Culinary Capers

August 2014 | Newsletter

Featured in this Issue:

The Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence 2014-15 LUCY WAVERMAN

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The Stratford Chefs School is honoured to announce Lucy Waverman's appointment as the Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence for the 2014-15 school year.

As one of Canada's favourite culinary personalities, Lucy Waverman brings her sharp wit and mouth-watering recipes to aspiring home chefs across the country. Lucy's knowledge and expertise as a celebrated author, editor, columnist and teacher highlighted her as a top candidate for the GWIR Selection Committee and culminated in her unanimous appointment as this year's Writer in Residence.

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This Fall...

SCS students will make use of Lucy's experience as the author of eight award winning cookbooks, including the Gold Medal for A Matter of Taste, which she co-wrote with friend and fellow wine writer, James Chatto. A Matter of Taste was also a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Entertaining Award. Her new book written with fellow Globe Wine and Spirits columnist Beppi Crosariol The Flavour Principle is already an award winner.

Lucy appears regularly on television and radio shows including 12 years with CityTV's CityLine. Her Wednesday food column "Weekend Menu", and Saturday column "Fresh Tastes" appears weekly in The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper.

She is the food editor of Food & Drink, a magazine published by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. She contributed to the Toronto Insight Guide writing about the Toronto food scene as well as doing the restaurant reviews and she writes about food travel for, the internet restaurant and travel guide.

In 2005, Lucy was presented with the Gold Award in Food Media/Journalism by the Ontario Hostelry Association for her efforts in mentoring young talent and for educating the public about cooking and world cuisines through her writing and teaching. Recently, Lucy was honoured with The Women Culinary Network's 2013 Woman of the Year award.

Lucy has an Advanced Certificate from the London, England Cordon Bleu, an Ontario Teachers' Certificate and a degree in journalism. For many years, Lucy owned and directed The Cooking School, a Toronto school devoted to the teaching of good cooking.

Lucy believes strongly in volunteerism and was on the board of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and chaired their Julia Child Cookbook Awards. She was on the Board of Second Harvest and lately worked in theatre with the Necessary Angel Theatre Company. Her work is seen in many charitable cookbooks.

Watch for a future announcement of dates and events related to Lucy's residency at the Stratford Chefs School.

The Gastronomic Writer in Residence program is supported by the family of Joseph Hoare, to honour Hoare's support of young writers interested in food while he was at the helm as food editor at Toronto Life magazine.

Support for this program has been enhanced by a circle of donors who give generously each year to sustain this one-of-a-kind program, unique to chef training in Canada.

Previous gastronomic writers in residence include:

Dianne Jacob coach, editor and writer

James Chatto columnist and author

Corby Kummer writer and author

Michael Symons Australian academic and author

Ian Brown journalist and author

Clotilde Dusoulier author and blogger

James Oseland editor-in-chief, Saveur


Train with us!

Are you passionate about a career in the Culinary Arts?

Or do you know someone who is looking for the perfect school to hone their skills?

DEADLINE for applications for FALL 2014 is AUGUST 31st.


What are you waiting for?

Contact our Recruitment Officer, Bob Friesen to discuss the possibility of becoming a student this fall!

Email: or

Call: 519.271.1414

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SCS Alumni Awarded Top Honours at the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival Grand Tasting

The Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival has become a popular yearly pilgrimage for food lovers near and far. This year proved no different.

The Stratford Chefs School was immensely proud of all of our alumni who participated in numerous events during the weekend. The Toronto Star Culinary Main Stage welcomed alumni Chef James Walt ('91) of the famed Araxi restaurant in Whistler, Top Chef Canada finalist and Aboriginal cuisine leader Rich Francis ('08), and former classmates and current co-owner/operators of Richmond Station, Chef Carl Heinrich ('05) and Ryan Donovan ('05). Meanwhile, alumnus, SCS Instructor and chef de cuisine at The Prune, Chef Ryan O'Donnell ('10) lead a highly informative session on fermentation on the Tutored Talks and Tasting stage.

The weekend of festivities came to its apex with festival highlight, the Grand Tasting held on Sunday, July 20th pairing 30 local chefs with 30 local producers to create culinary delicacies. This event culminates with the presentation of the prestigious Grand Tasting Awards, including the GE Café People’s Choice Award.

Back in June, alumna and current sous chef at Pazzo Taverna, Margaux Whillans-Browne ('12) approached the school to ask if she could register for the Grand Tasting as a representative of the Stratford Chefs School. Since last winter, Margaux had been working with Maple Morning Farm harvesting and preparing batches of maple syrup to use at the Tasting. But Margaux's sweet vision for her particiption in this event went far beyond conceiving and creating 4 delicious desserts to hand out to the over 500 Grand Tasting guests; she went far above and beyond, building a booth facade reminiscent of a sugar shack! Guests lined up solidly all afternoon to taste Margaux's Maple Candy Floss, Maple Marshmallow, Maple Taffy, and Maple Macaroon - and many came back more than once!

We were incredibly honoured to have Margaux participate in the Grand Tasting as a representative of the Stratford Chefs School, and so you can imagine how we burst with pride when Margaux and James Harrison of Maple Morning were awarded the Grand Tasting Award for Best Dessert Dish! Thank you for all of your hard work Margaux! Congratulations!

And a hearty congratulations to ALL of the Grand Tasting Winners!

We are particularly chuffed by the fact that SCS alumni were attached to every food award presented at the Savour Stratford Grand Tasting!

GE Café People’s Choice Award: Mercer Hall (Stratford)

  • Chef Tim Larsen and Chef Sean Collins (SCS Alumnus '08) paired with Church Hill Farm, Owen and Eva Lass; A Taste of Church Hill Farm, A Bloody Bun

Best Meat Dish: The Bauer Butcher (Waterloo)

  • Chef Matthew Kendrick (SCS Alumnus '08) paired with Yorkshire Valley Farms (Peterborough), Krysten Cooper; Chicken and Wild Mushroom Terrine

Best Vegetarian Dish: Pazzo Taverna (Stratford)

  • Chef Yva Santini (SCS Alumna '09) paired with Shallothill Specialty Vegg (Sebringville), James Harrison; Agniolotti with sweet peas, carrots and beets

Best Dessert Dish: The Stratford Chefs School (Stratford)

  • Chef Margaux Whillans-Browne (SCS Alumna '12) and Maple Morning (Sebringville), James Harrison; Maple Candy Floss, Maple Marshmallow, Maple Taffy, Maple Macaroon

Most Creative Dish: The Prune (Stratford)

  • Chef Ryan O’Donnell (SCS Alumnus '10) paired with Chris Meeuse Farm (Union), Chris Meeuse; Seabuckthorn Rocket; seabuckthorn, raspberry, crème fraiche

Best Beverage: Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar (Stratford)

  • Tea Sommelier Karen Hartwick; Three Mint Enhanced Tea

Best Beverage Containing Alcohol: Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers (Beamsville)

  • Whitney Dillon; Strawberry Agua Fresca with Dillon’s Method 95 Vodka, strawberries, rosemary, simple syrup and lemon bitters

Alison Fryer, Grand Tasting host commented:

The Grand Tasting is by far one of my favourite events at Savour Stratford, a gem of a culinary festival in Ontario's farming heartland. Ingredients and tastes come together in such a satisfying way; care and respect is given by the chefs to the farmer’s products. Drinks are a standout, and not just alcoholic, but non-alcoholic as well.

The event judges were: Chef Bryan Steele from The Prune (Stratford), Top Chef Canada’s Dale MacKay (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), sustainable seafood Chef James Walt (Whistler, British Columbia) and Alyson Fryer (Toronto) of The Cookbook Store.

Thank you to the Stratford Tourism Alliance and photographer, Terry Manzo for their permisson to use the following photographs taken during the Savour Stratford Festival.

SCS Alumni Seen on the Toronto Star Culinary Stage

SCS Alumni Seen on the Tutored Talks and Tastings Stage

SCS Alumni Seen at the Grand Tasting

"TOAST OF THE TOWN" - SCS Alumni Spotlight

Emily Duclos ('09)

We recently sent out a message to our alumni: “Tell us what you are up to!”

We were thrilled to hear back from alumna, Emily Duclos (Class of 2009). Originally from Montreal, Emily has many fond memories of her time at the school (specifically crediting instructor, Mike Booth with her purchasing knowledge). Emily is forever thankful to SCS co-founder and owner of Rundles, Jim Morris for helping her to open a door that has proven integral to her career. And she has had many other adventures along the way!

Here is this month’s "Toast of the Town", Emily Duclos, in her own words:

“Since graduating from the Stratford Chefs School - I've had some wonderful opportunities to be exposed to some of the finest chefs and restaurants in Canada and beyond. While in Stratford, I worked in the kitchen with Chef Neil Baxter at Rundles restaurant for two seasons. Upon graduation from the Stratford Chefs School, I went to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA.; a stage Jim Morris set up for me. I will never forget when Jim said to my class: “Always ask. The worst thing they could say is no”. That very day I nervously went to his office and asked if he could arrange a stage for me at Chez Panisse. It was a hard one to get, but we got it! My time at Chez Panisse would also prove to be a major turning point – without that stage, none of my current career would have happened!

While I was at Chez Panisse, I really connected with a fellow chef, Connie Desousa, who was originally from Calgary, Alberta. Little did I know at that time, this relationship would bring me back to Canada to support Connie and the opening of CHARCUT Roast House with her co-executive chef and business partner, Chef John Jackson.

A year after CHARCUT Roast House opened, I heard from an old friend, whom I first met at the Stratford Chefs School, Chef Riccardo Camanini, and was offered an opportunity to go to Italy to hone my skills at Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli under Chef Stefano Baiocco. It was here I refined my skills in pasta making, molecular gastronomy and bread baking. After a year, I returned to Montreal - but not before working the white truffle season in Alba's Villa d'Amelia.

In Montreal I spent three formative years working at a private club called le 357 c under Frederic St.Aubin, a modern day chef. His vibrant energy, talent and positive attitude was infectious and showed me how important this was to leading a team in the kitchen.

Earlier this year, while still in Montreal, I got a call from John and Connie letting me know they were in town. During their visit, they invited me to come back to Calgary and become the sous-chef at CHARCUT Roast House and to support them and in their newest venture, charbar (opening in 2015 in the historic Simmons Building) as Executive Chef Jessica Pelland's second in command.

21st Century Simmons

Alberta is an incredibly exciting place to work and live for any culinarian and it was impossible to say no to Connie and John. There's an outstanding food scene with chefs who are innovative, collaborative and support local producers. The new generation of chefs work together with a sense of respect and camaraderie. To be a part of this growing group has been a wonderful experience. John and Connie are true pioneers in this progressive leadership mindset and it's shown in the success of the CHARCUT brand and in the loyalty of their staff.

One of the most exciting elements of joining the CHARCUT team again is being among a group of strong females in the kitchen. Working alongside Chef Connie and recent CHOPPED Canada champion, Jessica Pelland, my passion to be a great female chef is ignited. I'm truly inspired everyday by those around me.


Opening 2015 in the Simmons - Get fired up at the Simmons in East Village! We look forward to offering delicious fare from the main floor to the massive roof-deck with river views bar none. You may know our food and vibe from CHARCUT. We see charbar as an evolutionary step from there drawing on international inspiration from our mentors, peers and food lovers everywhere.

Are you a SCS Graduate? Let us know what you are up to!

We want to share your news! Help us to help you promote your business and any future events you are participating in. Do you have any sage words of advice for current students or recent grads? What adventures have you had since leaving the school?

We are very proud of our graduates and we want to share your story with our dedicated network of SCS alumni and supporters!

Send your story to:

Or Phone: 519.271.1414


Your Donation Has An Immediate Positive Impact On The Life Of A Stratford Chefs School Student

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You can make a real and lasting difference in the life of a student chef in financial need...

A career in the kitchen is a calling for students who attend the Stratford Chefs School. Life as a chef apprentice consists of hard work and long hours under stressful conditions, with little in the way of remuneration.

Every dollar donated to this campaign is invested in scholarships and bursaries for deserving students; enabling many future chefs to continue their studies when they might otherwise have been forced to withdraw. Based on demonstrated need, scholarship funds help students cover school fees, rent and general living expenses.

Without support from people like you, it would be impossible for some of these students to realize their dream.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS - How your donations have helped current SCS students:

Madison Depace - Level 2 Apprentice

The Support a Student Chef award had an enormous impact on my financial situation. Unfortunately, my OSAP [Ontario Student Assistance Program] did not cover the full amount of my school tuition or living expenses, which I knew was going to be a financial strain for myself and my family. Receiving the Support a Student Chef award allowed me to alleviate some of this financial burden and allowed me to continue and complete the first level. The Stratford Chef School has prepared me for the culinary world and because of my Level One completion I was able to secure a position [during the summer months] at one of London Ontario’s 5 star restaurants. The training I received was very impressive to the head chef. I look forward to Level Two and all the possibilities that being a graduate from the Stratford Chefs School will open up to me.

Esther Tabert - Level 2 Apprentice

As a recipient of the Support a Student Chef award I can testify to the value of this program. During my time at Chefs School so far, my husband and I have both been students and we've had to be quite frugal and creative in our saving. The bursary I received went a long way toward relieving some of our financial stress.

My dream is to one day be a food writer, specifically writing a food blog and hopefully cookbooks. I'm so thankful to have received the Support a Student Chef award; by supporting me through Chefs School I have been brought that much closer to realizing my goals.

Toban Zaryski - Level 2 Apprentice

Being a recipient of the Support a Student Chef program helped me immensely throughout my first year of Chefs School. It meant that I did not have to worry quite so much about my finances and was able to purchase all of the required books and tools for the program. I was also able to experience all that the school and the program offered including several of the fabulous dinners [during] the International Guest Chefs Dinner Series, as well as a few of the Alumni Dinners. Having received this financial support allowed me to thrive in the first year of this program, and in turn helped to prepare me for the upcoming school year. I extend my utmost appreciation for the assistance that I have received from all those involved.



We love seeing photos taken of or by students and alumni of the school!

This month's photo was seen on alumnus, Chef Francisco Alejandri's ('01) Agave Y Aguacate Facebook page and features some future menu items provided by alumni and husband and wife team, Dan Donovan ('00) and Kristin Donovan (nee Nedzelski) ('01) from Hooked.

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- Another SCS Graduate featured on Canada AM! -

There seems to be a recent trend of SCS alumni appearing on Canada's favourite morning news program, Canada AM.

And we couldn't be more excited!

Watch Richmond Station chef/owner and Top Chef Canada Season 2 winner, Carl Heinrich ('05) show off some impressive knife techniques to help you in the kitchen!

Watch the complete spot below:

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Congratulations to the Winners of the 2014/15 BMO Financial Group Scholarship Award !

The BMO Financial Group Scholarship Award recognizes and assists students who demonstrate a dedication to improving their knowledge and skills in the culinary field and to making a contribution to the culinary communities in which they study and work.

Selection is based on academic standing (during the applicant’s most recent year of study) and a level of demonstrated involvement in community volunteer programs in the culinary field.

Successful applicants may receive a tuition scholarship for amounts up to $2000.00.


BIG RED's Busy Summer!

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Big Red Spotted around Southern Ontario...

Our transportable wood-fired pizza oven is a well-loved piece of equipment at the Stratford Chefs School. It has been the silent star of many SCS Dinner Series meals during the Fall and Winter months. But what happens to the oven in the summer?

As we mentioned last month, Big Red spends most of its time during the summer months at the Local Community Food Centre, specifically participating in the weekly Wednesday Summer Pizza Bake for kids.

But every now and then, Big Red gets the travel itch and makes its way to other events around Southern Ontario...

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The London Training Centre's Local Food Skills Festival

On Thursday, July 17th, Big Red was spotted in London, ON at the Local Food Skills Festival - London's Premier "Local Food" Event.

This 5th Annual Fundraiser in support of their Local Food Skills program, Feast in the Field, was held at a farm just west of London, where the LTC grows food ecologically. SCS alumna Josie Pontarelli (nee Olaveson) ('99) is a chef with the London Training Centre, and when she contacted the school to see if we could support this worthy cause, we were only too happy to help!

For more information on the London Training Centre and their Local Food Skills Program, click the link below:

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Spotted at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration

Anne Jasper and Rob Groh, of The Vine Agency have been long time supporters of the Stratford Chefs School. We were honoured when they asked if the school would be interested in coming to Niagara during the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration for an afternoon event in the vineyard at Cave Spring Cellars on July 19th.

Operations Director and SCS alumna, Kim Cosgrove ('03) was joined by alumnus and chef at the Local Community Food Centre, Jordan Lassaline ('05) and SCS Board Chair, Dr. Dennis Nuhn. Pizzas were served. Patrons were happy. And successful SCS outreach was made!

Thank you, Anne, Rob and The Vine Agency for always keeping the Stratford Chefs School top of mind!

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As we mentioned before, we are very proud to partner with the Local Community Food Centre and their Summer Pizza Bake! The Pizza Bake offers kids 18 and under a chance to get their hands in the garden, using some of what they harvest in the pizzas they will then create and bake! The Pizza Bakes happen every Wednesday from now until the end of August from 3:30pm to 6:30pm at the Local Community Food Centre (612 Erie Street, Stratford). There is story telling provided by the Stratford Public Library at 3:30pm. Throughout the summer, there will be other activities, such as cartooning workshops. You can drop in any time, there is no registration, and IT'S FREE!

What is a Community Food Centre, you say?

A Community Food Centre is a welcoming space where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. CFCs provide emergency access to high-quality food in a dignified setting that doesn’t compromise their self-worth. People learn cooking and gardening skills there, and kids get their hands dirty in the garden and kitchen in ways that expand their taste buds and help them to make healthier food choices.

The Local is a partner site of Community Food Centres Canada, a national organization that’s driving the development of CFCs across the country. Along with The Table Community Food Centre in Perth and Toronto’s The Stop Community Food Centre, The Local is helping to increase access for healthy food to low-income Canadians while proving that food can be a transformative force in our communities.

For more on the Local Community Food Centre, visit


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Now in our fourth decade of training and preparing chefs to enter the industry, everyone at the Stratford Chefs School is humbly reminded that the great success, tradition and longevity of the School would not be possible without the support and interest of our community.

Thank you!

Brewed Coffee Partner

revel caffè

Photography Partner

Terry Manzo

Technology Partner

The City of Stratford

The Compudoc and Switch Wifi

Vehicle Partner

Bustard Chrysler

Wine Partners

Cave Spring Cellars

Hidden Bench

John Hanna & Sons Ltd.

Malivoire Wine

Norman Hardie Winery

Rosehall Run

Rosewood Estates

The Vine - Rob Groh Agency

13th Street Winery

Escoffier Donors

Chef de Cuisine ($5000 and up)

George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation

The Mosaic Foundation (of Rita and Peter Heydon)

Toronto Community Foundation

Sous Chef ($2500 and up)

Dr. Robert Close

Kim Cosgrove

Margaret D. King

Ellen Lehman

Timothy J. Leonard

Dr. Dennis and Laurie Nuhn

revel caffè

Stratford Perth Community Foundation

Saucier ($1500 and up)

Dr. Jason and Sarah Bandey

Tier Three Brokerage Ltd.

Chef de Partie ($1000 and up)

Alexandra and Timothy MacDonald

John and Phyllis Rae

Carrie and Jeremy Wreford

Apprentice ($100 and up)


Joyce M. Abbott

Michael Alkier

Ted and Michele Boniface

Stephen Barlow and Alida Smisek

Karyn Dirse

Gayle & Larry Folliott

Doreen Gryfe

Hans and Lydia Habegger

Dr. Sandy Fetterly and Michelle Hall

Susan Hiscock

Judith Horner and Hammond Bentall

Marion Isherwood

Shirley and Ted Jeffrey

Stirling and Clare Kenny

Max and Vicki Lass

Ross and Fran McElroy

Sharon McKay

Rai Grant Insurance Brokers

Lucille Roch

Faye and Rosaire Roy

Jeff and Marie Schaus

Jack and Doreen Sedgewick

John and Jill Skinner

Gordon and Elaine Steed

Soiled Reputation

David and Susan Tamblyn

Kim and Dave Thompson

Michael and June Welsh

Gastronomic Writer in Residence Donors

Elizabeth Baird

Jocie Bussin

Elizabeth C. Jones

Corby Kummer

Anne Lindsay

Sandra and Jim Pitblado

Darlene Madott

Support a Student Chef Donors

Susan Agranove

BMO Financial Group

Lynda and David Bowen

Paul Butler

George D. Carson

Susan Craig

Kathryn Fleming

Ann Gawman

Eleanor Gow

John Hall

Pam and John Hambly

Hon. Paul T. Hellyer

Eleanor Kane

Joseph Kokoszka

John and Ann Lang

Dana Link

Christy Lomax

Connie and Jim MacDougall

Aaron Malkin

Hugh D. McDonald

Gary Miller

Delia Moog

Carol Duncan and George Oleske

Kimberley Payne

Christopher Reed

John R. Reed

Barbara Schubert

Lawrence C. Sweet

Sally Thompson

Audrey Turner

Geoff Whitney

2013 Graduation Scholarship Donors

Elizabeth Baird

Bijou Restaurant

Bradshaws Kitchen Detail

Cinzano Vermouth and Peter Mielzynski Agencies Ltd.

Garland Canada

Rob Groh and The Vine Agency


Payne-Smith Family

Bonnie Richardson

Stratford Tourism Alliance

York Street Kitchen on Erie

30th Anniversary Alumni Donors

Rocco Agostino

David Ferguson

Trent Loewen

Heidi Noble

Deborah Reid

Lindsay Reid

Cory Vitiello

Tina Walt

Board of Directors

Nigel Howard

Timothy J. Leonard

Dr. Dennis Nuhn


Eleanor Kane

Shelley Windsor

John Wolfe

Stratford Chefs School

The Stratford Chefs School is a world renowned, not-for-profit educational institution now entering its fourth decade training young Canadian chefs through a unique, industry-driven program. Stratford Chefs School is supported by Service Canada and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Charitable No. 119199958 RR0001