"With this new learning platform, we
are excited and honoured to be able
to deliver relevant quality training
that will provide students with real
opportunities for their future success.”
Have you heard? Camosun College has added something new to its ‘Culinary Arts Professional Cook’ program: its first post-secondary student-run food truck went live this summer! As far as we are aware, it’s only the third food truck operated by a college culinary arts program in all of Canada. It’s literally the perfect teaching vehicle (pun absolutely intended!) for our culinary students and a great way to generate keen interest on both Camosun campuses from a variety of departments and subject areas.
Operating a food truck is an obvious learning platform for training professional cooks. Yet, we discovered the food truck is also providing a showcase for a diversity of programs across the college. For example, students and faculty from a range of disciplines, such as business, marketing, culinary arts, electrical, graphic arts, plumbing and pipe trades, print shop and graphic services, sheet metal and automotive trades have all contributed to market and modify the truck. Together, they have converted what was originally a used service vehicle into an attractive, professional-grade, mobile kitchen. As with many other projects of this nature, bringing a variety of different specialists together has proven to be challenging, yet exciting, all at the same time. It demonstrates how an exceptional endeavor can be realized when great minds come together with enthusiasm and passion.
The Camosun Food Truck is ‘wrapped’ in distinctive college branding to operate on both campuses as well as to create awareness of the scope of Camosun programs out in the community. The mural illustrates the diversity of Camosun life and features a range of learning activities. The spectacular murals were designed by alumni from Camosun’s very own unique ‘Comic and Graphic Novel’ program.
Culinary Arts apprentices from the Professional Cook program will operate the truck and gain invaluable real-world experience. This is applied learning in its truest sense. Students will be on the truck, preparing, planning and organizing all aspects of a small, moveable restaurant business. They will be out in the real world—beyond the comfort and security of their regular teaching kitchens! Students will need to problem solve, organize and think on their feet as they prepare food and provide outstanding service in their face-to-face encounter with customers. Such experiences mean that Camosun’s industry-ready cooks will have an added advantage over those who have not been involved with such an endeavour.
The roaming kitchen offers a rotating menu of food options such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, hot sandwiches, pasta and noodle dishes, gourmet salads, international cuisines, sweet treats, and so much more.
With these many parts of the college collaborating to ensure its success, the new Camosun food truck is shaping up to be an interdisciplinary success story. Part of the food truck’s mission will be to visit local high schools to demonstrate what is available at the college and offer students a ‘taste’ of life at Camosun.
Food trucks are not new; they have been around for decades in other parts of the world. However, they certainly seem to be here to stay in our community and beyond. We look forward to witnessing the evolution of the industry sector and playing our role in its advancement. With this new learning platform, we are excited and honoured to be able to deliver relevant quality training that will provide students with real opportunities for their future success. Camosun College is proud to be a leader in Western Canada for applied educational activities that are relevant and in demand.
Chicken Tinga Tacos!
Yield: 20 tacos
1kg 2 lb Skinless chicken thighs, boneless, trimmed
30ml 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 Onion, halved and sliced thin
3 Garlic cloves, minced
6ml 11/4 tsp Ground cumin
2ml 1/3 tsp Ground cinnamon
5ml 1 tsp Smoked paprika
500ml 2cups Canned diced tomatoes
50ml 31/3 tbsp Chicken stock
5ml 1 tsp Pureed canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
5ml 1 tsp Salt
5ml 1 tsp Brown sugar
20ml 4 tsp Lime juice
Heat vegetable oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, chipotle, salt, and sugar and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits.
Place chicken in pot, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meat registers 195ºF, about 20 minutes, flipping chicken after 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board.
Transfer cooking liquid to blender and process until smooth, 15 to 30 seconds. Return sauce to pot. When cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to pot with sauce and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently until sauce thickens and clings to chicken, about 10 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon chicken into centre of each warm tortilla and serve; pass avocado, cheese, scallions, cilantro and lime wedges separately.
GARNISHES – Crumbled feta cheese; Salsa; Guacamole; sour cream, thinned, in the squeeze bottle; shredded lettuce.