Celebrating Women in Culinary at Compass Group Canada

At Compass Group Canada, the diversity of our people is interwoven in everything we do – from the meals we serve to the industry leading support services we provide, and we strive to offer a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace for our associates across Canada.

We are committed to listening to our people so we can learn and act… and we know that there is more we must do.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day throughout the month of March, this commitment is at the forefront of a global conversation: how do we inspire inclusivity?

Within our organization, we feel we can have a meaningful impact within this conversation as we employ, educate, develop and inspire Women in Culinary.

We had the exciting opportunity to sit down with Compass Group Canada Executive Chef, Katie Goff to ask her a few questions about her career as a Woman in Culinary. Chef Katie has been a part of the Compass Group Canada team for 10 years, was awarded Chef of the Year in 2023 and currently works in our East Coast Catering sector in St. John’s Newfoundland on “one of the largest harsh weather oil and gas platforms in the world!”


Chef Katie Goff, Compass Group Canada’s 2023 Chef of the Year

Hi Katie! Thanks for joining us today. As we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we are so excited to talk with some of our very own Women in Culinary!

Let’s start off with what inspired you to pursue a career in culinary?

My whole life, having family and friends around was natural and I loved entertaining! I noticed that serving food for my loved ones added a layer of comfort, for them and for me. This is where my passion began.

How has your passion for culinary evolved throughout your career?

At the beginning of my career, I was very focused on perfecting the culinary techniques I had learned. However, after a few years, that started to shift. As I began working rotational work, 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off, I learned how to take full advantage of my schedule. While I was at work, I was focused on learning and growing in my career, and while I was off work, I took the opportunity to travel to many small and large corners of the world to expand my culinary experiences. This allowed me to broaden my appreciation for where food comes from and was the beginning of my journey of learning how to use the techniques I practiced and perfected in new ways to create different flavours.

What does being a woman in culinary mean to you?

Honestly, to me it’s simple. It means I can use my skills to prove that I am capable of being an exceptional chef in a male dominated industry.

Can you share your thoughts on being a woman in a male dominated industry?

I think I have an extra interesting perspective here. I work on an oil rig where, not only is our kitchen male dominated, but for 6 months of the year I live with about 95% men. I’m not going to lie, it does come with many challenges and I have found myself forced to prove to my male colleagues that I am qualified for my job. Being near that type of energy and behaviour can really make you feel small. I had to learn how to set boundaries, use my voice and prove to my coworkers that I could do the job that was required of me, and do it exceptionally well.

It has also been incredibly important to have supportive and encouraging colleagues. I have been very fortunate to have surrounded myself with male allies who, since day one, have given me an important and invaluable opportunity, an equal seat at the table. They remind me that I have a voice, it is strong, and it deserves to be heard.

Can you share a few examples of times you felt proud and powerful as a female chef?

Chef Katie Goff (centre) receives the award for Chef of the Year from Ashton Sequeira, COO, Healthcare & Remote Services (left) and Michael Hachey, COO, Foodservice & Hospitality (right)

The very first time I had an all women team on an offshore platform. I have worked on many oil rigs throughout my career where I was the only woman on the platform. But in summer of 2023, I had the privilege to lead a full female team in the kitchen. It was a small crew working nights, but it was entirely women. The team was the most cohesive and organized group that I ever had the opportunity to work with and it is something I feel so proud of to this day.

A personal one for me is the moment I was awarded Chef of the Year for Compass Group Canada was the proudest moment I’ve had in my career as a woman. Every woman I spoke to at the award ceremony made a point to acknowledge how big of an accomplishment this is for all the women of Compass Group, not only in Canada, but around the world. The appreciation and fulfillment was truly overwhelming.

Can you share a few challenges you have encountered as a female chef and how you overcame them?

It took me a long time to get recognized as a chef in my workplace. I have worked hard throughout my professional career to find my voice and it’s been my saviour. Now, I will not compromise for respect in the kitchen. Everyone in the kitchen deserves to have mutual respect and if that’s not given then they are not welcome in my kitchen… simple as that.

Throughout your career, have you had a mentor or mentee?

My first mentor was one of my instructors in culinary school, Chef Linda. She taught me how to take up space and to be unapologetically me – something I apply to this day.

To be honest, at this stage in my career I know very few women that stayed in the culinary industry and in my line of work within the oil rigs, I see even less. When I see young women start in my industry, I try to nurture them and guide them in a way that Chef Linda did for me – showing them that they can speak up for themselves and to fight for the respect they deserve.

Compass Group Chefs come together for the Women In Culinary Showcase.

In March 2024, I was honoured to attend the Women in Culinary Showcase in Dallas with Compass Group North America. It was an incredible pleasure to meet so many wonderful female colleagues to connect on our wins, our challenges, our growth and our strength.

What advice would you give to the next generation of aspiring female chefs?

Stop trying to be who everyone else wants you to be and just be yourself.



At Compass Group Canada, we recognize and value the contributions of women every day. We view the month of March as a significant opportunity to, not only reflect on the remarkable contributions of women throughout history, but also to focus on and celebrate the accomplishments of the incredible women within our own Compass Group Canada team.

Follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn as we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day throughout the month of March!

Compass Group

We are Canada’s leading foodservice and support services provider with over 25,000 associates working in more than 2,200 locations throughout the country across a variety of sectors.

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