Be around food every day, like I am, and eventually you’d realize that the way you feel about food is very different from the everyday reality of most people in our society! Sadly, for the past 50 years, North Americans have been progressively disassociating themselves from the value of the ingredients and dishes that sustain them. It seems to me that we are in a phase where the notion of preparing, sharing, relishing, and socializing around food appears to be shifting to convenience foods—preferably food you can eat with your hands. Certainly, there are ‘foodies’ who embrace the principles of healthy, sustainable, local, community driven food systems; but in general, busy lives shape the way most people eat today.
Yet, visit other parts of the world and food is usually the centre of social structure. It’s the glue that holds families and communities together; it allows people to relax and enjoy one another’s company.
The Camosun Professional Cook Training program recognizes the value of educating our students about developing a quality food culture for themselves, both in their professional and personal lives. As a recognized Inter-Provincial Red Seal training facility, with a history
of producing cooks who have ascended through the industry ranks, it is essential that our culinary students experience a variety of community enterprises where food can be celebrated and featured. Our partnerships include Harbourside Rotary, Make-a-Wish, Mt. St. Mary’s Hospital, and Victoria Prostate Association.
Our newest partnership is Soup Sisters Victoria (www.soupsisters.org). The Soup Sisters has provided a safe and welcoming shelter, respectful counselling, support and advocacy to over 160 women each year who are seeking a brighter future for themselves and their children. They also provide fresh healthy soups to families through the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society by hosting regular monthly events where everyone is welcome.
That’s where our Culinary Arts team comes in. The team visits Soup Sisters to demonstrate recipes, and to help the women create up to four delicious soups, before they all sit down at a dinner table to an appetizer, fresh bread, salad and even a glass of wine to share collective experiences. By teaching and applying industry standards to this exceptionally worthwhile initiative, we hope to improve the lives of women and their families across our region.