Conestoga news

January 29, 2016 9:56 AM

Local food enthusiasts support Conestoga

Waterloo Region’s chapter of Les Marmitons, an international cooking club for men interested in fine food, wine and the culinary arts, is investing in the future of fine dining in our community through a scholarship program for students in Conestoga’s hospitality and culinary programs.

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Waterloo Region’s chapter of Les Marmitons has established a scholarship fund that will provide support for students in Conestoga’s hospitality and culinary programs for the next five years. Pictured left to right: Tom Motz, Mike Gillespie, Conestoga president John Tibbits, Alex Bielak, Paul Stefanson and Keith Müller.

The club has established a special scholarship fund that will provide support for deserving students in Conestoga’s hospitality and culinary programs for the next five years. Group members also established a one-time scholarship in honour of Conestoga chef Philippe Saraiva, who served as the guest chef at the group’s inaugural gathering in September 2015.

“We appreciate the commitment that Les Marmitons have shown in supporting students pursuing careers in the culinary and hospitality industries,” said Conestoga president John Tibbits. “As well as the direct support the scholarships provide, students will also have opportunities to enrich their skills and connect with culinary enthusiasts as they engage with Les Marmitons members and visiting chefs.”

The local chapter of Les Marmitons International is one of 18 across Canada and the U.S. Established late in 2015, the group meets at the Culinary Centre at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus, where they gain knowledge and experience in the preparation and presentation of various fine cuisines under the direction of professional chefs. More information is available through the chapter’s website and Facebook page.

“We are grateful to Conestoga for formalizing a long-term partnership that provides us a terrific home for years to come, and intend to build on our initial commitment as the club grows,” said Alex Bielak, founding co-president of the chapter.

“Our members want to help publicize all that the college has to offer, and provide support in the development of a centre of excellence that draws participants from across the culinary world,” added co-president Tom Motz.

Conestoga’s School of Business and Hospitality provides a broad range of culinary and hospitality programs to prepare students for successful careers in the growing hospitality industry. As part of their learning experience, students operate Bloom, a full-service, licensed dining room at the Waterloo campus that is open to the public. For more information, visit