LAKE HOUSE RESTAURANT

Our Team

(click on a team member to read biography)

Hanne Olesen-Nahman & Joseph Nahman

Position: Owners
Categories: Owners

Hanne Olesen-Nahman
Owner: LAKE HOUSE RESTAURANT in Vineland, Ontario

Hanne Olesen-Nahman brings passion and experience to everything that she does. She began her journey into the world of high-end restaurants over 40 years ago and has almost done it all from bussing and serving, to hostessing, being a food runner, an expeditor, a bartender, washed dishes, prepped food and cooked.

Hanne worked at Harrop Restaurant in Milton, Ontario in high school for extra money and at Le Rendez-vous Restaurant in Toronto, Ontario to pay for travel and university – she attended the University of Toronto and graduated with an honours degree. Her dream to join the diplomatic service after graduation was stalled when The External Affairs Department of the Canadian Government stopped taking candidates for a period of time – so Hanne continued to work her way up the restaurant career path for over 10 years at Le Rendez-vous Restaurant to a management position and traveled during the summer months to destinations far and wide.

Hanne joined Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Toronto as an Assistant General Manager in August 1995, where she had the opportunity to work in marketing and advertising as well as restaurant operations. She was promoted to General Manager four years later. In 2004, Hanne was promoted to Vice President of Operations to look after the Greater Toronto area and the daily operations of both the Toronto and the Mississauga locations. In April of 2007, Hanne was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Operations overseeing four Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations, including two locations in San Antonio, Texas.

Hanne was instrumental in helping the RCSH locations that she supervised to achieve countless awards. In 2004, RCSH Toronto won the #1 spot for a wine contest system-wide where they won Ruth Fertel’s Mercedes Benz as the grand prize. Toronto and Mississauga were honored in 2007 as the #1 and #2 Top Restaurants RCSH system-wide for shopper’s reports and guest experience. Other awards included the 2011 Restaurant of the Year Award for the RCSH San Antonio Concord location that was awarded system-wide. Hanne worked at Ruth’s Chris Steak House until March 2014 when she made the decision to move forward and to focus on her own businesses with her husband, Joseph.
Hanne believes having filled almost every job in the restaurant industry puts her at an advantage, “I have worked in almost every possible capacity and have a very strong operations background. It’s one thing to just come in and manage and another to know what a job is really about and to understand what each position involves.”

This background shaped her management philosophy, which is based on communication and empowering people. “I try very hard to include our staff and management to get their ideas and to solve problems. Everything we attain we do as a team. We could never do this alone, no one can,” she said. According to her, that teamwork is reflected in a great product and outstanding service for the guest. “It is the great people that are part of our team that is at the root of our success.”

Hanne and her husband, Joseph own Lake House Restaurant in Vineland, Ontario which has been in operation since April 2002 and has become an institution in its own right in the Niagara region. In January 2010, they opened Stone House Restaurant in Burlington, Ontario and continued to operate it for ten years until 2020/2021 when they closed Stone House due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its financial impact. Hanne and Joseph continue to focus all of their efforts on Lake House and its future growth.

“We are extremely fortunate to be located in the beautiful Niagara region and we do our best to showcase local wineries and local products whenever possible. Lake House is a special place that we hold very close to our hearts.”

Joseph and Hanne have a combined 90+ years of experience in the restaurant field. Everything that they do, they do as a team.

Joseph Nahman
Owner: LAKE HOUSE RESTAURANT in Vineland, Ontario

Joseph Nahman brings over 45 years of experience to the table. He began working in the restaurant industry at age 13, bussing tables at a restaurant in his home of Oostende, Belgium where his father worked as a line cook. He also spent time attending Ecole Hoteliere. Intensive training and work at the restaurant helped shape his culinary career. He has trained as Demi Chef de Rang, Chef de Rang and Maitre D’. It was this extensive training that shaped Joseph’s future. Working his way through the ranks has given him an extreme appreciation for what is involved in creating an ideal restaurant experience. “I did it all, as a busser, as a dishwasher, as a cook”. “I know all of the positions in a restaurant. When I go into the kitchen I can see what the guys are doing and I know exactly what they’re going through because I’ve been there”.

Joseph added to his experience by working in Paris, New York, Honolulu and Bermuda. Bermuda was the first experience Joseph had working strictly in English. “That was the turning point in my life where I really lived in English- before that, I only spoke French. I was 28 years old before I started to speak English”.
Having trained extensively in European cuisine, it’s safe to say that Joseph carries some old school traditions.

Running a kitchen and keeping the front of the house operating smoothly all require “Quality, Quality, Quality!” Joseph’s philosophy revolves around using the best quality ingredients and working with local products whenever possible.

The menu has evolved over the years but favourite dishes remain. “we do change some items and the Chef has creativity with the daily specials and Catch of the Day but our core menu remains the same. We want people to come back and to enjoy a signature dish that they love”.

Joseph’s international experience helped to create his vision for both restaurants : Lake House Restaurant in Vineland, Ontario, which opened its doors in April 2002 and has become a well-known establishment in the Niagara region; and Stone House Restaurant in Burlington, Ontario which opened in January 2010 and operated for over 10 years. Hanne and Joseph have many plans for the future growth of Lake House and look forward to continuing to welcome guests. “We want people to feel at home when they come to Lake House and we try very hard to offer the type of service that is friendly and efficient but never pretentious”.

Hanne Olesen-Nahman & Joseph Nahman

Owners

Management

Marija Wight

Position: Director of Human Resources
Categories: Management

Born and raised in St. Catharines, in the same house, Marija has very deep roots in the Niagara region. Her family continues to live in the area. Marija was involved in Rhythmic Gymnastics for many years which taught her hard work, dedication and most importantly, patience. This has shaped her love of the arts, culture and nature. Marija’s mother passed away when she was young but rather than hold her back, it taught her to be a strong and independent woman. This major occurrence in her life helped to shape her entire identity. “I try to be kind and compassionate in everything I do. I am very strong willed and driven. I have a lot of integrity and am willing to do what it takes to get the job done right”, says Wight.

Marija started her journey in the restaurant industry working as a server and a bartender in various restaurants for about 6 years before being hired at Lake House Restaurant in April 2005. Marija was originally hired as a server/bartender at Lake House and she was quickly promoted to a manager. Her passion and dedication were very evident to owners Hanne and Joseph. We could see Marija’s dedication and attention to detail so we did not hesitate to promote her to Supervisor, then Manager, then Assistant General Manager, then General Manager for several years and finally Director of Human Resources.

Marija is celebrating her 18th anniversary at Lake House this year!

Marija is happy to lead a team of individuals that collectively strive for greatness on a daily basis. “Working in an environment with staff who share the same dedications and passions I aim for has been great. Our core staff is amazing! We have a really special place here and I think our customers benefit from the positive work environment that we strive to keep” says Wight.

Lake House offers guests the opportunity to relax and dine by the water, or enjoy a meal by a fireplace. It has become an institution in the Niagara region and Marija’s contribution to its success continues.

Marija Wight

Director of Human Resources

Erin Eitze

Position: General Manager
Categories: Management

Erin has a passion for teaching and leading others, stemming from her early years helping her mother run a daycare at home. Erin’s ability to lead has progressed throughout the years as she worked as an Advanced Swim Instructor, Lifeguard and Aquatics Coach. She continued to develop her leadership skills through her involvement in intermural sports. It is these skills that helped to develop Erin as a restaurant manager. She has very strong organizational skills and she loves to learn.

As an Alberta native, Erin ventured to St. Catharines in 2008. Upon arrival, Erin soon discovered that she would call St. Catharines her forever home. She fell in love with the Niagara region and everything that it has to offer.

Erin first joined the Lake House family in 2010 as a part time server. She was quickly promoted to a supervisory position. Erin continued to grow within the restaurant, ultimately leading to her position as General Manager. Erin has a strong operations background and she brings a wealth of expertise with her. Erin has always believed that hospitality is king and she emulates passion in everything she does. Erin is celebrating 11 years of service at Lake House and she is a pivotal part of the Lake House family.

Erin Eitze

General Manager

In The Kitchen

Meek Paquin

Position: Chef de Cuisine
Categories: In the kitchen

Meek was born in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec and spent his early years there. His family migrated to the Niagara Region in 1995 and moved to St Catharines in 2008. Meek’s best friend was involved in the culinary program at Niagara College and Meek fell in love with his work and decided to get his foot in the culinary door. He started as a dishwasher downtown St. Catharines where he would sometimes be needed on the line for the lunch service. This is where he began to move up through the kitchen ranks.

Meek spent three years at a family-run Greek restaurant learning about Mediterranean cuisine. He then worked for four years at Wellington Court, alongside Chef Erik Peacock. Meek learned everything that he knows today from his years spent there from wine pairing/tasting to building functional menus, to cooking with the seasons and the various creative methods of cooking. Meek catered numerous private in-house functions and events during his time with Wellington and he really enjoyed this experience! Meek then spent three seasons at the Coach House Café at Henry of Pelham Winery where he learned a lot about wine and grew a much deeper appreciation for it.

Meek joined the Lake House team in November 2017 and was recently promoted to the position of Chef de Cuisine.

Meek Paquin

Chef de Cuisine

Gagan Singh

Position: Chef de Cuisine
Categories: In the kitchen

Gagan’s passion for cooking started when he was young as he spent most of his time in the kitchen with his mother. He was fascinated with food and learned about different flavours and using various spices during that period of his childhood. He was inspired by how food could tell a story and bring people of different cultures together.

When Gagan came to Canada in 2016, he was determined to pursue his passion of cooking and to make it into his profession. While completing his post grad degree, he joined La Cantina as a Pizza Station Cook and later on moved up through the kitchen ranks. Gagan was trained under great French and Italian chefs giving him the advantage of learning and understanding different cuisines.

After Gagan joined the Lake House family in 2019, he started as a Line Cook and with time he specialized in working the grill cooking steaks and various types of seafood. He has always been curious about trying different cuisines and he has enjoyed the Mediterranean cuisine offered at Lake House. With his determination and hard work, Gagan has recently been promoted to the position of Chef de Cuisine.

Apart from his interest in cooking, Gagan has a great passion for fitness which has led him to Strongman training and competitions. Gagan has participated in various events including competing at the National Strongman competition in 2021.

Gagan Singh

Chef de Cuisine

Nick Stoute

Position: Sous Chef
Categories: In the kitchen

Nick was born in Bridgetown, Barbados and lived there until he was a young adult. Nick’s interest for the food and hospitality industry began at an early age, as he would often work and spend time at his grandparent’s beach resort in Barbados.

In 2007, Nick moved to Canada to attend Pickering college in Newmarket, ON. Nick was unsure of what to do after high school but he always had a passion for food and for cooking. He enrolled in the culinary skills program at Humber College in Toronto.

In 2011, Nick graduated and promptly started an internship at the Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre. When he wasn’t assisting in cooking for banquets of thousands of people, Nick worked alongside many outstanding chefs in varying roles ranging from Pastry, Saucier, Garde Manger and working on the line. Upon completing his internship, Nick decided to follow in his family’s footsteps and further his education in the hospitality field. He moved to London ON, where he attended the Hotel Management program at Fanshawe College.

While in school, Nick continued to work part time jobs in the culinary field. He began working at a very busy family-run franchise restaurant in the London downtown core. Starting as a line cook, Nick quickly rose through the ranks working many positions and ending his career there as the Kitchen Manager During this period, Nick gained valuable Front of House, managerial and leadership experience.
Looking for a change from the city lifestyle, Nick moved to the Niagara region and began working at Lake House Restaurant shortly after. Nick was recently promoted to the position of Sous Chef.

In his free time, Nick likes to go out, experience different cuisines from around the world and expand his culinary repertoire.

Nick Stoute

Sous Chef

Carolynn Shorthouse

Position: Prep Manager
Categories: In the kitchen

Carolynn was 13 years old when she started her journey into the restaurant world with her first job as a salad girl in a very well-known restaurant in Port called Murphy’s. After a few years of kitchen work and bussing tables, she moved next door to the Lakeside Hotel where they took Carolynn under their wing and kept her very busy waitressing, running a very busy kitchen and working many catering functions. Coming from a large Italian family, all this came very naturally to Carolynn!

Carolynn was very lucky to be a stay-at-home mom and that kept her very busy. Everyone loved coming to Momma’s house as there was always something special to eat. No one ever left hungry or without a little sweet treat. When Carolynn ventured back into the restaurant world, she ran a breakfast café for 11 years. Carolynn found her way to Lake House Restaurant three years ago and she maintains that it was the best path she has ever taken and the most wonderful work family to be a part of. Carolynn is a ‘people person’ and she loves working together to create a beautiful meal for beautiful people and beautiful memories! Carolyn is our Prep Supervisor and she makes sure that every dish on the Lake House menu is made with care and love. Only the best of ingredients are used at Lake House and Carolyn makes sure that it all comes together.

Carolynn Shorthouse

Prep Manager

Kate Lee

Position: Pastry Chef
Categories: In the kitchen

Kate was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to St.Catharines in 2014.
She has always had an adventurous streak in her wanting to gain new experiences whenever possible. Coming to Canada and immersing herself in a completely different culture with a different language was just one of these challenges.

Kate first attended Niagara College and participated in the Horticultural Technician Co-op Diploma Program from 2015 to 2017. The environment and natural scenery in Canada impacted her greatly when she arrived here eight years ago, so she wanted to learn more about the environment as it related to horticulture.

Amongst her first work experiences in Canada was working as a sushi cook while she attended school. She learned the professional skills of sushi-making and serving diverse kinds of sushi, following recipes and presentation specifications. Kate then moved on to working with Chef Collin at Gooddine Catering where she was able to experience cooking from a different perspective. Kate was able to cater everything from small home parties to banquets of up to 400 people in a variety of beautiful settings including many of Niagara’s wineries.

Kate’s culinary experience convinced her that this was the field that she would love to pursue. She wanted to expand her knowledge and skills in culinary, so she decided to go into the Culinary Apprenticeship Program to learn more. Kate attended Niagara College from 2020-2021, completing the two-year course.

Kate joined the Lake House team in 2020 as a pantry cook and she was quickly promoted to Chef de Partie of the Garde section of our kitchen. Kate’s dedication to excellence and her attention to detail is unparalleled. She has a very strong work ethic and is an amazing addition to our team.

Kate Lee

Pastry Chef

Brady Trevellick

Position: Chef de Partie – Hot Appetizers/Pizza Section
Categories: In the kitchen

Brady grew up in the Niagara region in the town of Grimsby and has lived in this area all of his life. Brady found a passion for cooking while making holiday dinners for his large family with his grandfather, Wayne.

Brady’s very first job was with Lake House as a dishwasher. Brady was a hard worker and he quickly progressed to the Hot Appetizer section of the kitchen where he was fully trained. It was there that he really started to pursue the field of culinary and Brady realized that this was what he wanted to do. After working in this section for about one year, Brady was promoted to the position of Chef de Partie. Brady has a strong work ethic and has become a valuable member of the Lake House team. He continues to learn new skills and has recently been trained to work the hot line as well.

In his spare time, Brady loves to play hockey which he has been doing for 16 years. Brady’s work ethic is also apparent with his hobby as he was able to participate in winning the Ontario championship in 2016.

Brady has a very promising future with us!

Brady Trevellick

Chef de Partie – Hot Appetizers/Pizza Section

Erin Yamazaki

Position: Inventory and Purchasing Manager
Categories: In the kitchen

Erin has a passion for teaching and leading others, stemming from her early years helping her mother run a daycare at home. Erin’s ability to lead has progressed throughout the years as she worked as an Advanced Swim Instructor, Lifeguard and Aquatics Coach. She continued to develop her leadership skills through her involvement in intermural sports. It is these skills that helped to develop Erin as a restaurant manager. She has very strong organizational skills and she loves to learn.

As an Alberta native, Erin ventured to St. Catharines in 2008. Upon arrival, Erin soon discovered that she would call St. Catharines her forever home. She fell in love with the Niagara region and everything that it has to offer.

Erin first joined the Lake House family in 2010 as a part time server. She was quickly promoted to a supervisory position. Erin continued to grow within the restaurant, ultimately leading to her position as General Manager. Erin has a strong operations background and she brings a wealth of expertise with her. Erin has always believed that hospitality is king and she emulates passion in everything she does. Erin is celebrating 11 years of service at Lake House and she is a pivotal part of the Lake House family.

Erin Yamazaki

Inventory and Purchasing Manager