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VALUE THROUGH COLLABORATION

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Culinary Team

Our team of chefs at WDC strives to make sure your foodservice business is equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to prepare and serve food to perfection.

gabriel santos staff bio

Gabriel Santos

I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Although I’m Brazilian, I’m a terrible soccer player and a horrible dancer, but I do wear my sunga (Google it) whenever I go to the beach. My interest in food started when I was a toddler. I was a chubby kid, and I’ve always loved to eat for as long as I can remember. Many chefs get their love for food from their parents, but my mom didn’t cook that well… so since I was a kid, I tried to cook a few things here and there, mostly for fun. It was during high school that I had my first “professional” cooking experience. As part of the curriculum when I was studying hospitality, I had to work for a few hours in a hotel. That’s when I ended up in a real kitchen – in a hotel that was in the middle of nowhere – boiling sausages (they would fry them later, and the smell of boiling sausages is not great as you can imagine), chopping onions, and frying stuff with the sweetest old ladies in a kitchen that had a pet parrot (yes, inside the kitchen) as their mascot. Somehow, I liked it, no… I loved it! That brief experience was enough for me to understand how much I enjoyed cooking, and that’s what I wanted to do. So I went to college, and right after that, I spent some time working in Mexico, Brazil, and Australia. 

During this time, I had the chance to work in many different types of restaurants. I worked and learned a lot, but the most important thing was that during this journey, I met amazing people who also loved food and were generous enough to share what they knew with me. In 2013 I started my journey with commercial cooking equipment, and in 2014 I moved to Vancouver – I’ve been living here since, and I’m lucky to call this city home. As a chef, I don’t have a favorite food. I simply love food when it is done right, no matter how simple or humble it is. Some of the best meals I had in my life were served in fancy restaurants or cooked by famous chefs. But the food and meals I remember the most were cooked by people who love and respect food. For instance, my favorite restaurant at the moment is Wild Thyme, near Vancouver – certainly not a fancy place, but their food has a soul – and that’s something hard to find. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else, I’ve been working in the foodservice industry for so many years, and I’m just thankful to do what I love.

  (604) 787-0335 

  gsantos@wdcolledge.com

dan f staff bio (1)

Dan Frenette

I love food and adventure, especially when they are served together! I have always found that the two are mutually inclusive of each other. Whether it be traveling the world and tasting exotic local fairs or cooking something on the top of a mountain around a fire. I have always pursued the two as my greatest passions in life outside of my family, without whom I would not be the person I am today. 

I feel the greatest asset I bring to WDC is my passion and knowledge of food. Knowing the technical aspects of cooking has helped me gain a stronger understanding and appreciation for how the equipment works and what its intended uses are. I could not imagine a better place to be with my skillset and love for the foodservice industry. 

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and friends. We usually find ourselves seeking out farmers' markets or interesting food shops where we can bring something home to cook up, hopefully on the BBQ surrounded by our people. 

I tend to grab a hold of life and really try to live life to its fullest potential. I am always up for a new experience, a new adventure, or a new culinary experience. Got any suggestions?

  (416) 432-2512 

 dfrenette@wdcolledge.com

 

dave wilson staff bio

Dave Wilson

I love cooking or learning to cook all styles of cuisine. I am always eager to learn new techniques and/or recipes. I started my culinary career when I was 16. My first exposure to cooking started at the KEG, still one of my favorite restaurants today. 30+ years later and I am learning something new every day. My favorite style of cooking is BBQing or Grilling – anything slow roasted or on the grill is my happy place. 

When I am not in the Kitchen or cooking for friends and family, I love going to small venue concerts, being at the beach or on a lake during the summer, and supporting my local OHL hockey team in the winter. Hockey arenas are my second home. My all-time favorite meal was at the Girl and the Goat in Chicago – it was simply amazing is all I can say. If I am not in the Kitchen at WDC (it’s spectacular, you should call me to arrange a visit), you can find me in my garage workshop working on my next woodworking project. I might have been a carpenter, but I loved the kitchen more.

  (416) 629-8731 

  dwilson@wdcolledge.com

m ottoni staff bio

Mikael Ottoni

Ever since I was a little boy, I loved to eat. Coming from an Italian family, that made a lot of people happy. In my early teens, I wanted to be a police officer, I guess for the thrill and from watching too many ‘Cops’ episodes. However, I began working as a busboy at a hall when I was about 16 or 17 years of age. Long shifts of smelling all that delicious food made me realize one thing, that I belonged in the kitchen, and my passion for cooking really kicked in. I worked as a line cook for a while and wanted to take my passion for food to the next level. I then took a course on the culinary arts, and this, in fact, was where I met my wife, with whom I have four children. 

Being from Montreal, I had a lot of opportunities to eat smoked meat. I also sliced it at a young age- I probably ate as much as I cut- and I rank this meal my favourite. Reuben’s would be one of my favourite spots in downtown Montreal. All of this led to a career change working for WDC, where I can bring my culinary skills to the East Coast and help our customers with their culinary questions. In addition to all of this, I also love chilling with my family, hanging out in the old port of Montreal, visiting water parks, taking road trips, playing chess, and listening to some rock music.

  (514) 290-0553 

 mikael@wdcolledge.com

c williams staff bio

Chris Williams

My entire career has been in the foodservice industry. It started in England at 17 years old, where I attended culinary school and was inspired by a Master Chef of Great Britain who took me under his wing. During this time, I was able to travel to some of Europe’s best culinary destinations, such as Barcelona and Paris. After moving to Canada, I joke that I have two jobs. One would be answering the many times I get asked if I’m from Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. The second would be with the amazing team at WDC. I have been in the food equipment industry for 12 years now, and it’s a great industry to be a part of.

Choosing a favourite food or restaurant would be difficult. I enjoy everything from a great burger and local craft beer to some BBQ or a nice home-cooked Sunday roast.

My interests outside of work include spending time with my wife and two children and enjoying the outdoors, whether it be hiking or fishing. We also enjoy traveling as much as possible and can’t wait to continue exploring some far and wide destinations. I couldn’t imagine not being in the food industry in some form, but if I weren’t, I’d want to be fishing the lakes of BC.

   (587) 921-4216 

   cwilliams@wdcolledge.com

s biggin staff photo

Steve Biggin

I’m a Chef by trade and a Country Boy at heart. I spent much of my childhood on my Grandparents’ farm in rural Saskatchewan. My Grandmother’s vegetable garden was the genesis of the things I hold most dear today, procuring, preparing, and preserving my own food. I love hunting, fishing, foraging, and gardening nearly as much as I love the Restaurant Community and the vibrant people who drive it. I began my culinary journey on Vancouver Island and, over the years, have used my skills to usher my little family of nomads from the Pacific Coast through the Prairies, finally putting down roots on a little acreage in Nova Scotia. Every stop along the way has made me who I am today with unique experiences and cherished friends.

And food, lots of great food. If I weren’t working in the Food Service industry… I have no idea. I hope that never happens! This industry has been my home since I was 15 years old, and I couldn’t imagine life without it. I wouldn’t be able to nail down a favorite meal, but I can certainly tell you my three favorite ingredients from the three favorite places I’ve called home over the years. From Vancouver Island – Fire Morels, Wild Asparagus, and Dungeness Crab. From Southern Saskatchewan – Ribeye Steak, burgundy beans, and new red skin potatoes. From the Atlantic Coast – Digby Scallops, cherry tomatoes, and chantarelle mushrooms.

   (902) 943-1131 

   steve@permul.com

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