As part of the grand opening celebrations at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus on October 18, the college welcomed international guest Chef Maxime Moïse, instructor with the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France.
Conestoga President John Tibbits (left) and Chef Maxime Moïse met to formally sign the college's exclusive agreement with the Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance.
During his visit to the college, Chef Moïse worked with students in the culinary labs and shared information about Conestoga’s partnership with the Institut and the study abroad opportunities it offers. He also met with Conestoga President John Tibbits to formally sign an agreement the college entered into last year. The exclusive agreement with the Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance, the leading global network of education excellence for the culinary arts and hospitality trades, welcomes Conestoga as a member of the Alliance.
Founded in 2004, the Alliance connects institutions that share educational values and the common goal of promoting and developing the professions of culinary arts and hotel and restaurant management. Its 17 member institutions represent the world’s top hospitality management and culinary arts schools.
“We were grateful Chef Maxime could join us for our special grand opening, and meet with students and other college officials to discuss the Institut and the opportunities for collaboration it offers,” said Keith Müller, chair, School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts. “Conestoga’s membership in the Worldwide Alliance connects our culinary students to a global network, and through this partnership students can participate in a unique international experience that will allow them to improve skills, gain knowledge, and share their own cultures and customs.”
Conestoga is currently the only Canadian member of the Alliance which provides culinary students at the college an opportunity to participate in an exclusive 14-week training program at the Institut. The program welcomes 70 students annually and includes hands-on practical lessons in cooking, pastry and bread making, and restaurant service as well as theoretical lessons focused on the history of French gastronomy.
Conestoga graduate Taylor Martin and Culinary Management co-op student Chris Bisson have already participated in the program, and Müller said at least another four students will attend this spring. Müller is also exploring partnership opportunities with the Institut for students studying hotel and restaurant management at the college, and noted that membership in the Alliance offers additional pathways for culinary students to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management as well as a Master’s degree in Culinary Leadership & Innovation.
Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts is a leader in culinary and hospitality programming that prepares students for successful careers in Canada’s dynamic tourism industry. Following a $58 million campus expansion at Conestoga’s John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo, students now have access to state-of-the-art culinary skills labs and a new full-service student-run campus restaurant.