Meet UVic's New Manager, Catering Services
University Food Services is pleased to welcome Shannon Aitchison. Shannon brings a wealth of experience to the position, having most recently worked as Senior Event Planner for Truffles Catering.
With nearly two decades of service in the industry, Shannon is well equipped to lead Catering Services through the challenges ahead, including an upcoming rebrand that will see the development of new menus and a fresh, contemporary new look and feel:
“My goal is to modernize the menus and bring in more design creativity and fun. It’s all about the customer experience, and getting that right each and every time.”
Shannon began her work in the restaurant industry at an early age, working in various roles including hostess, server and bartender at local establishments including Canoe Brewpub, Restaurant & Marina, Oak Bay Marina Restaurant & Inn at Laurel Point.
With a positive, can-do attitude and a firm belief that “hard work will pay off” Shannon excelled in the industry and began to see her work as more than just a way to make ends meet.
Briefly considering a career in Child and Youth Care, Shannon recalls the moment when she knew she wanted to pursue food and beverage as a career instead: “I’d always thought of my work as a way to pay the bills; it wasn’t until I was into my 3rd year of school that I realized I enjoyed what I was already doing more than what I was studying in my degree.”
With that in mind, Shannon switched gears and completed a diploma in Hospitality Management which helped to round out her practical experience and move her forward in the industry.
Shannon has also travelled extensively, moving across Canada to Nova Scotia where she worked for a personal chef and gained fine dining experience. Her travels continued through Central America, where she worked at the front desk of a “little guest house, meeting lots of people”. She lived in Taiwan for two and a half years and travelled throughout South Eastern Asia, soaking up the flavours of different cultures and cuisines.
Today her biggest passion is event planning and she feels the key strengths she brings to her current position are her strong organizational and teamwork skills. She also brings a great deal of enthusiasm to her new role.
Shannon’s favourite meal depends on the season. In summer, “a great glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and a big salad piled with everything” For winter, “braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled root vegetables and a peppery Shiraz” because “you’d never pair a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with braised ribs”.
Hobbies include travel, snowboarding, softball and spending time with her new “puppy”, a 100-pound Bernese mountain dog named Bandit whom she describes as her new favourite person, “he’s always got a happy face”.
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