OC student chefs supporting community
You can call it cooking with love.
Students from the Okanagan Chef School at Okanagan College dropped plans this week for a final feast to celebrate the end of their program and jumped into supporting the local emergency response instead.
Typically, students at the Okanagan Chef School host a community dinner at the end of their year and one was planned for this week. However, when the event had to be cancelled due to the area wildfires, the students decided to shift their focus to preparing meals for those engaged in the response and impacted by the emergency.
“One of our classmates has lost her home so we are doing everything we can to support her and support everyone else in the community,” said student chef Alessandra DiMattia. “We have created the menu ourselves, many of the dishes are our family recipes. We hope they bring a little bit of the comfort of home to those who have been evacuated or lost homes.”
Although the students had spent weeks and weeks leading up the originally planned community dinner, once they pivoted to preparing and packaging more than 800 ready-to-go meals for evacuees, the 13 chefs had just a few days.
“We thought we would take all of the energy and expertise we can and put it toward cooking for evacuees and those that need the help,” said Chef Geoffrey Couper, chair of the Culinary and Pastry Arts program and instructor. “We are preparing ready to eat meals, things that are super easy so people can get some great food in them.”
“We are cooking with love and that is what is going to make all of the difference,” said Chef Couper.
Couper notes this is just one example of how the College and its employees have stepped forward to support their communities across the Okanagan Valley. OC staff and students have also helped at different volunteer stations, donated lunches to firefighters and several individuals have opened their homes to evacuees across the Valley.
“Everyone knows someone impacted by the many fires burning in our region, from friends to family to colleagues,” said Juliana Buitenhuis, campus administrator at the Penticton campus. “It is great to know that as staff, students and as neighbors, we respond to calls to action and support our communities.”
April 4, 2023
Q: What's your name? A: Ruth Gabriela Melo Flores Q: What's your hometown? A: Quito – Ecuador – South America Q: How did you end up at Okanagan College? A: Well, I studied for a bachelor's degree in Law in Ecuador. Then, I worked for a while and got my Master's degree in Government and Culture of Organizations at the University of Pamplona. When I returned to my country, professional opportunities arose for me. I mean, a Master's degree improved my career. Spain helped me dev...Read more...
June 7, 2022
Grads of Okanagan College’s Animation Diploma program are finding their skills have never been in higher demand. First- and second-year students showed samples of their artwork and demo reels to industry partners at OC’s annual Animation Industry Night on May 17. “Lots of the work was very professional,” says James Wood, Chair of Okanagan College’s Animation Department. “Our program is short, but intense. The instructors make sure the students have a realistic understanding of what they need do to succeed in a competitive and demanding wo...Read more...
May 30, 2022
Business students from Okanagan College are once again able to travel to Jyväskylä, Finland to experience an international summer school at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences. Finland’s education system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. OC Business Professor Blair Baldwin, who has taught Services Design at JAMK for several summers, says working in Finland has helped him innovate and create new teaching methodologies. “JAMK employs experiential learning across its curriculum,” he says. “They stress critic...Read more...
May 27, 2022
Okanagan College students will once again be competing for the Canadian title after qualifying for the Enactus National Exposition with a first-place finish in their league during the semi-final round. Enactus teams at post-secondary institutions across Canada competed virtually earlier this month, and Okanagan College scooped up top position in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge, and runner-up in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge for the Unusually Good Food Co. project. It also included national runner-up in Shaw and RBC accelerators...Read more...