Posted on October 21, 2022 at 1:23 p.m.

Most future chefs — at least those who didn’t learn to cook alongside Nonna as children — go to culinary school or soak up the knowledge through on-the-job training at local restaurants. .

At Uxbridge Secondary School, the foodies of tomorrow experience chef culture in the classroom, as part of the innovative Specialist High Skills Major programme.

The program is the brainchild of Dave Brown, the school’s culinary manager, who started with just one class. It has now grown to eight.

“We train students in careers in the culinary world, whether in cooking or baking. It teaches students respect for the industry, as well as professional skills; one of the students has already received a job offer through this program,” Brown said.

The culinary curriculum is often the first thing you notice upon entering school, and it’s often the aroma – the smell of focaccia bread – that gives it away. And when you head into the cafeteria, you’ll enter what you might mistake for a professional kitchen. The equipment these students have access to is commercial grade, and it’s all there thanks to Brown’s efforts.

Brown, a big advocate for the skilled trades, and his talented staff work with students from grade 9 through graduation, preparing them for a career in the culinary arts. The program provides students with a personalized and enhanced learning option to focus on a career path that matches their individual skills, interests, and learning needs.

Former students Jetlyn Nobes and Noelle Hobor are quick to praise Brown and the program. “We are truly fortunate to have such a great host program and such passionate teachers who truly love their students and nurture their talents.” One of the best parts of the program, they add, is that students in the culinary program prepare the food that is given to their peers at lunch. “They feel good knowing they are feeding their classmates fresh, healthy options, which is not only good for them, but also supports the community.”

Jennifer Parrington, facilitator of the program, said students absorb “incredible knowledge” in the short time they enroll in the course. “It’s our partnerships with Skills Ontario and Skills Canada that allow us to take these programs to the next level for our students.

Courses such as the Uxbridge Culinary Program enhance students’ high school experience and prepare them for post-secondary education, whether at college, university or in the workplace for a career in the culinary arts, a she added. “Hands-on experience as well as unrivaled equipment is a culinary student’s dream, and Uxbridge SS students have Mr Brown to thank for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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