VIU culinary students plate dishes

Meet the Instructors

Buddy Wolfe

Culinary Arts Program Chair

Culinary Instructor, Buddy Wolfe

Born and raised in British Columbia, Buddy attended The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani College in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduation he moved to New York where he worked at a variety of French and Japanese restaurants. In 2003 he moved back to Canada where he took on Sous Chef responsibilities at Coco Pazzo, Cardero’s and the Sandbar Seafood Restaurant. Buddy was the Executive Chef at Seasons in the Park restaurant, where he stayed until moving to Vancouver Island in 2011. Buddy continued working for Sequoia Company of Restaurants as purchaser, chef consultant and POS manager. He opened JAM Café in Victoria to critical acclaim. Buddy has been on the TV Food Network and on Breakfast Television. He’s published food articles in YAM magazine. Throughout his career Buddy has cooked for celebrities, athletes, and visiting military and political dignitaries. Buddy began his career at VIU in 2017 where he happily shares his passion and knowledge for cooking with the next generation of chefs.

Phone: 250.740.6137, Local 6137


Jason Lloyd

Culinary Arts Instructor

Chef Lloyd completed the Professional Cook Training program at Malaspina (now the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island) in 1993, and received his Red Seal Certification in 1996. He completed his apprenticeship at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver under Chef Ernst Dorfler before moving on to help open the Creek Restaurant on Granville Island as Sous Chef under Corporate Chef and Bocus d'Or competitor Robert Allen Sulatyky. He was the opening Sous Chef at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, and spent more than nine years catering to Vancouver's most affluent business people, politicians, celebrities and world leaders at Vancouver's premier private business club, The Terminal City Club, as Executive Sous Chef along side then Chef and Future CEO David Long, and was eventually promoted to Executive Chef. He had the opportunity to cook for the Canadian Government and their extensive list of world leaders, royalty and celebrities for two months during the 2010 Olympic Games and Paralympics. Chef Lloyd feels Nanaimo and Cowichan are fast becoming equal to other west coast communities because of their exceptional cuisine and emphasis on locally produced products.

Phone: 250.740.6142, Local 6142


Joerg Gabler

Culinary Arts Instructor

Culinary Instructor, Joerg Gabler

Chef Gabler began his culinary career in Germany, starting his pre-apprenticeship training in Realschule Soest. Upon moving to Canada, he followed his goals and finished his apprenticeship in British Columbia, completing the Canadian Journeyman’s Red Seal in 1990. He has worked in Victoria at the prestigious Empress Hotel, and the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. He was involved in the re-opening of the Latch Country Inn in Sidney BC, the opening of the Water club Restaurant in Victoria, and worked at the Blue Peter Waterfront Pub and Restaurant. He also worked in Germany at the Restaurant La Marie in Wassenberg, and as a chef at the Sport Hotel Muelhausen.

Phone:  250.740.6143, Local 6143


Jenny Aronson

Culinary Arts Instructor

Culinary Instructor, Jenny Aronson

Originally from Thetis Island, BC, Chef Aronson got into cooking because her whole family loves to cook and eat! She graduated from VIU’s Culinary Arts Program in 2000, apprenticed under Chef Edward Tuson at the Sooke Harbour House, and in 2007, achieved her Red Seal Certification. She has worked in Verduno, Italy. She enjoys teaching and meeting the different personalities of the students, and she loves seeing the look of accomplishment on student’s faces when they achieve success.

Phone: 250.740.6116


Christine Godlonton

Culinary and Pastry Arts Instructor

Culinary Instructor, Christine Godlonton

Raised on Haida Gwaii by a family of commercial fishermen, Christine spent many of her days as a young girl foraging for food and learning how to process what she gathered with family and friends. After graduating from cooking school in Vancouver, BC and working in the culinary field for many years, she moved to Salt Spring Island to work at the Hastings House Hotel where she worked primarily as the pastry chef for many seasons. After leaving Hastings House Christine opened a full service catering company on Salt Spring, catering to many different events although weddings were her specialty.   Although Christine initially completed her Red Seal certification in the Culinary Arts she also has her professional baking Red Seal as she learned that her passion was in baking.  Christine began working at VIU in 2012 and continues to love teaching the culinary and baking students who challenge her to learn ways to always be better instructor.  Christine considers it a privilege to have this venue to share her love of food.

Phone: 250.740.6140, Local 6140


Andrea MacLean

Culinary Arts Instructor, Cowichan Campus

Culinary Instructor, Andrea MacLean

Andrea first studied Culinary Arts and Pastry at the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Ottawa, and went on to continue her professional chef training at The Pacific Institute for Culinary Arts in Vancouver. Since graduating Andrea was hired by the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and started her culinary apprenticeship under Chef Iain Rennie. Andrea continued her apprenticeship at the Terminal City Club under Chef David Long and achieved her Red Seal Certification. Andrea worked her way up to Sous Chef and then became Restaurant Chef before moving on to work at many of Vancouver’s’ premiere private member clubs. During her career Andrea competed in several cooking competitions winning the title of Iron Chef in 2004 and 2005. After many years in the industry cooking for Vancouver’s elite, politicians, dignitaries, celebrities and royalty, Andrea started teaching at VIU in 2021. Andrea loves meeting the new generation of chefs and sharing her passion for food and enthusiasm with them.



Daniel Ross

Culinary Arts Instructor

Culinary Instructor, Daniel Ross

Daniel started his training in Winnipeg where he enrolled in a 3-year food service program in high school.  There he had the chance to compete in various competitions and work with Team Manitoba prior to and during the 1998 world culinary Olympics in Frankfurt Germany. Through his high school years Daniel worked at the Old Swiss, Werner’s Restaurant and the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Following graduation, he spent a year working at Chateau Lake Louise and then one year at HY’S Steakhouse in Ottawa before moving to Calgary, where he landed an apprenticeship at the Westin Hotel in Calgary with renowned chef Fred Zimmerman, former Team Canada captain and Manager. Moving west in 2000, he worked in the film industry and later started his own film catering business before moving to Nanaimo, where he took on the Executive Chef role at Berwick Retirement Community. Daniel recently started teaching at VIU in 2021 and loves sharing his knowledge and working with students.

Phone: 250.753.3245 Ext. 2332


Francois de Jong

Culinary Arts Instructor 

VIU Culinary Faculty Francois de Jong

Raised on the west coast in a food focused family, at an early age, Francois knew he wanted to be a chef. He graduated from the Culinary Arts program at The College of New Caledonia, did his apprenticeship and earned his Red Seal Certification at La Belle Auberge under the watchful eye of Chef Bruno Marti. There Francois learned the joys of culinary competitions and started networking with chefs in Canada around the world. Francois has a wide range of culinary experiences from small farm to table restaurants, Hotels, private chef, opening restaurants in China, to camp cooking for major Hollywood movies. Having moved to Nanaimo in 2006, he enjoys an active outdoor life style with his family and friends where most activities either start or finish with food. Teaching in the VIU Culinary Arts department has been a natural transition from working in restaurants and creates a space for him to work with, mentor and train alongside the next generation of cooks. For more information feel free to contact Instructor Francois de Jong.


Alex Bowman

Culinary Arts Cooperative Education Coordinator

Alex BowmanAlex has been working in career development since 2010 and is a life-long learner who is passionate about experiential and place-based learning. Previously, she worked as a Career Development Specialist at VIU and has held roles within the culinary industry - including working as an Instructional Assistant for students as they gained hands-on experience in a commercial kitchen and in fine dining food service. Alex has a Masters in Professional Communication, an Undergraduate Degree in Business, and a Career Educator Certificate.  She enjoys working with Culinary Arts students and sharing their passion for food while helping them develop their skills for career success

Phone: 236.628.2154


Ken Harper

Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

Culinary Instructor, Ken Harper

Chef Harper has been Executive Pastry Chef at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, and has worked at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort and Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. He has been a gold and silver medalist in international culinary competitions as an individual, including winning Best Overall Individual Pastry Entry at the Luxembourg Culinary World Cup. He has won awards as a member of Culinary Team Alberta, winning gold at the Culinary Olympics in Germany, and as part of Team Canada, becoming World Champions at the Culinary Grand Prix in Glasgow. He has a passion for ice carving, and goes to several different competitions each winter. He also contributes in many local food events, bringing students to participate in events like the Feast of Fields, Bite of Nanaimo, and the Chefs Survival Challenge.

Phone: 250.740.6442, Local 6442


David Nolan

Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

Culinary Instructor, David Nolan

Pastry Chef David Nolan is a Red Seal Baker and Red Seal Cook with over twenty years’ experience, and has made several appearances as a guest chef on television shows. He began his culinary career at the age of 14 washing dishes in a small family run restaurant in Brantford, Ontario. After graduating from the Niagara Culinary Institute, he joined Fairmont Hotels and worked in the Canadian Rockies as well as Victoria, BC, at the Empress Hotel. While working at the Empress, Chef Nolan taught pastry instruction under Chef Harper at VIU. Chef Nolan then joined Ritz-Carlton Hotels and worked as the Executive Pastry Chef in Montego Bay Jamaica; Mclean, Virginia (Washington DC); and beautiful Lake Oconee in the State of Georgia. He returned to Canada in October of 2011 to work as Pastry Chef Instructor at VIU, where he enjoys helping students succeed in the field he is so passionate about.

Phone: change 250.740.6114, Local 6114