Local culinary professionals can skills build thanks to Ministry of Labour grant

(Christopher Gentile Photography / Waring House photo)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

An opportunity for local culinary professionals and hopefuls to develop their skills in the kitchen is in veiw thanks to a grant from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. 

Waring House Restaurant and Inn, Loyalist College of Applied Arts and Technology and Prince Edward Learning Centre have been awarded funding of $165,500  by Ministry to further excellence in the culinary field in Prince Edward County.  

Norah Rogers of the Waring House explained the local array of fine dining establishments in the community and the top-end professionals that have made Prince Edward County a top culinary destination for the last decade helped sway the Ministry into providing this grant.

“This program is made possible by the quality that already exists in food service businesses in the region and by the abundance of local food production” said Rogers. “COVID  caused major delays in its rollout, but thankfully the government has awarded an extension until November 30th of this year so we can execute the full program as planned.”  

Rogers added she is extremely grateful to Jeremy Laurin and his team at Loyalist College, especially Chefs Karin Desveaux and Scott Royce who have stepped forward to offer their expertise as partners in this venture.

“It is also a real privilege to work with professionals like Kathy Kennedy and her team at Prince Edward Learning Center and Natalie Goldenberg-Fife at Gold &Fife,” Rogers added. “This program will  encourage  people to view the culinary field as a worthy life-long career and support a return to the industry after the trials of COVID. We are hopeful of sourcing continued funding to carry Partnership for Excellence into the future.”

Central to the project is a series of eight events hosted by Prince Edward County hospitality establishments. 

Award-winning event specialist Goldenberg-Fife  is curating each of these events. World class chefs and hospitality professionals will work with local professionals of the culinary industry to present a series of ticketed events open to the public, as well as a second day of seminars and panel discussions moderated by renowned journalists such as Chris Nutall-Smith and Jamie Drummond for chefs and cooks.

The first event is The Art of Curating the Perfect Wine List and Cooking with Wine  scheduled for May 16th at Adega and featuring two of the world’s top sommeliers Véronique Rivest and John Szabo MS and award-winning Chef Jamie Kennedy.  

Subsequent events will be posted at cookinginthecounty.com which goes live May 3rd. Questions about ticketing and participation can be directed to natalie@goldandfife.com.

In addition to restaurant events and guest tutorial sessions, members of the industry are being offered numerous skill-enhancing experiences by Loyalist College and Prince Edward Learning Centre. These events will be listed at cookinginthecounty.com by May 3rd.

Additional events are planned to be offered in the fall shoulder season.  

The first event at Loyalist College is Butchery-full animal breakdown  to be held on May 9th followed by Sausage Making on May 10th, both conducted by Chef Scott Royce. 

PELC will begin their sessions with Safe Food Handling certification May 26th.  

All these sessions will result in micro-credentialing and certification and are offered free of charge thanks to Skills Development funding. Registration is required for all learning events, including participation in the guest chef experiences and tutorials. Registration is accomplished by contacting kathy@pelc.ca or jennifer@pelc.ca.  

Full details about Partnership for Excellence will be presented at its launch , “Cooking in the County”, on  May 3rd at 5:30pm at Waring House . 

Representatives from all dining establishments in the County are invited but an RSVP is required to partnershipforexcellence@waringhouse.com .