Hannah Murray’s earliest memories are completely intertwined with food and family. Her mother, influenced by her strong Italian heritage, was always pleased to host family gatherings and Hannah was more than happy to help. Hannah worked alongside her mother over the years to prepare many dishes, and along the way, she developed an insatiable passion for food that stimulated her appetite for a culinary career.
“Food has always been wrapped up in fond memories and family,” says Hannah, who is the 2022 recipient of “The Taste of Tapestry” culinary award sponsored by Tapestry and presented by Vancouver Community College (VCC). “Food has always been such a large and important part of my life.”
To reflect Tapestry’s commitment to creating a unique culinary experience in all of its communities, “The Taste of Tapestry” award winner, as chosen by VCC, was required to, “bring exceptional creativity to their culinary creations” while also reflecting our company’s values by working with others in a “collaborative, respectful and supportive way.”
As a chef who thrives on creative thinking and always supporting others to assure team success, Tapestry believes Hannah was the perfect choice to receive Tapestry’s culinary award. In her baking, for example, Hannah enjoys experimenting with different ingredients to take advantage of seasonal and local options that might delight and surprise. She definitely considers herself an “out of the box” thinker and while in culinary school, she took every opportunity to expand her skill set by using free time to tackle new recipes that expanded her knowledge and experience.
As a chef, Hannah rejects the perspective that strong leaders need to be dictatorial. As a leader, she always tries to make others feel comfortable and supported so they can contribute to the team’s overall success.
“I want everyone I work with to be able to reach their potential,” says Hannah, reaffirming her commitment to teamwork and collegiality. “I also want to be able to draw on the incredible talents and experiences of those working with me so that I too can learn and grow.”
Hannah’s path to the VCC Culinary Program started after spending several years at McGill University in Montreal where she studied political science and history. Although she loved her liberal arts education, she couldn’t stop thinking about a culinary career and returned to Vancouver where she enrolled in VCC to pursue her dream.
As a young chef who loves to bake, Hannah is inspired by Camilla Wynne, a writer, recipe developer and cooking teacher based in Toronto. Hannah appreciates Camilla’s creativity as a “master preserver” and her “out of the box thinking” when it comes to innovating with jam in baking!
Hannah, who currently works in a local Italian eatery, one day dreams of combining her liberal arts education and her culinary passion to become a food writer and critic like Ruth Reichl, known as one of North America’s most influential food journalists.
Until then, Hannah is beyond excited to continue to hone her culinary craft and build on the excellent training she received at VCC, which combines hands-on learning with essential work experience to create a well rounded professional ready to apply their talent in a commercial kitchen. She says her greatest food critic is her beloved “nonna” (grandmother), who set the bar high for the deliciously simple and elegant Italian dishes that are among Hannah’s favourite to prepare and eat!
When asked what it feels like to be recognized for her VCC culinary achievements by a seniors’ community, Hannah is impressed. “Based on what I know, Tapestry is very different than other seniors’ communities when it comes to their food,” she says.
Hannah looks forward to visiting Tapestry at Arbutus Walk later this month when she will meet our incredible Executive Chef, Valentino Pereira, visit with our culinary team and taste the difference for herself as a guest in our Restaurant.
“I appreciate that Tapestry recognizes that everyone wants to eat delicious food; there’s nothing age-based about it! I respect that Tapestry cares so much about food and what they serve to residents.”
Tapestry is very pleased to support future culinarians trained at VCC through its annual $1,000 sponsorship of the “Taste of Tapestry” award. We are also proud to recognize Hannah on her exceptional achievements and wish her all the very best as the 2022 “The Taste of Tapestry” award winner!