Our Team

Food, Wine and Tourism
Jonathan Rouse

Jonathan Rouse
Director - Food, Wine and Tourism
Associate Dean - Okanagan School of Business

Jonathan Rouse is the Director for Food, Wine and Tourism and Associate Dean Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College. Jonathan has a varied background beginning as an exploration geologist for leading mining corporations, as well as a senior mineralogical land use analyst for government. For the past 20 years, Jonathan has been active in tourism development and education, with particular interest in sustainability and program development. Prior to moving to the Okanagan, Jonathan was the Dean for the School of Hospitality and Business at Vancouver Community College, responsible for a range of international initiatives and programming, including the development of Canada’s first Aboriginal Culinary program in conjunction with the Four Host First Nations in preparation for hosting the World during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Jonathan currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council and the Tourism Industry Association of BC; and is a past Board member for Go2 and Tourism Vancouver.

Culinary Arts

Chef Bernard Casavant

Chef Bernard Casavant C.C.C.
Culinary Manager

Having joined the Okanagan College team as Culinary Manager in June 2014, Chef Bernard brings his philosophy of local food and local talent to the kitchens of the culinary building. Considered by some to be a pioneer of the farm to table movement, Chef Bernard remains committed to supporting our local farmers and producers while nurturing our local talent.

Chef Bernard’s most notable accomplishments in a distinguished career which started in 1974 on Vancouver Island, are having achieved his Certified Chef de Cuisine certification in 1988, induction into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame 2008, receiving of a Distinguished Alumni Award from Vancouver Island University in 2011, and being awarded membership into the Canadian Culinary Federation’s Honour Society 2012.

Chef Bernard is the current President of the Okanagan Chefs Association and recipient of the 2015 Okanagan College Employee Excellence Innovation Award for his creative, positive impact on students and staff.

Chef Jim Armstrong

Chef Jim Armstrong

Chef Jim Armstrong started as a permanent Culinary Arts Instructor at Okanagan College in 2008. He taught a dual-credit program at Mount Boucherie High School until 2010 and is currently a Chef Instructor at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

An Okanagan College alumnus, Chef Armstrong completed the ten-month Cook Training Program at Okanagan College and completed a Red Seal three-year apprenticeship at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.

His culinary work experience includes; three months cooking in an international hotel in Auckland, New Zealand; four years at Chateau Whistler Resort, including two years as Sous Chef; two years as Chef at the Black Forrest Restaurant, Kelowna, B.C.; ten years as Executive Chef of the Harvest Golf Course Dining Room; and four years as Executive Chef at Illichmanns Gourmet Foods.

Chef Mike Barillaro

Chef Mike Barillaro

Chef Barillaro is a Culinary Arts Instructor in the Hot Kitchen teaching Professional Cook (PC) level 1 and 2 students. His students learn how to source and use fresh local products to provide a variety of foods that change daily for 2 food outlets, as well as 2 action stations. His goal is to provide his students with the solid foundation in culinary techniques and theoretical information to enable them to succeed in their chosen field.

Chef Barillaro’s career started in Vancouver in 1984 when he took the Culinary Arts at PVI. He apprenticed with Delta Hotels in Richmond before moving on to the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, followed by the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center. His love of golf led him to Executive Chef Positions at some of BC’s best Golf Resorts for 10 years before he started teaching at Okanagan College in 2002. While working at the Pan Pacific, Chef Barillaro won numerous awards at cold food competitions, as well as a fat sculpting award as an apprentice.

Chef Barillaro’s teaching philosophy is one of inclusiveness for all students. He connects with his students to show his enthusiasm for food and to meet the students’ learning needs at various levels.

Chef Peregrine Bentley

Chef Peregrine Bentley C.C.C.

Chef Bentley has been instructing students at Okanagan College for over 20 years. He came to teaching after a career with Crowne Plaza and Fairmount hotels. His start came as a cooking apprentice at the Crowne Plaza in Swiss cottage, London England, where he was employee of the year and apprentice of the year. His first love called him back to apprentice in Pastry Arts some 10 years later whilst Chef de Partie at the Crowne Plaza in Aberdeen. He holds certifications in Confectionary Arts, Culinary Arts, the HCIMA Diploma in Hotel Management, a Diploma in Instruction and is a Certified Chef de Cuisine.

Chef Bentley received the “Spirit of Kelowna Award” for his role in securing the Gold Medal Plates national competition for Kelowna, now in its fifth year. He is also recipient of the Okanagan Chefs Association “President’s Award“

Chef Bentley believes “we learn what we do” and teaches students to keep their food simple and respect the classics, hold themselves to a high standard, practice and enjoy their skills, take pride in their craft and share their knowledge.

Chef Danny Capadouca

Chef Danny Capadouca           


Chef Danny Capadouca joined Okanagan College in 2014 as the Pastry Arts Instructor in the Culinary Arts department, preparing his students to be certified in the Baking and Pastry Industry. He brings to the college fresh knowledge of the baking and pastry industry.

Originally from Vancouver, BC, Chef Danny Capadouca grew up in restaurants. It was a natural progression for him to attend Culinary School at Vancouver Community College. Upon graduation, Chef Capadouca started his apprenticeship in Vitre, France. Returning to Vancouver to complete his apprenticeship training, he went on to learn about chocolate at Vancouver’s prestigious Chocolate Arts. Chef Capadouca relocated to the beautiful Okanagan in 2007. Prior to joining the team at Okanagan College, Chef Capadouca was responsible for the Pastry Department at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort.

Chef Danny Capadouca has competed in various culinary and pastry competitions. Winning the 2005 Salon du Chocolat took him back to France to spend a short time working with the Pastry Chefs at the Paul Bocuse Institut in Lyon. Chef Capadouca is very active in the community by lending a hand volunteering and spending time with young Chefs.

Always watching what is going on in the industry, his passion is expanding his knowledge of the industry and sharing that knowledge with the younger generations of Chefs and Pastry Chefs.

Chef Geoffrey Couper

Chef Geoffrey Couper "Cheffrey"

Okanagan College Culinary Apprenticeship Instructor, and past Chairman and President of the Okanagan Chefs Association, wine lover and raconteur extraordinaire are just a few of the toques that Cheffrey wears.

With over 3 decades of award winning experience behind him, the obsession for great food, simply prepared with passionately produced local products only burns brighter. Having called Kelowna home for over 10 years he has had the opportunity to provide culinary inspiration for many great wine producers in the valley including Mission Hill, CedarCreek, Blue Mountain and Andrew Peller amongst others.

His advice to all young chefs looking for education and inspiration?

Go work on a farm . . . .

After a classic apprenticeship, Cheffrey departed to Europe to do the typical travel, eat and work thing, at the time thinking he knew a fair bit about cooking. Ending up on a small family farm in southern Germany what the young culinarian soon realized was that he knew nothing about food. And there is a huge difference between the two.

To see products destined for the table being raised, weeded, milked, and vinified, etc. to witness firsthand the tremendous effort it takes to produce great food, will undoubtedly make a huge impact on the way any young cook views their profession.

Chef Reinhard Foerderer

Chef Reinhard Foerderer

Chef Foerderer has been with Okanagan College for 10 years and is an Assessor for the cook trade certifications for the Industry Training Authority (ITA).
In September 2015, Chef Reinhard will be teaching the Dual Credit Culinary students at Mount Boucherie Secondary in West Kelowna.   

His culinary education and work experience spans over 28 years and includes a diploma in hospitality management from Heidelberg Hospitality Management College in Germany, 10 years as Executive Chef at Manteo Resort in Kelowna, Executive Chef with Hy’s Canada at Bigwoods Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, and Sous Chef at the Fish House in Stanley Park.

His professional highlights include being an active member of the Okanagan Chefs Association, serving 2 terms as vice president, 2 terms as treasurer, and being voted Chef of the Year twice by the Okanagan Chefs Association members in 2008 and 2005, acting as Head Assessor for a trade of cook in Canada federal project, and membership of the Chaine des Rottiseurs Okanagan from 2003 – 2012.

Chef Foerderer considers food one of life’s greatest joys. His focus is teaching students the best possible up-to-date skills and methods, so they will be successful in the industry after graduating from Okanagan College.

Chef Stuart Klassen

Brings his talents to the team in September 2015 for a 6 month contract teaching evenings in Infusions Restaurant. More information coming soon.

Tourism and Hospitality

Blair Baldwin

Dr. Blair Baldwin

For 19 years, Blair Baldwin has been one of the architects of the wine tourism industry in B.C. through the creation of the four annual not for profit Okanagan Wine Festivals and the British Columbia Wine Awards. He has also been retained to develop the Recreation Trails strategy for the Province of BC; the BC Mountain Bike Tourism strategy and has been retained by the province of British Columbia to develop the business plan for the BC Rail Trails network as part of the Trans Canada Trail.  He has also retained to build business plans for the technology industry in BC; the manufacturing industry in BC; as well as building corporate social responsibility strategies for the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council including the national Operation ID program. Blair is a proud professor at the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College specializing in Strategic Management; Professional Service Firms Management; Events Marketing; Services Marketing; and Business Law. He also actively facilitates group planning sessions ranging from strategic planning to marketing and the development of service quality within organizations.

Blair grew up in Montreal and attended Selwyn House School and Lower Canada College and is fluently bilingual. After obtaining his B.A. Honours in Economics at Queens University, he was awarded a Transport Canada Masters Fellowship and completed his M.B.A. followed by his law degree - L.L.B. - from the University of British Columbia. He practiced law in Vancouver with Douglas, Symes & Brissenden from 1984-1986 and joined Canadian Airlines International when it was formed in 1986. He was responsible for setting up the complete regional airline network for Canadian Airlines and worked his way to the position of Director, Marketing Programs. He chose to move to the Okanagan in 1992 to become Vice President, Big White Ski Resort and he successfully managed its transition to a profitable destination ski resort. Before starting his own management consulting business, he also developed and operated a successful Outdoor Adventure company based in Kelowna that specialized in mountain bike cycling trips of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Blair received his Juris Doctoris from the University of British Columbia in 2010.


Dr. Michael Conlin

Michael Conlin has been a professor in the Okanagan School of Business since 2004. He teaches senior courses in the tourism and hospitality area including properties management, multicultural management, and global trends in tourism and hospitality management.  

Previously, Conlin served as an administrator and teacher at a number of universities and colleges in Australia, Bermuda, the United States, and Canada.

He is the co-editor of a number of books focusing on island tourism including Island Tourism: Management Principles and Practice (Wiley, 1996) with Dr. Tom Baum (Strathclyde) and industrial heritage tourism including Mining Heritage and Tourism: A Global Synthesis (Routledge, 2010) with Dr. Lee Jolliffe (UNBC),  Railway Heritage and Tourism:  A Comprehensive and Global Perspective (Channel View, 2014) with Dr. Geoffrey Bird (RRU) and  Motoring Heritage and Tourism: People, Places, and Products (Channel View, 2015) with Dr. Lee Jolliffe (UNBC).  


Alan Rice

Alan Rice received his Master’s of Arts in Tourism Planning and Development from California University in 2010. He completed his Bachelors of Administration with honours in marketing, specializing in marketing research, at Brock University in 1991. He has been teaching in the fields of Tourism and Hospitality Management and Marketing at Okanagan College since 2008.

Alan has over seventeen years of management experience in the tourism industry. He is the owner and principal of Kettle Valley Research, a boutique marketing research consultancy. Since its establishment in 2003, Kettle Valley Research has worked with clients in the tourism industry, government, economic development, as well as several advertising agencies and private firms. From 1996 to 2003 he worked in the tourism research field at Tourism Whistler where he oversaw all aspects of market research, analytics, and competitive intelligence.


Ronald Thompson

Ron has more than 25 years of senior operating and development experience with such well-known companies as General Foods, Cara and Scott's Hospitality Inc. For several years he served as President and CEO of Scott's Foodservices Inc. responsible for more than 900 restaurants, 11,000 employees and 500 million dollars in sales revenue.

Ron has taught at Ryerson University (Toronto), University of Guelph, (Nice France), Hosta (Glion) Hotel and Tourism School (Leysin, Switzerland) and Sochi Institute of Tourism, (Sochi, Russia). In addition, he has served as Managing  Director, Hotel Institute Montreux, a renowned Swiss hotel school, as well as Dean, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, George Brown College in Toronto.

Ron has lived in 6 different countries and has consulted widely in North America, Western Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Azerbaijan, Republic of Georgia and most recently in Thailand.  He specializes in marketing, new product and retail development, franchising and chain restaurant operations.

He holds a Bachelor of Science with a major in Hotel and Restaurant Management and M.B.A in Management and Organization from Florida State University. He has served as a Director of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association and Ontario Hotel and Restaurant Association. He has held memberships in the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Educators (CHRIE), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Toronto Board of Trade and listed in the Canadian Who’s Who.

Viticulture and Wine Studies

 Dr. Gabriel Balint

Dr. Gabriel Balint
Viticulture Diploma Program

Dr. Gabriel Balint joins Okanagan College as Professor and Chair of the new Viticulture Technician Diploma Program delivered at the Penticton campus beginning Fall 2017. Gabriel has more than 20 years experience working in the wine and grape industry, teaching and conducting research. He has taught face to face, hybrid, online and extension classes at University of Agronomy “Ion Ionescu de la Brad”, Iasi, Romania, Brock University (ON), Harrisburg Community College (PA), Oregon State University. 

He holds a  Bachelor of Science (Horticulture) with a major in Grape and Winemaking (University of Agronomy, Iasi, RO), MSc (University of Agronomy, Iasi) and PhD in Enology and Viticulture from Brock University (CA). He also took his Sommelier certificate with Niagara College (ON). 

Gabriel believes in learning by doing and is focusing on the concept “vine to wine,” since the grape grower work is ultimately reflected in the quality of the wine.

Victoria Carey

Victoria Carey
Viticulture Certificate

An experienced post-secondary viticulture educator and researcher, PhD Viticulture Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Victoria’s aims to pass on knowledge in an interesting and understandable way so that the students can see the practical applications of the theoretical knowledge. Her focus is on developing students’ ability to be continuous learners who can problem solve by unlocking knowledge from existing sources, both academic and industry based, as well as sharing their own knowledge and experience.

Dr. Victoria Carey lent her curriculum development expertise to the OC Viticulture Certificate revisions in late 2013 and taught as guest lecturer in the 2014 program.

Trish Stathers

Trish Stathers
Viticulture Certificate

Trish grew up on an apple orchard in Penticton. After graduating with a BSc. Biology from UBC Vancouver, travelling and forest fire fighting around BC, she felt the pull back home.

After working in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley, she decided to pursue a fascinating and rewarding career in viticulture. Spending two years in New Zealand, she completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science in Viticulture at Lincoln University. Her Okanagan viticulture experience includes Junior viticulturist at Mission Hill and vineyard manager for premium organic Naramata vineyard.

Trish collaborated with Dr. Victoria Carey on revisions to the OC Viticulture Certificate presentations and assignments in late 2013 and taught as lead instructor in the program from January to May 2014. Her instructional materials, teaching style and passionate commitment to making learning applicable in the “real world” were very well received by her students. Trish is thrilled to be back home and a part of the unique, dynamic and growing Okanagan wine industry.

Karine Lawrence

Karine Lawrence
Winery Assistant Certificate

A French agrifood engineer who holds a Master of Food Science with 10 years of experience in the Canadian wine and food industry. Karine teaches students in the Winery Assistant Certificate program various sensory evaluation methods designed to evaluate and characterize wine objectively. Karine also provides advanced professional development to winemakers, lab and quality control technicians and is an active researcher.

Christine Leroux

Christine Leroux
Winery Assistant Certificate

After obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Christine Leroux decided to pursue her dream of working in the wine industry.

Leroux went to study oenology at the University of Bordeaux in France. She then worked in Australia, in California and then returned to the Canadian wine industry with employment at Inniskillin in Ontario. Working in Ontario led her to the opportunity to become the winemaker for Inniskillin Okanagan.

After working at Inniskillin Okanagan for two years, Christine started her own winemaking consulting business for small and medium size wineries.

Erin Korpisto

Erin Korpisto
Wine Sales Certificate

Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) level 3 certificate holder and graduate of Okanagan College’s Wine Sales Certificate program, Erin is an Okanagan girl who, after many years spent working in architecture and travelling abroad, decided to come back to the Valley and pursue her passion for wine.

A self-described “people person”, Erin started in the cellar as an assistant winemaker, before moving into the Sales and Marketing side of the industry. She shares her extensive knowledge and passion for the wines of B.C. as a wine studies instructor at Okanagan College, through her work at B.C. Wine Information VQA wine shop and at Liquidity Winery in OK Falls, along with being a wine blogger and champion of BC wines nationally and internationally.

Jolene Palmer

Jolene Palmer
Wine 21 Intro to Grapes and Wine

Jolene holds Sommelier Certification from Algonquin College in Ottawa and has years of varied experience within the BC wine industry. She is most students’ first introduction to wine studies in her role as instructor of Wine 21 – Introduction to Grapes and Wine, the required course for the Wine Sales, Winery Assistant and Viticulture Certificate programs. Her students often describe her class as “the best class I have ever taken.”

Scott Robinson

Scott Robinson
Winery Assistant

Scott is alumnus of the Okanagan College Winery Assistant Certificate and has ten years of experience in the wine industry. He received his Masters in Oenology from the University of Adelaide and has completed vintages in New Zealand and Australia. Scott worked as winemaker at La Frenz winery from 2009-2013. In addition to his role as winemaking instructor, Scott is now winemaker/owner of his own small winery in the Okanagan and consults. He enjoys helping students connect theory with practical application.

More coming soon...

Food Wine and Tourism