The BC Hospitality Foundation is proud to annonce and welcome its two new board Members Laura Starr and James Iranzad. They join the Foundation at a time when the Board is working on its Strategic mid and long term goals. They are looking forward to contributing to the Foundation’s goals.
Laura is a veteran in the restaurant industry and an English teacher by trade, Laura’s debut in the world of wine came about due to a mash-up of accident and fate. Passion and circumstance enabled her to forge a women-led trifecta team of sommeliers at Vancouver’s Chambar Restaurant, and she gets her daily fix of grape-soaked language as Vita Daily’s wine editor. Keenly engaged in the community, she has been involved with Big Sisters and Adult Literacy programs, and has been a boxing contender for Vancouver’s Aprons for Gloves – a role she will reprise in the near future. Although she retains an attachment to the night-time restaurant and wine scene, Laura’s present regime sees her rising with the birds, with her nose in a book and her fingers on the keyboard, freelance writing for all things related to wine, food, culture, and media.
James has proudly demonstrated an ongoing commitment to his profession and community for the past five years by acting as an advisor to the BC Hospitality Foundation. He is a visionary armed with a passion for the hustle of small business, a lifelong love of good food and drink and a staunch belief in supporting local purveyors and suppliers, James Iranzad is a respected veteran of the Vancouver hospitality industry who first began affixing his indelible mark on the scene almost two decades ago. Born in Iran, James arrived on the West Coast by way of London, England. After spending his formative years in Vancouver, he graduated from UBC with a degree in Art History and Shakespearean studies and made his first foray into the industry as owner of Kitsilano establishments Abigail’s Party, Hell’s Kitchen and Flying Tiger. After savouring his first taste as an owner, James joined forces with acclaimed local bartender Josh Pape to found Gooseneck Hospitality and opened the first establishment under the brand’s umbrella in Gastown’s Wildebeest in 2012. The pair went on to launch Pizzeria Bufala in Kerrisdale in 2014, Kitsilano’s Lucky Taco in 2016, and Bells and Whistles in Fraserhood/Cedar Cottage in 2017.