Andrea Callan’s dream was to be a pastry chef.
After becoming one at 15, she quickly realized her creative mind needed a challenge.
Callan is the head chef at Red Fox Club, which serves indigenous food and wine.
The 36-year old’s love of food began in Ontario with her family.
Her father has a baker’s degree and she remembers selling cookies at her father’s work and baking for fun.
“We would always do the homemade bread on our Saturdays,” said Callan.
She grew up in Southern Ontario and worked at an organic farm, which she said sparked her interest in forging supplies, which she carried with her to the Red Fox.
At 15, she went to Europe and received a degree in Home Economics in Finland and studied at the Culinary Institute of Canada in P.E.I. from 1997 to 2000.
She’s worked as a pastry chef, sous-chef, in fine dining, in a pub atmosphere, as a bartender, in a bakery, selling wine and more.
She learned the business side of food in Oakville, Ont. working as a consultant at McGinnis Landing before bartending in London, Ont.
“You really kind of want that diversity because it really gives you an idea of what you’re passions are but also a good driving force where you want to be,” she said.
After London, Callan moved to Ottawa and worked at Dish Catering, a high-end catering business, where she began to “formulate a lot of my passions.”
As an executive chef “we were doing the Ottawa Centaurs, the New Jersey Devils, private airplanes, we were cooking in Parliament Hill, special events for TV stars… just crazy stuff.You’re like ‘did I really do that?’ We got to do a ton of cool stuff.”
Her husband, Brian, and two sons, Mason, 10 and Spencer, seven, moved to Kelowna eight years ago with her to take a break from the hectic lifestyle.
Soon after she moved, her old dream came calling in the form of Quails Gate. She became a full-time pastry chef, which reignited her love of restaurants.
She took over as sous-chef position there, and she stayed for five seasons.
The head chef position at Red Fox fell into her lap.
The official proprietor of the Red Fox Club found her resume and called her up asking her questions, and made her curious. She didn’t know who sent him the resume.
“We met in the parking lot. He said ‘this is what’s going on’ and opened his trunk.” In it contained books for the restaurant. She met the owners, was hired and had 20 days to get the restaurant together.
“The excitement of it all was really just what drove me,” she said.
As a visual learner, Callan carries a sketch book and has a stack of them at home.
“If we do a new menu item we’re going to draw it,” she said.
Not only does Callan create the menus, she also grows the food.
She lives on a country property and grows ingredients for the restaurant during the summer.
“We picked a 1,000 pounds of cherries off the tree. That’s been kind of exciting and rewarding too.”
She recommends anything off of the Red Fox Board.
The Red Fox Club opened in May, 2016 and the restaurant side is completely staffed by women.
For any woman wanting to move into a leadership role she said to “really never give up, we’re human like everyone else.”