Our Students

Food, Wine and Tourism

2015/16 Student Ambassador

 bella thomson 2

Bella Thomson is a current Culinary Arts student here at OC, and is incredibly passionate about food and cooking. Having grown up in an Italian family, and been practically raised by the Food Network, she is living her childhood dream studying culinary arts in the Okanagan. She hopes to one day open her own restaurant, and create a myriad of food films and documentaries. Bella is tremendously excited and honored to be the ambassador for the department of Food, Wine, and Tourism this year, and hopes to give all of you an exciting look at all of the amazing opportunities that are available for a Food, Wine, and Tourism student!

You can follow Bella's adventures on Twitter and Instagram @bellamarangoni, and catch up on her blog
www.theoverthinkingeater.weebly.com

  

 


Student of the Year 2016 Road to Riccione Trip

Road to Riccione Chef B
OCA winners of the Road to Riccione Trip accompanied Chef Bernard
Casavant and Chef Mike Barillaro, the Manager and the Chair of
Culinary and Pastry Arts at Okanagan College to Italy in October. 
The OCA awarded two past students from the Culinary Arts program, Sarah Maw, and recent graduate, Eric Lee.



They experienced tours of culinary schools and famous cheese and meat factories in the region. They also prepared a full traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner at their host hotel.

           

 Cheese Block Riccione


Alumni 

Jenna Pillon 

Jenna Pillon

When you ask Chef Jenna Pillon where she would like to be in her career in the next five years, she pauses to think before giving her answer.

“I am where I’d hoped to be in five years,” she says. “I’ve come a long way in a short period of time and I’m still working on what’s next.”

Pillon’s culinary career took off rather quickly once she completed her Professional Cook Level 3 Apprenticeship at Okanagan College in 2011. After a two-month stint as a sous-chef, she was promoted to Restaurant Chef at Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek Winery . The 25-year-old is currently entering her second season as the Restaurant Chef for the winery restaurant in Oliver, B.Cand enjoying every minute of it.

“I get to do everything from ordering to creating new menus,” said Pillon. “I really enjoy days where I can play with food.”

Long before she was playing with food and creating beautiful dishes at Terrafina,cooking formed a significant part of her life.

While she cooked at home with her family from a young age, it wasn’t until she got her first job in a kitchen at a pub in her hometown of Salmon Arm at the age of 16 that the idea of cooking professionally became a real interest. 

“I realized the excitement of cooking on a line was fantastic and decided to pursue it more,” said Pillon.

And pursue it she did. After completing her Professional Cook Level 1, she became an apprentice chef at Manteo Restaurant in Kelowna under the distinguished chef Bernard Casavant, who is now the Culinary Manager at Okanagan College. She then successfully challenged the Professional Cook Level 2 exams and entered the six-week Level 3 apprenticeship program at Okanagan College.

For Pillon, the best part of the culinary arts program at Okanagan College was the opportunity for hands-on learning.

“Learning how to process a wild boar and venison from North Okanagan Game in Enderby in class was fantastic,” she said.

The College’s chef instructors also contributed to her learning experience and helped her prepare for her Junior Chef competitions.

“The instructors are very knowledgeable and helped me so much with wine knowledge,competition practicing and constructive criticism,” said Pillon. “They try to make you the best cook you can be.”

Although Pillon is done school for now, she is set on continuing to learn and improve her craft.

“I’m still pretty new at what I’m doing,” she said. “I just want to do it better.”


Field Trips

Sysco Field Trip 2014

"Chopped" Style Competition at Sysco

Chef Instructor Mike Barillaro's Culinary Arts students participated in a "Chopped" style competition on a field trip to Sysco in December 2014. 

 


Culinary Field Trip Dec 2014

Professional Cook 2 Students with
Chef Instructor Jim Armstrong at Okanagan Grocery


The students rolled and baked artisan baguettes with Stacey. The field trip also included stops at Bonanza Meats for curing of meats, smoke house, sausage stuffing, butchery of pork etc, complete over view of the emulsifiers, meat chipper, grinders, curing machine, tumblers, Sandrine's Chocolate, Urban Fare and Valoroso Foods for olive oil tasting, Balsamico, and a Porcini Tortello, Winter Truffles demo. December 2014.


Wine 21 Class 2014

Wine 21 Students on Fall 2014 Field Trips

Wine 21 - Introduction to Grapes and Wine is taught by Jolene Palmer and includes students from the Culinary Management Diploma, and the Viticulture, Winery Assistant and Wine Sales Certificate programs. Hands-on learning outside the classroom is an important part of the course. Our wine industry is strongly supportive of these field experiences.


Scholarships & Awards

 

OC 10 G Sun FM

 
Way to go Rachel, Winner of the Okanagan College $10G Tuition Competition on SunFM!

We can't wait to welcome you to Culinary Arts at Okanagan College!

Listen as Rachel gets the call from Randy and Mare audio file 10G. Heartwarming.

BCWI awards McCaffrey


BC Wine Information Society Award Helps Viticulture Student Grow her Education

Kathleen McCaffrey, who is currently completing the Viticulture Certificate program at the College’s Penticton campus, is the recipient of the 2015 BC Wine Information Society Award, valued at $1,500.

Read the full story here.

 

 

Scholarship Dana Duckworth


Student Receives BC Hospitality Foundation - Chefs Table Society Scholarship

Okanagan College Culinary Arts student, Dana Duckworth received a $1,500 scholarship from the BC Hospitality Foundation in partnership with the Chefs Table Society of B.C. in November 2014. 

 


Food Wine and Tourism

Jenna Pillon

When you ask Chef Jenna Pillon where she would like to be in her career in the next five years, she pauses to think before giving her answer.

“I am where I’d hoped to be in five years,” she says. “I’ve come a long way in a short period of time and I’m still working on what’s next.”

Pillon’s culinary career took off rather quickly once she completed her Professional Cook Level 3 Apprenticeship at Okanagan College in 2011. After a two-month stint as a sous-chef, she was promoted to Restaurant Chef at Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek Winery . The 25-year-old is currently entering her second season as the Restaurant Chef for the winery restaurant in Oliver, B.C and enjoying every minute of it.

“I get to do everything from ordering to creating new menus,” said Pillon. “I really enjoy days where I can play with food.”

Long before she was playing with food and creating beautiful dishes at Terrafina, cooking formed a significant part of her life.

While she cooked at home with her family from a young age, it wasn’t until she got her first job in a kitchen at a pub in her hometown of Salmon Arm at the age of 16 that the idea of cooking professionally became a real interest. 

“I realized the excitement of cooking on a line was fantastic and decided to pursue it more,” said Pillon.

And pursue it she did. After completing her Professional Cook Level 1, she became an apprentice chef at Manteo Restaurant in Kelowna under the distinguished chef Bernard Casavant, who is now the Culinary Manager at Okanagan College. She then successfully challenged the Professional Cook Level 2 exams and entered the six-week Level 3 apprenticeship program at Okanagan College.

For Pillon, the best part of the culinary arts program at Okanagan College was the opportunity for hands-on learning.

“Learning how to process a wild boar and venison from North Okanagan Game in Enderby in class was fantastic,” she said.

The College’s chef instructors also contributed to her learning experience and helped her prepare for her Junior Chef competitions.

“The instructors are very knowledgeable and helped me so much with wine knowledge, competition practicing and constructive criticism,” said Pillon. “They try to make you the best cook you can be.”

Although Pillon is done school for now, she is set on continuing to learn and improve her craft.

“I’m still pretty new at what I’m doing,” she said. “I just want to do it better.”