This year’s meeting of Canada’s premiers occurred in Niagara-on-the-Lake, an important part of Ontario’s Greenbelt. As you may have heard on the news, Premier Kathleen Wynne was the host this year and important topics such as infrastructure, pipelines, and healthcare were discussed by Canada’s thirteen provincial and territorial leaders.
I have never attended such an event, this being the Premiers’ evening reception held at Niagara College. A glorious evening with great local food, and as Premier Wynne quipped, “Today, the weather is a provincial responsibility.” It was beautiful.
Niagara College has an amazingly successful culinary program, growing its own food in greenhouses as well as grapes, and making its own wine and beer (with their own teaching brewery and winery, recently visited by Rick Mercer for his TV show). Niagara College is one of those gems that thrive in Ontario’s Greenbelt. Its educational quality has been described as superb, and its students become real leaders in the culinary field.
At the dessert table, which consisted of a variety of fruity desserts, I met a young chef who recently graduated. Without identifying myself or who I worked for, the chef said he loves his craft, in part because “we have this great Greenbelt”, which supplies many of the ingredients he uses.
Niagara College’s culinary program is offered through the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Together with prominent leaders within the culinary industry, teachers work side-by-side with the students in an interactive environment and by working in world-class facilities such as the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Dining Room, and Benchmark Restaurant.
And the students are quite successful in their field. For example, Megan Proper, a recent graduate, won the gold medal in baking this year at the Skills Canada National Competition, competing against the top post-secondary baking students in Canada. Just one more example of Niagara College’s great teaching results.
For more information on the College’s Culinary programs, please visit canadianfoodandwineinstitute.ca.
-- Burkhard Mausberg, CEO