Conestoga news

November 21, 2023 10:11 AM

Local culinary club supports Conestoga’s budding chefs

Conestoga culinary arts students will continue to have the opportunity to study French cuisine at a renowned institute thanks to a $30,000 donation made on behalf of the Waterloo Region chapter of the men’s international cooking club Les Marmitons and two challenge grant donors, the Cloverleaf and Locking Arms foundations.

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Culinary arts students will continue to have the opportunity to study French cuisine at a renowned institute thanks to a $30,000 donation made on behalf of Les Marmitons.

“Our relationship with Les Marmitons goes back many years, and their ongoing support of our students and programs at the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts is deeply appreciated,” said Keith Müller, dean of the School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Food Processing Technology.

“Their scholarship allows students to attend the prestigious Institut Lyfe in Lyon, France to enhance their skills and bring those back to share with the group.”

The cheque was presented at a gathering of chapter members in late October, bringing their total donation to the college in support of domestic and international scholarships and bursaries to more than $67,000 since its founding in 2015.

The evening’s menu was planned by two young chefs - Angela Gonzales and Tishna Makhun - who were sponsored to study at the Institut Paul Bocuse in France, now called Institut Lyfe. Gonzales now works in the kitchen at Langdon Hall in Cambridge, and Makhun is at the Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener.

Being immersed in French and inspired by other cuisines is an invaluable experience for a chef’s development and the local Les Marmitons chapter is dedicated to supporting culinary students at Conestoga, which hosts their gastronomical gatherings at the culinary centre on the Waterloo campus.

“We feel it’s incumbent for us to give back and help support the next generation of chefs,” said chapter president Mike Collins.

The opportunity to study at the French institute is available only to students attending post-secondary institutions within the Bocuse Worldwide Alliance. Conestoga is the only Canadian member of the alliance founded in 2004 to connect the world’s top hospitality management and culinary arts schools. 

Every year, the 14-week long training course from May to August brings together students from around the world to the campus where they will improve their culinary skills and techniques, learn about French gastronomy and share their food cultures and habits.

Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts is a leader in culinary and hospitality programming that prepares students for successful careers in Canada’s tourism industry. The Waterloo campus is home to its state-of-the-art culinary skills labs and student-run Bloom restaurant.

Learn more about Les Marmitons - Waterloo Region on the chapter’s website.