A colourful display of food in a serve-yourself style buffet

In January 2024, it was announced that SMUS would be partnering with SAGE Dining Services as the new food service team. That partnership officially begins on July 1, 2024. In line with Floreat 2030, SAGE focuses on sustainability, education, quality service, nutrition, and delicious food made from scratch using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. One key face in the mix of this partnership is Lucas Taylor, who will be the SAGE Manager for SMUS, and he took time to share some of his thoughts, approach and insights ahead of the next school year.

Why did you get into food service?

LT: My younger years of career searching had me going to school for graphic arts in Vancouver and paying the bills by cooking around Vancouver and the Island. I switched paths early on and focused on hospitality and getting my trade certification. I completed my Red Seal certification while working at St. Michaels in the mid-1990s. I helped manage dining operations at a convention centre and hotel and completed my Certified Chef de Cuisine trade designation in Ontario shortly after.

Portrait photo of SAGE Dining Manager Lucas Taylor

Moving back to BC, I worked for a large food service company focusing on higher education and campus dining. I have been managing campuses ever since.

What’s your favourite type of cuisine? Why?

LT: Canadian and Asian cooking are currently my connections.

Canadian cuisine is influenced by its multicultural population, incorporating elements from various culinary traditions worldwide.

Asian cuisine encompasses a vast array of flavours, from the spicy and aromatic dishes of Thai and Indian cuisine to the delicate and subtle flavours of Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

The combination of Canada’s innovative, fusion-focused approach with Asia’s deep-rooted culinary traditions creates a dynamic and enriching food landscape. I enjoy playing around with both these cuisines because of the emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients.

What do you love most about SAGE?

LT: I made the move to SAGE in 2020 after 11 years with a larger company and couldn’t be happier. While SAGE is a smaller company, it’s agile and follows trends and student needs as they happen.

A digital menu screen is on display in front of a buffet of colourful, fresh and hot looking food.

With SAGE’s focus on food quality, allergen safety, and modern menus, I think it should be a great time for Graves Hall.

What do you hope to bring to St. Michaels University School?

LT: We hope to introduce St. Michaels to a new level of dining and student engagement. We think the changes and quality will be noticeable from the start. We hope to grow the food service and catering program to an evolving, integrated part of the St. Michaels community.

For the fall start, expect to see new and exciting breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus featuring international cuisines and street food-inspired dishes. One important aspect of campus dining programs that’s often overlooked is student engagement. I hope to build on this important part of a sustainable food service program.

Discover More About SAGE

For more information on SAGE, please visit sagedining.com or view this video.