Our Team

Linda Garson

Editor-in-Chief / Publisher

Linda Garson has always been a foodie with a passion for wine. She has worked with Chateaux in France, vineyards in Italy, Germany, Australia and South Africa and more. After moving to Calgary, she created Vine and Dine, a wine and food pairing club held in restaurants all over the city. She has earned a reputation as one of Calgary’s prime wine and food experts, educators and influencers, speaking at functions all over the city. Follow Linda at vineanddine.ca and @vineanddine.

Tom Firth

Drinks Editor

Tom Firth is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge whose work in the wine and beverage industry stretches back to the mid ‘90s. Tom is the Contributing Drinks Editor for Culinaire Magazine and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. He has no qualms about tasting first thing in the morning, and his poor desk is completely covered in paper and bottles. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine.

Keane Straub

Multimedia Editor

Keane Straub is a freelance writer and photographer based out of Calgary.  They have travelled from Tofino, BC, to Charlottetown, PEI, and tried a lot of local flavour along the way.  While beer is their go-to, they won’t say no to a good gin and tonic. A storyteller at heart, they find building LEGO therapeutic, and enjoy hiking, teaching photography basics, and reading about Mount Everest.  Find them on instagram @keane_larsen, or their website keanestraub.com



Carmen Cheng


Coming from a long line of food lovers and notorious over-orderers, even at a young age Carmen loved to eat and try different dishes. She believes in learning about different cultures through understanding and honouring their culinary stories. She will try pretty much any food because there’s no room for pretension. Carmen has shared her food adventures on various forms of media including print, online, and television.

Candace Hiebert


Candace loves food – eating it, making it, taking about it – and is always up to try any and every culinary adventure, especially with friends. She has been active in various aspects of the food industry for the past 13 years, with a background in baking and pastry. Candace is passionate about bringing people together around food and is constantly arranging dinner parties and gatherings with delicious meals at the centre. 

Dong Kim


A freelance photographer and mental health consultant, Dong splits his time between Edmonton and Calgary. Although he shoots a wide range of subjects, his passion lies in photographing food and capturing stories from the food community. An avid traveller whose itineraries often revolve around learning about cultures through its culinary scene, Dong shares many of his travels and food encounters on Instagram at @therealbuntcake.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth


Busy freelance writer and broadcaster, Elizabeth writes about food, travel, and many other topics. In addition to contributing to Culinaire, national and international publications, she is a Globe and Mail bestselling cookbook author and a regular contributor to CBC Radio and the Calgary Herald. A lover of food, travel, music, and community, when Elizabeth isn’t out searching for something delicious she’s likely to be found curled up with a good book.

Sabrina Kooistra


A freelance writer pursuing a Communications and History double major at the University of Calgary, Sabrina enjoys writing about – you guessed it – history. She’s a farm kid with a bad case of wanderlust, enjoys lending a hand on her family’s beef farm near Strathmore, and venturing abroad whenever possible. When she has spare time, you can find Sabrina tinkling the ivories or chipping away at her latest cross-stitching project.

Gwendolyn Richards


Calgary-based food writer and author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers, Gwendolyn writes about travel, culinary trends, and chefs and restaurants of all stripes. When not dining out, she loves to putter in the kitchen, creating new recipes or cooking pasta carbonara. She is passionate about burgers – one of life’s greatest joys – and bourbon-based cocktails. On a good night out, she enjoys both while wearing her signature red lipstick and patent shoes. 

Jeannette LeBlanc


Jeannette is a freelance writer with a focus on sharing the stories of a place and its people. Her work can be found in print and online publications in Canada and the US. She holds WSET 3 certification and keeps a fresh palate by judging wine competitions, or drinking with those who know more about these things than she does. Jeannette lives in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley, and is happiest with a glass of bubble in hand.

Lexie Angelo


A food and lifestyle writer passionate about contemporary cooking and international cuisine, Lexie is a traveler and adventurer always in search of the hottest trends in food and drink. She has lived in Europe and studied at the University of Edinburgh, a UNESCO City of Literature. Her top food destinations include Kyoto, Madrid, and Michelin star restaurants in Copenhagen and Stockholm. She is currently at work on a lifestyle cookbook.


Karen Miller


A lawyer by trade, Karen’s attention to details gives her a knack for picking apart recipes and cookbooks for Culinaire reviews. She has a passion for her ever-expanding cookbook collection, and the cooks and the stories they tell provide inspiration for her own cooking style. She believes cooking is meant for sharing and has taught many styles of cooking classes as well as being part of the Calgary Dishing girls (producing two cookbooks). 

David Nuttall


David has worked in liquor since the late 1980s. He achieved his Beer Judge Certification in 2012, and is the head judge for Calgary International Beerfest, as well as judging the Alberta Beverage Awards and Alberta Beer Awards. He has appeared on radio, television, and in the movie Aleberta: Our Beer History. He is also a freelance writer for print and online, speaker, and has run Brew Ed beer courses since 2014. Follow him @abfbrewed.

Leilani Olynik


Olaf-shaped pancakes and little fingers stealing cookie dough, Leilani is happiest in the kitchen with her two young girls. She has a diverse background in digital marketing, writing, and event planning, and as the Marketing Coordinator for the Calgary Farmers’ Market, she shares her passion for local food by showcasing the market as a vibrant and inspiring place to reconnect with your farmer and your food. Wife. Mother. Food lover. Bourbon enthusiast. And proud Calgarian.

Mallory Frayn


Having obtained her PhD in clinical psychology, Mallory combines her two passions, food and psychology, to help people develop healthier relationships with food. As a food writer, she is a regular contributor to publications, such as Eater Montreal and Eat North, where she writes on a variety of food and psychology-related topics. Mallory’s work has also been featured in Time Out Montreal, Canada’s 100 Best, and more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cuzilikechoclat.

Lynda Sea


Lynda is a freelance writer/editor based in Calgary. Currently, she manages web and social media for the Faculty of Nursing as a digital communications specialist at the University of Calgary. Lynda also does copywriting for local corporate clients. Her writing has appeared in Avenue, WestJet Magazine, EnRoute and Flare. You can usually find her out hiking in the Canadian Rockies or eating her way through Alberta. Follow her on Twitter @lyndasea.

Shelley Boettcher


Shelley is an award winning Calgary-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. She’s the author of the best-selling books, Uncorked: the Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines $25 and Under. If Shelley’s not drinking wine, she’s probably drinking coffee. Visit drinkwithme.com for her food, wine and spirits exploits, or Twitter @shelley_wine, Instagram @shelleyboettcher.


Natalie Findlay


Natalie Findlay is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. Her food aspirations started at an early age as baked desserts for her family and friends as soon as she could use a mixer. Natalie’s love of food resulted in her graduating from The Cordon Bleu’s Pastry Program. Over the past 10 years, Natalie has been a pastry chef and cook in hotels and restaurants while managing her own business creating custom-made special occasion cakes.

Renée Kholman


Renée Kohlman is an award-winning cookbook author, food writer, baker, and recipe developer in Saskatoon. When not working on her second cookbook (Vegetables: A Love Story, due Fall, 2021) she’s writing for The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and others, and in her garden admiring her sweet peas and coaxing her cats down from trees. Renée hopes one day to go hiking in Iceland, eat a croissant in Paris, and have a dishwasher in her kitchen.


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