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Seeing how people come together around food is what inspires Paige Badminton.
In May of 2021, she launched her catering business, Sage & Plate, which primarily focuses on intimate at-home dining for tables of two to 18.
“Private dining includes a lot more than someone coming into your home,” Badminton explains. “It includes a brand new relationship because I’m working very intimately with people to ensure their experience is personalized.”
Sage & Plate also offers catering services for events of up to 200 people.
“Witnessing people connect through food is really cool,” Badminton says. “You can come from different walks of life and speak different languages, but can all be together for the same reason.”
At the age of 15, Badminton experienced a pivotal moment when she was working as the kitchen manager at a pub.
“A gentleman who was a regular at the restaurant came up to the pass and said I made the best penne pasta he had ever had in the 12 years he ate there,” she explains. “I called my uncle that day to say I wanted to pursue culinary arts.”
“It’s funny to think how something so small, that may seem mundane to others, encouraged me to move forward with a career in cooking. I was just a kid, making a life-altering decision.”
With a desire to be well-rounded, Badminton earned a major in culinary arts and a minor in pastry and baking as well as restaurant ownership with food and beverage at the Art Institute of Vancouver.
She then went on to work at many notable high-end restaurants in Vancouver before making the move to Kamloops, where she gained more knowledge in bread and pastry and started to make a name for herself.
“I love being a chef because you never stop learning,” she says. “It’s always been a creative outlet for me and I’m inspired by season availability, sustainability, wine pairings, plating and colour palettes.”
“There is an abundance of cuisines and cooking techniques.”
Prior to launching her catering company, Badminton helped open a restaurant in Kamloops but it was unable to survive the pandemic.
“I took the money I was going to use to become a partner of the restaurant and opened up Sage & Plate,” she explains. “Everything fell into place for me.”
In 2022, Sage & Plate was awarded both the Best Caterer and Best Local Chef in Kamloops, which was voted by city residents in the Best of Kamloops annual competition.
“It’s interesting to see where the business is today and how busy it is with almost exclusively word of mouth,” Badminton says. “I’ve had a lot of mentors and really tapped into the resources I had, and I know I’m on the right path.”
Badminton creates memorable dining experiences for people in Kamloops alongside one full-time employee.
“The level of planning and execution that goes into each private dining is a bit of an undertaking, but if people are willing to work with me, I’m absolutely willing to work with them.”
For large events, Sage & Plate contracts out bartenders, servers and kitchen staff.
“I love putting in the work and providing this service,” Badminton adds. “I'm very fulfilled in what I do.”