Vancouver, British Columbia native John Carlo Felicella caught the culinary bug at an early age and enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College in 1983. Upon completion of his studies he joined the brigade at the Vancouver downtown Holiday Inn where he continued his training as an apprentice under the tutelage of renowned chef, Elio Guarnori. His apprenticeship completed, John Carlo was promoted to first cook, as the Holiday Inn became the Newworld Harbourside Hotel.
In 1988 John Carlo moved to the Westin Bayshore Hotel as a chef de partie and shortly thereafter accepted the position of banquet sous-chef. After three years at the Bayshore he transferred to the Ramada Renaissance Hotel where he shouldered the responsibilities of restaurant chef in the highly acclaimed vistas on the bay.
Ambition called and John Carlo accepted positions with the Tanabe Corporation of Japan firstly as executive chef of the Hazelmere Golf and Country Club followed by a period as executive chef at the exclusive Furry Creek Golf and Country Club where he continued to build his reputation as a culinary leader in the Vancouver area.
A strong desire for independence and a golden business opportunity led John Carlo to his next career move when he purchased west Vancouver's fifty-seat La Toque Blanche restaurant and full service catering business in 1995. As chef / proprietor of his own restaurant, John Carlo was able to broaden his culinary horizons by focusing on his unique and innovating cooking style while showcasing the best of local products for a very appreciative and supportive clientele.
The education of young chefs became a priority for John Carlo. During his time at La Toque Blanche, many of Vancouver’s talented young chefs of today began their careers in the Felicella kitchen. In fact, in 1999 John Carlo jumped at the opportunity to teach on a relief basis at the renowned Vancouver Community College. Inspired and refreshed, he had found a new exciting challenge and eventually sold his restaurant in 2003, when offered a full time position as a Culinary Arts instructor. Since that time, he has become a truly positive inspiration to hundreds of impressionable young culinarians instilling his work ethic and his philosophy while providing his students with the strong basic culinary foundation they require to achieve success in their newly chosen careers. In 2008 John Carlo accepted the position of department head and is currently on his second term. The challenge of directing a department with 400 plus students and 24 instructors is one that JC welcomes with open arms and does it with unparalleled success.
In March of 2001 the British Columbia Chef's Association (the Vancouver branch of the Canadian Culinary Foundation) awarded John Carlo with their highest honour by proclaiming him the 2001 chef of the year. He also holds the 2003 title for Western Canada's chef of the year. He was recognized for his entire body of work as an educator and a mentor to developing young chefs, as a successful businessman, as a passionate competitor, as a fair and considerate judge, as willing volunteer and as a remarkably innovative cook. Just recently JC received the Canadian Chef Federations highest reward and that is 2010 National Chef of the Year.
John carlo first became interested in culinary competition when he was persuaded to become involved by respected colleague, mentor and cherished friend, Bruno Marti. A strong supporter of the Canadian Culinary Federation and the British Columbia Chef's Association, John Carlo sat as the secretary of the Canadian Culinary Federation Board of Directors from 2002-2006. His strong desire to compete over the years led him to the elected position as manager of Culinary Team Canada. His term would be 4 years, 2005 – 2009, with 15 gold medals and 1 silver medal during his term ultimately placing 5th overall out of 34 national countries at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in 2008. With a new venture involving students and alumni from Vancouver community college that won the rights to represent Canada for the World Culinary Olympics in Germany, he will be managing and coaching the team towards the competitions highest honor.
Culinary Competition History
|1988 – Frankfurt, Germany||Team Vancouver – support member||Gold|
|1988 – Frankfurt, Germany||individual competitor||Silver|
|1990 – Singapore||Team Canada – support member||Silver|
|1990 – Singapore||individual competitor||Gold|
|1992 – Chicago, USA||Team Vancouver – member||Gold|
|1992 – Frankfurt, Germany||Team Vancouver – member||Silver|
|1996 – Berlin, Germany||individual competitor||Gold|
|1998 – Singapore||Team BC – member||Gold|
|1999 – Basel, Switzerland||Team BC – member||Gold|
|2001 – Glasgow, Scotland||Team Canada – member||Gold, world championship|
|2003 – Luxembourg||Team Canada – member||Gold,silver|
|2004 – Erfurt, Germany||Team BC – manager||Gold|
|2005 – Lyon, France||Bocus d’Or – manger||Eighth out of 24 countries|
|2005 – Glasgow, Scotland||Team Canada – manager||Gold, world champions|
|2005 – Basel, Switzerland||Team Canada – manager||4 gold medals, 1st place hot competition|
|2006 – Luxembourg||Team Canada – manager||4 gold medals, 4th out of 25 countries|
|2007 – Chicago||Team Canada – manager||3 gold medals, 1 silver, second place overall|
|2008 – Culinary Olympics, Germany||Team Canada – manager||4 gold medals, fifth out of 35 countries|
|2010 – Costa Rica||Team Canada – manager/coach||Gold medal, champions|
|2011 – Dublin, Ireland||Team Canada – manager/coach||Gold, silver medals, second place|
A strong supporter and reliable volunteer involved in countless local, regional and national individual and team fundraisers and supportive events.
- 2002 – Organizer of the CCFCC/Knorr junior competition in Toronto (national junior team selection).
- 2003 / 2004 / 2005 – Organizer / coordinator of three successful Vancouver salons culinaire.
- 2004 – Organizer / coordinator of the Knorr /CCF junior competitions in Vancouver and Toronto.
- 2005 - Organized and coordinator of the Knorr/CCF junior competitions in Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec
- 2006 – Organized the national youth team selection competition, Ontario
Numerous judging assignments in local and regional hot and cold competitions.
- 2004 – Judge of the National Knorr/CCF junior competition.
- 2004 – Judge of the 2007 Bocuse d'Or Canadian selection competition.
- 2005/2006 - Judge of the national Knorr/CCF junior competition and TV show, the Next Great Chef
- 2007 – Judge of the western region chef of the year placement competition
- 2010 – WACS approved judge/ World Association of Chefs Societies