June 2015 | Newsletter
In this edition of Culinary Capers...
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2015!
Read the full list of 2015 Graduation Awards Winners
Thank you to our Graduation Award Donors!
We launch the 2015|16 Support a Student Chef Campaign
Your donations help our students achieve their dreams!
Attention incoming and returning students:
Information on upcoming deadlines for scholarships
THE 2015 GRADUATION CEREMONY
(Above - 2015 Graduate Elissa McKinnon with family)
Photos by Terry Manzo
On Sunday, May 31st, the Stratford Chefs School proudly graduated 33 talented new chefs, who, through hard work and perseverance, are now ready to put their training into practice and become valued members of the Canadian culinary community. An intimate graduation ceremony in front of friends and family was held in the Paul D. Fleck Marquee at the Festival Theatre in Stratford.
Joining the ranks of the Stratford Chefs School's over 700 distinguished alumni are:
Dean Banasco, Sam Bavaro, Greg Belanger, Tara Blasman, Jerika Burge, Madison DePace, Lucas De Santis, Scott Douglas, Michael Fry, Harrison Goad, Jonathan Goad, Thea Greisman, Lisa Guenther, Richard Gunn, Spencer Hackbart, Michelle Hundt, Mike Kale, Katie Ludwig, Quinton Martisius, Elissa McKinnon, Ashley Moore, Michael Padmore, Amanda Pearson, Andreas Pfenning, Julie Sale, Eli Silverthorne (2015 Valedictorian), Esther Tabert, Steven Vick, Dylan Vickers, Vanessa Wagar, Megan Walsh, Jesse Way, and Toban Zaryski.
"I think this is the most prepared and motivated generation of cooks we have ever had."
Celebrated author and columnist, Lucy Waverman began her key note address emphasizing how impressed she was by the dedication and hard work she saw the students put into their studies during her residency as the 2015 Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence. Although she was careful to point out some of the challenges the recent graduates will face starting in the business, she encouraged the students to define a goal for themselves and to never lose sight of it:
"Once you get passed the first couple of years, the profession will give back to you and I know that chefs give back to the business. You are among the most generous people that I know."
Lucy Waverman went on to discuss how optimistic she is about the number of female students graduating from the Stratford Chefs School, encouraging them to break through the glass ceiling that still exists in the industry:
"This used to be a man’s field but all that has changed. Women chefs like Carolyn Reid at Scaramouche, Lynn Crawford, Gabrielle Hamilton, April Bloomfield are changing the way women are perceived in the industry. They are people to look up to and to emulate. Perseverance pays."
Ms. Waverman concluded her speech offering advice on the importance of hospitality, kitchen "family" dynamics, treating everyone with respect, and always striving to improve in all that you do. Quoting famous Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, (“Chefs are not stars they are instruments of happiness.”), Ms. Waverman encouraged the Class of 2015 to never say "no", and to always "be out there" - to engage with their customers, community and media networks. She also reminded the students of the importance of finding time for themselves.
"All of your experiences – travel, relationships, heritage and education – become part of what you are and are reflected on the plate that you create and the atmosphere you establish. Find your own identity but do it thoughtfully through travel, research and continuous cooking."
We did it! New graduates (from left to right) Jerika Burge, Amanda Pearson, Mike Kale, Esther Tabert, Quinton Martisius and Scott Douglas.
The Class of 2015 listens to Keynote Speaker Lucy Waverman.
Graduate Tara Blasman (second from the left), is congratulated by longtime SCS supporters Mary Kelleher and Robert Close, while her father, Mark Blasman (far right), beams with pride.
"We stand before you today, as graduating chefs: confident without recipes, armed with technique, and supported by a theoretical framework"
"...Chefs School proper marks but the preparatory phase, pre-staff meal even. From here the real show begins, and the guests arrive. It is up to all of us as chefs to make it happen professionally."
Eli paid tribute to his peers, citing them as having "both influenced and impressed me", and hoping that he has the opportunity to work with members of his class in the future.
"...Drawn days and long nights were made easier by sharing the time with awesome classmates; classmates who are exceptionally determined, passionate and talented."
Offering friends and family of his classmates insight to the daily challenges conquered by his class over the past two years ("you've got to know the rules to break the rules"), Eli stressed:
"The amount that we have learned over that time is hard to quantify. The great thing about learning such an applied trade as cookery, is the way that it grows to be ever expansive the harder you push at it. As chefs, the things we learn are instantly applied, and from being applied they then become instinct; thus allowing new room for new knowledge, triggering a never-ending sequence of growth and applied development."
In closing, Eli offered his "Top 10" list of reflections on his time at the School:
1. Practice to get it right, before attempting to go faster
2. Always be asking yourself, can I do this faster (attributed to Instructor, Chef Ryan O’Donnell)
3. Chefs require a support network: suppliers, co-workers, friends and family
4. Embrace the unplanned
5. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t repeat them
6. ABC’s are important – Always Be Counting
7. If you are serious about what you do, find a mentor (thanking Lucy Waverman, the 2015 Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence for this piece of advice)
8. There is more to cooking than just cooking
9. Be nice to your dishwashers
10. You are only as good as your last plate
New graduate Michelle Hundt celebrates with her children.
Instructor and Graduation MC Ian Middleton ('01) pauses from the celebrations with (from left to right) Program Director Meg Westley and Keynote Speaker Lucy Waverman with her husband Bruce MacDougall.
Beaming from ear to ear are graduates Toban Zaryski and Jesse Way.
Founding Director Eleanor Kane with SCS supporter Dennis Young.
2015 SCS Graduates Jonathan (left) and Harrison (right) Goad celebrate with their proud mother Elspeth Wilson-Goad.
SCS Board of Directors members Tim Leonard (left) and Nigel Howard (right) attend the celebration with Ellen Lehman (left) and Ruth Howard (right).
2015 Scholarships and Graduation Awards
Awards and scholarships were handed out to deserving graduates and Level 1 students entering Level 2. Thank you to our generous award sponsors and Support a Student Chef donors. Congratulations to the winners!
LEVEL 1 AWARDS:
Kikkoman Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement Overall
- $2,000 - Mel Athulathmudali
- $1,000 - Donna Borooah
- $500 - James Toenders
T. Kent Calhoun Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Cookery
- $1,000 - Donna Borooah
Garland Canada Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Gastronomy
- $250 - Donna Borooah
Savour Stratford Culinary Scholarship for Involvement in Community through Culinary Tourism
- $250 - Angie Mohr
PMA Canada | Wyborowa Vodka Scholarship (by application)
- $750 - James Toenders
Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence Scholarship (by application)
- $500 - James Toenders
Dr. John and Olive Pyper Memorial Scholarship for Guest Blogging (by application)
- $100 - Mel Athulathmudali
- $100 - Donna Borooah
Program Director Meg Westley presents enthusiastic Level 1 student James Toenders with a Kikkoman Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement Overall.
Founding Director Eleanor Kane presents Level 1 student Donna Borooah with the Garland Canada Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Gastronomy. Donna won four scholarships! Well done!
SCS Board of Directors member Nigel Howard presents Level 1 student Angie Mohr with the Savour Stratford Culinary Scholarship for Involvement in Community through Culinary Tourism.
LEVEL 2 AWARDS:
Stratford Chefs School Award for Commitment to Industry & Highest Academic Achievement
$2,000 - Eli Silverthorne
Elizabeth Baird Award for Outstanding Achievement
$1,000 - Esther Tabert
City of Stratford Award for Outstanding Achievement (awarded to a student of Stratford origin)
$500 - Jesse Way
John Richardson Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pastry
$250 - Eli Silverthorne
The Hillbrooke Group Award for Outstanding Achievement in Communications
- $200 - Esther Tabert
Bradshaws & Kitchen Detail Award for Outstanding Achievement in Food & Wine Service
- Gift Certificate - Sam Bavaro
The Eleanor Kane Award for Outstanding Achievement in Gastronomy
Product & $100 - Eli Silverthorne
The Bread Award for Outstanding Achievement in Breadmaking
$800 - Elissa McKinnon
The Christopher John Sinopoli Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Larder
$250 - Sam Bavaro
The Vine Agency Award (by application)
Wine tour trip - Eli Silverthorne
Program Director Meg Westley, presents graduate Eli Silverthorne with the Stratford Chefs School Award for Commitment to Industry and Academic Achievement. Not only was Eli the Valedictorian for the Class of 2015, but he was presented with a total of four awards for Outstanding Achievement!
Graduate Esther Tabert (left) receives the Elizabeth Baird Award for Outstanding Achievement from SCS Instructor Randi Rudner.
Instructor Chef Ryan O'Donnell (right), presents graduate Sam Bavaro with The Christopher John Sinopoli Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Larder.
The Stratford Chefs School 2015 Graduation Awards and Scholarships Are Supported By:
George and Elizabeth Baird
T. Kent Calhoun Memorial Fund
The Hillbrooke Group
Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence Program
John Richardson Memorial Fund
2014|15 Support a Student Chef Campaign
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR STUDENTS!
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?
The Stratford Chefs School is now accepting applications for Fall 2015.
What are you... waiting for?
Contact our Recruitment Officer, Bob Friesen to discuss the possibility of becoming a student this fall!
Email: email@example.com or
Support a Student Chef
Graduation also signals the time when the School launches its Support a Student Chef Campaign for the coming 2015|16 school year.
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.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS of the 2015|16 SCHOOL YEAR!
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Timothy J. Leonard
Dr. Dennis Nuhn
BREWED COFFEE PARTNER
The City of Stratford
The Compudoc and Switch Wifi
Cave Spring Cellars
The Vine - Rob Groh Agency
13th Street Winery
EXECUTIVE CHEF $10000+
BMO Financial Group
SOUS CHEF $2500+
Stratford Perth Community Foundation
CHEF DE PARTIE $1000+
David James Lester | The Three Houses
GASTRONOMIC WRITER IN RESIDENCE DONORS
SUPPORT A STUDENT CHEF DONORS
BMO Financial Group
Lynda and David Bowen
George Oleske & Carol Duncan
Hon. Paul T. Hellyer
Donna & Richard Ivey
John and Ann Lang
James and Connie MacDougall
Lawrence C. Sweet
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
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