June 23, 2010. Duane Burnett
I had the honour of being a guest at the final exam dinner by the Sunshine Coast Alternative School Culinary 2010 program.
Did someone tell them the way to a journalist heart is by feeding them?
Judging criteria was tough! We had three rules to follow:
1) Don't eat the dessert first!
2) Talk with the chefs about what they were serving
3) Buss your own dishes. LOL
The graduating students cooked a delicious buffet for many distinguished guests, friends and very proud family at the Horizons building in Sechelt, BC.
Dinner included lemon chicken, twice baked potatoes, asparagus-broccoli pesto salad, an aboriginal yam feta salad, plus an assortment of delicious desserts, which included a chocolate fountain with fresh strawberries to dip into it.
The students received thunderous applause in approval plus a standing ovation for their terrific accomplishments when all the awards were handed out at the ceremony.
The students passion is in the study of the Culinary Arts. Some are in their first, second or graduating years from the program made possible by the Sunshine Coast School District #46.
One of the special guests was School District #46 Superintendent Deborah Palmer who told me that the culinary graduation dinner was the "best way" to spend her time, as it was all about the kids, what they are good at, and allows them to be successful at what they love to do.
Class time in the program includes exploring job and people skills with Rick Gibb the Career & Tech teacher.
In the afternoons they explore and create in the kitchen with Instructor and Red Seal Chef, Tammy Saigeon.
This year they are also featuring a greater first nation theme to their culinary program thanks to the Shishalh Nation.
It was Tammy's first year with the program that has been going on for about 8 years now.
Rick Gibb had especially high praise for Tammy.
He said she not only refurbished the kitchen in the older building but had terrific teaching skills that helped foster the students into a career in the culinary arts. He was very "appreciative" of everything she has done.
As a special surprise, the students presented Tammy with a stunning first nations scarf.
Many of these students go on with their studies with the local ACE IT program and receive their first level red seal.
They also have the opportunity to learn from experts in our Communities and take part in community events.
Many field trips within our community and the lower mainland are planned so that students can see for themselves the diverse career path that the Culinary Arts can offer.
Student also work towards obtaining certification in Foodsafe, First Aid, Serving It Right and WHMIS.
Tammy Saigeon tells me the most important thing is the opportunity for youth that may have struggled with life circumstances and choices to be able to find their inner power and passion. To feel good about who they are and what they have to offer others is truly empowering the youth of our community.
The Alternate School provides learner-centred programs that assist children and youth in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to build a healthy community. They welcome individual differences within an atmosphere of mutual respect and co-operation.
The Sunshine Coast Alternative School consists of 10 self-contained programs located at different sites. These are district programs that take both school, and self or family referrals.
I had a wonderful evening and thank the students, staff, volunteers for a lovely dinner and my distinguished table guests for their terrific company.
To the students I am proud of each and everyone of you. Well done!
Please join me in wishing the Sunshine Coast Culinary students and all the Class of 2010 Grads in our terrific community the very best!
It's Always A Good Day on the Sunshine Coast!
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