Tammy Williamson, Home Economics Teacher and Youth Train in Trades Instructor for Professional Cooking Level 1 at Mark R Isfeld, gave seven students (G 9-12) a culinary experience of a lifetime. Their task was to take part in cooking brunch in a resort kitchen to feed close to 2,000 patrons; no small feat for a secondary student let alone a professional cook!
Under the direction of Chef Eric, Tigh-Na-Mara, the students began their prep work at 5:45 a.m. and cooked through the morning serving up a free brunch for an important cause. The organization is called Society of Organized Services, based in Parksville, B.C. SOS’ Community Partner Initiative allows local businesses such as Tigh-Na-Mara the opportunity to lead a fundraising initiative. Monies raised of items donated go back into the community to benefit children, families and adults. For this event, it was toys for the holiday season.
In past years, culinary students from North Island College participated in the Brunch program. This is the first time secondary students from the Valley have become involved – an experience Williamson says has helped students understand how to work in a commercial kitchen under a professional chef.
"I am so proud of them. They took Chef Eric's instruction, and went for it! They worked so hard," expressed Williamson. "At the start of the morning, they saw the empty room and watched it fill up with toys which made them soon realize they were part of something special."