James Neilson

Executive Chef
Calgary Zoo
Participates in 2 items
Chef James Neilson has been working in kitchens for the past 19 years. James worked as a sous chef at The Rusty Pelican in Red Deer while going to school for culinary arts. After completing his red seal training in 2006 at Red Deer College he moved to Calgary and worked as private chef for oil and gas executives and executed a variety of private functions. In 2008 James decided to move to Vancouver Island. Over the next 5 years he worked at The Westin Bear Mountain in Victoria, as Executive Chef at The Dorchester hotel in Nanaimo and opened a successful Seafood and Raw Bar at Acme Food co in Nanaimo. During his time on the island he had a booth at numerous local farmers markets where he and his wife sold a flourless chocolate torte, west coast granola and a variety of homemade barbecue sauces. He was able to make and develop a lot of tight nit relationships with the local farmers. He won numerous competitions wile on Vancouver Island including Harvest fest top chef competition (Nanaimo) which showcased local product and the Chowder fest competition (Nanaimo) in 2011. After 5 years on Vancouver Island James decided that he wanted to move back home to Alberta. Here, James has competed annually in the Ocean wise Chowder Chowdown the last 4 years featuring top local chefs and an array of sustainable Chowder. This year he is passing the reigns onto his sous chef Felipe to compete. James like the zoo has an extreme dedication and focus on the importance of utilizing local suppliers, sustainable seafood options and minimizing our foot print on the environment when and where ever possible. As Executive chef at the Calgary Zoo, James oversees all Catering services ( approximately 400 events per year ranging from weddings to corporate family events), Grazers Restaurant and production for all Concessions.

Sessions in which James Neilson participates

Thursday February 15, 2018

9:00 AM
9:00 AM
  • Sustainable Sushi Workshop (Calgary Zoo)
  • Tickets required
  • Calgary Zoo - Grazers
  •  1 hour 15 minutes
  • 1 Hour Session
    ScienceTeacher WellnessCalgary ZooEarly Childhood Education (Pre K-Kindergarden)Division 1 (Grades 1-3)Division 2 (Grades 4-6)Division 3 (Grades 7-9)Division 4 (Grades 10-12)

Friday February 16, 2018

9:00 AM
  • Sustainable Sushi Workshop (Calgary Zoo)
  • Tickets required
  • Calgary Zoo - Grazers
  •  1 hour 15 minutes
  • 1 Hour Session
    ScienceTeacher WellnessCalgary ZooEarly Childhood Education (Pre K-Kindergarden)Division 1 (Grades 1-3)Division 2 (Grades 4-6)Division 3 (Grades 7-9)Division 4 (Grades 10-12)