Newly minted culinary artist, Courtney Whalen, who will earn her Culinary Arts certificate at the College’s Winter Convocation on Saturday. photo: contributed

Okanagan College hosts info night for Culinary Arts program

The informational evening will take place at the Kelowna campus, Jan. 14

With many kitchens in the Okanagan and across the province on the hunt for cooks, Okanagan College is hosting an info session next week to open doors to culinary careers for the next generation of chefs.

“The industry is screaming for cooks,” said instructor chef Mike Barillaro. “Over the summer, we heard from restaurants that had to cut back the days they could open because they didn’t have enough cooks. It’s an industry that really needs talented people, so we’re pushing hard to train enough cooks to fulfill the need.”

A new intake of Culinary Arts certificate program students will step into the classroom and the teaching kitchen this month. The next round of the program starts in February. Those interested in stepping into the February class are invited to drop into Infusions restaurant at the Kelowna Campus next Monday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. to learn more about the program and have their questions answered.

RELATED: Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Jeremy Luypen, executive winery chef at Summerhill Pyramid Winery and an alumnus of the program, has been working with the College to train new cooks for the better part of a decade. He visits the very kitchen in which he honed his craft as often as he can to pass on his experiences.

“The best part of being a Culinary instructor is going back and being able to share my experience with the students and showing them that the program does work. I’ve seen a lot of students go through the program, and I’ve hired many too,” Luypen said.

RELATED: Okanagan College helps local wine industry professionals

Luypen is also quick to point out that the Okanagan makes an ideal training ground due to its bounty of local ingredients.

“One of the best parts of being a chef in the Okanagan is the food that we get to play with, and the wine that is at our fingertips or lips. It’s amazing what this valley produces. You are truly limited your own imagination and creativity,” Luypen said.

The latest labour market projections suggest that need isn’t going away any time soon. Between now and 2028, B.C. is going to need nearly 12,000 more cooks.

One of those newly minted culinary artists is Courtney Whalen, who will earn her Culinary Arts certificate at the college’s Winter Convocation on Saturday. Whalen will be among 482 graduates that day, spanning programs from Arts to Water Engineering Technology.

Whalen, who is originally from Northern Alberta, will be celebrating two accomplishments on Saturday. She will pick up her credential having already landed a dream opportunity with a buzzing local restaurant.

Last year, through a co-op placement, she found work with Sunny’s Modern Diner. She’s since been hired on beyond that 10-week co-op experience.

“I worked in a bakery when I was younger and my dad went to culinary school but I basically stepped into the program with not a lot of culinary experience. You could say I launched a new career from scratch, basically. It’s been remarkable how quickly it all came together,” Whalen said.

Whalen says the program helped to kindle in her a new direction, after pondering a career in business.

“I discovered I love cooking and making people happy through food,” she said.

Her advice for future chefs-in-training?

“Take notes. One of the things I picked up from the program at the College was the need for constant learning. It never stops,” Whalen said. “I keep a notebook on me at all times, and I’m always jotting down things the chefs say to me at my current job,” says Whalen. “It’s a very collaborative industry. I’m often getting feedback on my technique, learning more efficient ways to do certain things, and gathering inspiration for new flavours and new recipes.”

More information about the college’s Culinary Arts program is available at okanagan.bc.ca/fwt

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Car torched: $1,000 reward offered for return of stolen massage machine

Odette Baumgartner’s vehicle was stolen and then burned in Kelowna.

Dust advisory in affect for Kelowna

Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic

Big White firefighters camp on roof to raise money

The eighth annual Rooftop Camp Out, hosted by the Big White Fire Department, starts Friday

UPDATE: Gun allegedly drawn over garbage dispute in Kelowna

The public is asked to stay away from the Christleton Avenue area

Pedestrian hit by slow moving vehicle in Kelowna

Rose and Richter are closed due to pedestrian struck

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

B.C. conservation officers talk bear awareness

How to stay safe this spring in bear country

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Explore the sunken treasures of the Shuswap

Divers explore historic boats and a Ford Model T that broke through lake ice while on a delivery

Most Read