client's homes to look showcase ready. Her clients were so ecstatic with their home design transformation, resulting in some deciding not to sell and stay in their home longer and others asked her to help them decorate their newly purchased home. Devonia received her certification in real estate staging and graduated from Sheridan College’s Interior Decorating Program. Interior Home Decorating, Home Staging and Real Estate has been her winning combination for over 14 years. Devonia loves seeing her clients beam with pride as they show off their beautiful redesigned spaces to their family and friends. 

Ana Bailão

CITY COUNCILLOR WARD 18

First elected in 2010, Ana Bailão is the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 18, Davenport, and a woman proud to be rooted in the rich cultural diversity of her community. After immigrating to Canada from Portugal at the age of 15, Ana has worked hard to achieve success in her community and in the public and private sectors. Re-elected in 2014, Ana was selected to lead Toronto's housing agenda as Council's Housing Advocate, Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee and a board member of Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Canada's largest social housing provider. In these roles, Ana has been tasked with implementing and shaping Toronto's multi-faceted strategy to improve housing affordability and expand housing services.

Cathryn Sawicki and John McCallum

John McCallum is the Liberal candidate for the new riding of Markham—Thornhill and is the current Member of Parliament for Markham—Unionville. Prior to his entry into public service, John worked as the chief economist for the Royal Bank of Canada. During this time, he also worked to advance a number of social causes, most notably indigenous rights.

Before beginning his career with RBC, John was a professor of economics at several Canadian universities. He also served as the Dean of Arts at McGill University, where he helped to secure $10 million to establish the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

John was first elected to represent Markham in 2000, and has since filled a variety of cabinet positions, including Minister of National Defence. He is currently the Liberal Critic for Citizenship and Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Seniors.

Olivia Chow

n 2006 she was elected to Parliament as MP for the riding of Trinity-Spadina and is currently the Official Opposition Transport and Infrastructure Critic. Born in Hong Kong in 1957, Olivia grew up in Toronto, studied philosophy and art. She worked as a college professor, an ESL teacher, counselor for new immigrants and a sculptor. She won her first election in 1985 and served on the Toronto Board of Education for six years. Outside the political sphere, she is known as a tireless spokesperson, fundraiser and champion of numerous charities.

CITY COUNCILLOR WARD 18

Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis is the author of four national bestselling novels, all published by McClelland & Stewart. The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. In 2014, CBC Television aired a six part miniseries based on The Best Laid Plans. As well, the novel is currently in development as a stage musical in Vancouver. The High Road was a Leacock Medal finalist in 2011. Up and Down was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal.Terry Fallis is the author of four national bestselling novels, all published by McClelland & Stewart. The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. In 2014, CBC Television aired a six part miniseries based on The Best Laid Plans. As well, the novel is currently in development as a stage musical in Vancouver. The High Road was a Leacock Medal finalist in 2011. Up and Down was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal.

AUTHOR OF FOUR BESTSELLING NOVELS

Marc Garneau

On October 5, 1984, Marc made history when he became the first Canadian to fly in space as part of a NASA Shuttle Mission. Born in Quebec City, Marc began his career of public service at age 16. After earning his Bachelor of Science from the Royal Military College, Marc completed a Doctorate in London, England. As a Naval Officer he rose to the rank of Captain before retiring in 1989. Elected to the House of Commons in 2008 as the Member of Parliament for Westmount–Ville-Marie, Marc’s passion for a fair, compassionate, progressive Canada has led him to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.

WORLD FAMOUS CANADIAN ASTRONAUT

Mary Wiens

Mary’s ear for the telling detail combined with powerful and original storytelling is central to Metro Morning's mandate as a journalistic leader in this city. Series such as Waging Nonviolence about Torontonians who contribute to political revolutions in the Middle East, "Growing Up Without Men" about black fathers reclaiming their role in their children's lives, and "Safe Haven", about Iranians in Toronto's real estate market illustrate the constantly changing face of thecity and its role in a global community.

JOURNALIST WITH METRO MORNING AND THE CBC

Kristyn Wong-Tam

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has an extensive career investing in the City of Toronto through both the public and private sectors. Her contributions have led to the development and support of numerous social planning programs, business ventures, art endeavours and successful community initiatives. As a tireless community advocate, Councillor Wong-Tam has led efforts to defend the rights of tenants to obtain affordable and decent standards of rental housing. Councillor Wong-Tam has a distinguished track record of human rights advocacy. She continues to be a champion for sustainable living and environmental health and plays a vital role in ensuring the vibrancy of our city and its economic and social development. In addition to her city appointments to numerous city boards and agencies, she is also a board member of the University of Toronto Art Centre and the Business Chair at the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group (previously known as the Toronto Training Board).

COUNCILLOR