Gary Stevenson has served on staff with Power to Change as a university chaplain for 18 years, serving in both Nicaragua and at Simon Fraser University. Gary has used his passion for Jesus and his love for people to design outreaches that have been fruitful at SFU that have been used on university campuses across Canada. Gary is a self-taught home cook who loves to pair food with Biblically inspired stories. Gary has been married to Lynda for over 15 years and has three children. In his spare time, Gary enjoys riding his off-road motorcycle, woodworking and spending time with his family.
During the summer of 2003, while barbecuing a salmon in his backyard, Gary sensed the Holy Spirit speak to his heart. “You’re going to write a cookbook for me,” the Lord said. The Lord’s voice startled Gary, as he wasn’t thinking about spiritual matters at the time. Yet he knew who has spoken, and what He said.
Gary really didn’t see himself as a cook or a chef, so he didn’t do anything with this message for some time. But during his devotional times God would gently remind him about writing a cookbook. After receiving various ‘nudges’, Gary began to make good on it. He turned to prayer and asked God for clarity around the idea. Revealed to him was how food is used to communicate metaphors through scriptures in the Bible.
He began experimenting with dishes that communicated some of these metaphors via visual presentation and flavors. After about a year, Gary had a collection of dishes he felt represented the main messages of the Bible. Though not a trained chef, Gary does consider himself a culinary artist and passionate foodie. He tested the concept with a few of his SFU colleagues, which led to a student request for a group meal. They created invitations and sold out all 40 seats (with over a dozen more on the waiting list). Since then Gary, along with his team of volunteers, have hosted a growing number of themed feasts in Vancouver, Toronto, Orlando, for over well over 1000 guests.