Chef John Bishop leads charitable tours

John Bishop, the talented chef behind Kits’ renowned Bishop’s restaurant, has long been a lover of travel. “I was born in a small village in Britain where there weren’t a lot of prospects for a young person,” he explains. “I graduated from cooking school, then lived in Ireland, and came to Canada in 1973.” Since then, Bishop has many more globetrotting opportunities, whether it’s making a foodie documentary in India, or taking a much-deserved vacation with his wife.

So when Jenny Karmali, of Journeys with Heart, which arranges domestic and international tours supporting local charities, approached Bishop about hosting the organization’s first excursion in 2008, the answer was “of course!” “The first trip we did was to India, and it was a three-week trip benefitting the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation. We had twenty-plus people along to join the journey and it was quite amazing,” Bishop explains.

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After the first excursion, Bishop was hooked and has continued hosting one to two journeys each year. In 2018, the chef is looking forward to hosting tours to Newfoundland and Labrador (June 2 to 12) which benefits the North Vancouver City Library, and to Israel and Jordan, (October 1 to 14), supporting Aunt Leah’s Place.

As the lucky participants would expect, the tours Bishop hosts have a strong foodie component. “I have friends in Newfoundland and Labrador who have restaurants and brew pubs there so we are going to be having meals with them,” he says.

While Bishop says he is blessed to be able to combine two of his passions while also supporting local charities, he says that one of the most fulfilling aspects of hosting the tours is the opportunity to travel with participants who come back year after year. “We’re like a big group of friends going on a trip together,” he says. “Sharing this experience, this travel adventure of discovery, being able to visit various parts of the world … it’s very memorable.”

For information about the 2018 Journeys with Heart, visit the

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