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Cerise Fine Catering Adds New Culinary Talent at the Beanfield Centre

October 30, 2019

TORONTO & STAMFORD, Conn. (October 30, 2019) Cerise Fine Catering today announced the appointment of two new chef talents to lead the Beanfield Centre culinary and hospitality program. Shawn Whalen, CMC has been named the new Executive Chef and Grace Di Fede, CCC has been named the new Executive Sous Chef. Both appointments are effective October 30, 2019.

Cerise Fine Catering is a partnership between Toronto’s Windsor Arms Hotel and Centerplate, the leading hospitality partner to North America’s premier entertainment venues and convention centers. The combination of this elite boutique hotel and the expertise of Centerplate’s large-scale hospitality makes Cerise an especially unique company, with an unwavering commitment to detail, service and quality. This partnership enables Cerise Fine Catering to deliver the “best of both worlds” by drawing on the vast experience and scale of mega sized events but with the attention to detail typically only available in high end hotels. The appointments will help enhance the Beanfield Centre as a top-tier global destination for meetings, conventions and social events.

“We are incredibly excited about the addition of Chef Shawn and Chef Grace to our team,” said Cerise Fine Catering General Manager Mateus De Campos. “This will help us better our menus and presentations to embody the very best local and creative cuisine imaginable.”

“I very much share the enthusiasm that Mateus has expressed and I welcome Chef Shawn and Chef Grace to our team. I look forward to the enhancements and hotel style service that Cerise Fine Catering will be able to deliver to our clients and guests” said George Friedmann, President of Windsor Arms Hotels & Spas.

Conveniently located on the grounds of Exhibition Place, Beanfield Centre combines history and state-of-the-art technology. The 160,000 square foot conference venue boasts 20 meeting rooms and incorporates today's most advanced technological innovations while remaining respectful to the venue’s Art Deco heritage.

“We are delighted to welcome Chef Shawn and Chef Grace to Beanfield Centre; they are experienced, talented chefs with exceptional skills. Their leadership of the food and beverage team will bring a fresh and elevated perspective to the overall culinary experience at Beanfield Centre”, said Laura Purdy, General Manager, Exhibition Place.

Chef Shawn WhalenAbout Chef Shawn Whalen

Born and raised in Toronto, Chef Shawn Whalen’s culinary career began in his high school years working part time in local restaurants. At 25, he became the youngest chef in Canada to ever receive the honor of Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC). His career has spanned the corporate world, hotels and clubs while his culinary achievements have garnered him widespread acclaim, including Gold at the 1995 World Banqueting Championships as Team Captain for Team Canada, 4 Gold Medals and the World Championship Culinary World Cup in 1998, Gold in 2000 at the World Culinary Olympics as Team Captain for Culinary Team Ontario, the 2000 Chef of the Year for the Escoffier Society of Toronto, Chef of the Year for the Central Region of Canada for the Canadian Culinary Federation in 2000 and 2001 and 4 Gold Medals and the World Championship in 2001 at the World Culinary Grand Prix with Culinary Team Canada.

One of Shawn's most prestigious awards came at the 126th Annual Salon of Culinary Arts of New York City, where he won the Grand Gold, Best of Show Award and was honoured by receiving the "Silver Cup of France" by the Philanthropique Society of New York. In 2018, Shawn earned the prestigious Certified Master Chef (CMC) designation, being one of only five CMC designated chefs in Canada, a testament to his dedication and passion for the culinary arts.

Over the years, in addition to his position as the Executive Chef at a world renown hotel group, Shawn has taken an active role as a mentor for young Chefs. Shawn takes pride in teaching apprentices the

Culinary Arts for competition, hoping to instill in them a passion for quality, self-esteem and attention to detail that will follow them throughout their career.

Chef Grace Di FedeAbout Grace Di Fede

Chef Grace Di Fede also started her culinary career in Toronto. Her training and experience over the last two decades have taken her across the world. Her diverse experience of working in restaurants, clubs and hotels helped her master showcasing contemporary culinary trends and executing the most demanding of events.

In 2010, she participated in a two-year pilot program administered by the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) and obtained her Certified Working Chef Certification (CWC) as part of her Associate Development Program (ADP) for Starwood Hotels.

In 2017, Grace achieved her Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC) certification. This certification is sanctioned by the Canadian Culinary Federation. It is known as one of the highest achievements and honours for a Canadian Chef. Since its inception 39 years ago in 1980, only approximately 1200 Chefs have achieved the CCC Certification in Canada. For the past 9 years, Grace has held progressive leadership roles as Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine and Executive Sous Chef with a leading world renown hotel group. She has participated in many media events showcasing contemporary culinary trends and her passion for cooking.

The diverse experience of both Chef Shawn and Chef Grace will allow Cerise Fine Catering to draw on their experience and know how to deliver hotel style culinary and service skills to events of all size and scale.

About Beanfield Centre

Beanfield Centre is a LEED Silver conference facility that offers linen-free meeting rooms, 100% green energy, natural light, and sustainable foods. Conveniently located on the shores of Lake Ontario at Exhibition Place, Beanfield Centre is a purpose-built conference centre with 20 meeting rooms, and the largest divisible, column-free ballroom in Toronto. For more information visit beanfieldcentre.com.

About Centerplate

Centerplate is a leader in live event hospitality, "Making It Better To Be There®" for more than 115 million guests each year at more than 200 prominent entertainment, sports and convention venues. From hosting VIPs at the Super Bowl to super heroes at Comic Con, the company provides hospitality services to North America's premier events. A Sodexo company, Centerplate creates unique, locally-inspired menus, best-in-class guest service, and one-of-a-kind experiences backed by world-class design and insights teams. Visit the company online at Centerplate.com, connect via Twitter @centerplate, Instagram @Centerplate_ or Facebook.com/centerplate.

About Windsor Arms

The Windsor Arms is a leading boutique hotel and catering venue serving Toronto clientele for over 90 years. Known for its attention to detail, the Windsor Arms is a home away from home to visiting celebrities and heads of state while also catering to the local Toronto community.

Media Contacts

Paul Pettas, Centerplate Communications Director, Paul.Pettas@Centerplate.com

Cristina Mendes, Digital Marketing Specialist, cmendes@beanfieldcentre.com

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