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Graduate Chefs Jobs, Catering Jobs for Graduates

 
After all, they'll be squaring off against each other this summer at a national culinary competition in Toronto.

Instead, the two recent graduates of the Culinary Institute of Canada are spending their time in the vast kitchen of the school's Charlottetown waterfront campus sharing strategies and laughs as they design three-course menus for eight.

Their evident passion for what they do may have come naturally, but their willingness to share ideas is all part of the training they've received at what many in the food industry are calling one of the hottest cooking schools in the country.

"I always knew that I wanted to come here. Doing research, I realized that you spend more time in the kitchen here than at other colleges," said Serio, a Whitby, Ont., native who wants to be a chef instructor.



"I really like the hands-on approach."

Paterson, who hopes to travel the world with her newly acquired skill sets, didn't start out to be a chef.

"I actually did a textiles study program before I came here. But I started cooking more when I got out on my own and I worked as a server in a lot of restaurants and always enjoyed the kitchen part of it more," said the Bonavista, Nfld., native.

David Harding, an experienced chef and the institute's program manager, said their programs, which are turning out international award-winning students, are designed to be forward looking.

"We're training chefs who have a sense of the business, who know what the industry's about and where it's going," he said.

"It's about giving them the ability to gain employment, to be creative and the desire to aspire to do more."

The first year of the two-year culinary arts program is about fundamentals like volume production, while the second year focuses on refinement, flavours, applied creativity and imagination, building menus and playing with plate presentation.

The institute also offers a one-year pastry program but, in keeping with its look-ahead approach, has recently implemented an applied degree program in culinary operations, the first and only one of its kind in the country.

NON-TRADITIONAL ROLES

It will allow graduates to pursue jobs in non-traditional chef roles such as food-service research, health care and sales.

Students also benefit greatly from the diverse culinary backgrounds of the institute's instructors.

"We've got four or five here trained in the classic styles of Europe and another who trained in the Caribbean. So you're seeing the same dish approached in a lot of different ways," Harding said.

"Our staff are true culinary experts who love to pass on that knowledge and they pride themselves on the student being successful."

Harding said a large part of that success still gets down to ensuring students understand market demands.

"You can make the best Asian soup in the world, but if no one's looking for it and the restaurant's empty . . . What constitutes a good restaurant? One that makes money because people are going," he said, laughing.

The institute graduated six chefs when it first opened its doors in 1983
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Tags: Caterer , Chef Career , Chef Employment , Commis Chef
 


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