About Us...

Our History Philosophy Key People


Georges

Gertrude

HISTORY

It all started at Camp Shalom in 1969. Just before the start of the camping season, the camp realized their Chef of many years could not return so the Director sought the assistance of Georges Bourbeau, Culinary Professor and Placement Officer at the Provincial Institute of Trade (now George Brown College). Unable to find a suitable applicant, Georges, accepted the summer position himself-but only after his family (including seven children) was assured of convenient accommodation at the camp.

Georges and his wife, Gertrude, a professional Baker, took full charge of the contract. It was home cooking, homemade bread and satisfying food for all of the campers and staff. For the Bourbeaus it was an enriching experience of learning wonderful Jewish customs and the beginning of their family business. This first year at camp served as our introduction to the full-fledged food service to camps, sport centres and resorts.

Within six years G.B. Catering was contracted to provide the food service of twelve Camps and Resorts. These early clients were important contributors to our development and success. All of the children worked at various camps and business continued to flourish, with new contracts almost every year, and our eventual involvement with industrial contracts, including the execution of several large contracts, including Queen's Park, Ford of Canada in Windsor, and Atomic Energy.

The second generation continued to play an active role in the business. Dr. André-Francois Bourbeau (the eldest son) developed the reputable G.B. Tripping System™, a packaged dry food system, in the late 1970s (André was a Guinness World record holder for spending the longest period of time in the wilderness without any matches, food, sleeping bag, or a tent).

In 1996, the business formally passed on to the next generation. Réal Bourbeau and his wife, Annie Cotnoir, who have both been heavily involved in the business since completing their education, assumed control of the family business and they continue the family tradition of catering to camps, resorts, schools, institutions and recreational facilities.

Twenty years later, in 2016, Réal & Annie officially passed on the business to two long-term employees, who even though are not Bourbeaus, have been like family to them. Mr. Luc Levert and Mr. Mike Poels whom are both excellent chefs, managers & trainers in their own right and have a combined 55 years experience. They have both worked as Chef Managers & Supervisors at multiple sites for G.B. Catering during each of their 20+ years with the company. They continue the excellent concept instilled by the original owners, George & Gertrude Bourbeau, of preparing excellent food & baked goods made from scratch right on the premises… and plenty of it! G.B. is now in its 48th year of providing peace of mind for your business catering needs. . [return to top]

PHILOSOPHY

G.B. Catering's recipe for success is based on our unique philosophy of preparing high quality home cooking and baked goods. Over the years, we have remained strongly dedicated to bringing to our customers the best in everything we prepare. All meat, fish and other entrées are prepared from basic ingredients and when at all possible, breads, buns and pastries are baked from scratch daily. We discourage the use of common prepared foods, which often contain added salt, sugar, artificial additives and preservatives.

G.B. Catering has evolved over the years in order to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients. While we have kept the highest possible standards in everything we prepare, our menu has expanded almost as much as we have. This is due to increasing emphasis on nutrition and health, as well as food allergies and cultural preferences. All of our menus have a vegetarian option and we will work together with our clients to make sure that everyone requiring a special diet is well fed.

G.B. Catering has been specializing in student feeding since 1969, and we have a thorough understanding of the preferences of children and adolescents in today's ever-changing market. Healthier eating is what many kids are looking for today….and our philosophy of good, wholesome foods is a perfect match.

Our experience is varied. We service camps that are sports-oriented, for children with special needs (including diabetics and the physically challenged), religious and traditional camps. Our staff are always aware of the philosophy, policies and standards of the location to which they are assigned.

OUR PLEDGE...To give our clients peace of mind by providing excellent service, good wholesome nutritious meals and by being the leaders in new innovative trends for Camps, Schools and Outdoor Recreation Centres. [return to top]

Mike and Chase

Réal and Marc

Luc

Luc

Luc

KEY PEOPLE

Mike Poels, President

Mike started his culinary pursuits at the very young age of 8 years old when he learned how to make butter tarts, apple dumplings and pastry dough from scratch at Christmas from his Nookoo and mother who were both excellent chefs in their own rights.

He got his real taste for industrial kitchens when he was 15 and started working in a Chinese restaurant as the banquet dishwasher. The following year he became a cook at an Italian restaurant in Winnipeg learning from some of the best Italian chefs and cooks. After working several years in the industry, he worked his way up to Manager by the age of 25, and was then chosen to set up two new restaurant locations in the city of Winnipeg. Mike moved to Ottawa in 1990 where he managed "Ricks" in Kanata and "La Piazza" in Bells Corners.

In 1996, Mike started full time with G.B. Catering at Red Pine Camp, feeding up to 400 people a day in the summer and as Sous Chef at the Bolton Conference Centre from September to June. Mike was quickly promoted to Chef Manager in 1997 at Red Pine Camp, while managing numerous other jobs for GB Catering over the winter months.

Previous past experience with G.B. includes, Chef Manager at Sir James Whitney School, Mono Cliffs Outdoor Centre and Kandalore Outdoor Centre. Mike also spent two summers as supervisor at various camps throughout Ontario, and in the off-season would work multiple functions, weddings, worked on the GB Tripping System and assisted in menu development.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with his son Chase, playing hockey (goalie), is an avid golfer, and loves fishing and other outdoor activities and winter sports. He is passionate about food and customer service.
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Luc Levert, Vice-President

Luc has been working in the food service industry for over 25 years. His extensive experience ranges from fast food to fine dining and everything in between. He is a graduate of the Food Management Program at the Institut de Tourisme et d'Hôtellerie du Québec, in Montreal.

Luc began working for G.B. Catering in 1993, as an Assistant Chef. In the summer of 1994, he was promoted to the position of Chef Manager. He continued to work in this capacity for the next 4 years, working in some our biggest camps feeding up to 400 people per day, including a complex sports camp with 9 sittings per day. In 1999, Luc began full-time work with G.B. Catering, helping with menu planning and special groups in the off-season, and supervising in the summertime. Luc is a fantastic cook, a great baker and also heads up our Baker's training at the beginning of each summer. An important role to ensure our trademark homemade bread and other goodies get on the table each day.

Luc's favourite interests include hockey, golf of course cooking & baking.
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David Wilkinson, Corporate Chef

David is our #1 Corporate Chef, who truly understands the value of training and retraining, and the importance of motivation and teamwork. For Dave, cooking is not only an art it is a passion. His energy and patience is endless.

Dave was a Chef Instructor at Durham College in Oshawa in the early 1990s, after which, he joined G.B. Catering. Dave was our Chef at Bark Lake Leadership Centre and the Bolton Conference Centre, and had previous duties as Chef at Pine Stone Resort in Haliburton and the Briar Resort and Conference Centre in Jackson Point, dating back to 1979.

Dave worked as the Chef Manager at Camp Kandalore for 6 years before joining the office team 12 years ago. Dave is in charge of purchasing, special functions and menu planning in the off-season and is busy helping out supervising and training at camps in the summertime

Dave is a graduate of Algonquin College in Ottawa. He obtained his inter-provincial Red Seal in 1982 and obtained a certificate in Hotel Restaurant Management from I.C.S. Montreal in 1983.

Kelly Norton, Human Resources Manager/Office Manager

Kelly has worked for G.B. Catering for 6 seasons, helping out in the office , working on our Tripping System and delivering to and visiting our various camps. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph. Before returning to work full-time at G.B. in 2016, Kelly worked at RBC Royal Bank for 1.5 years and for 4 years as the Finance Manager at Santa's Village in Bracebridge, Ontario.

At the office, Kelly is responsible for payroll, policies, accounting and helping with staffing.

A native of Huntsville, Kelly loves food, reading, camping, running, both winter and summer outdoor activities and spending time with her puppy Lexi.
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