My friend and colleague John Gilchrist just wrote a bang-on backgrounder piece on SAIT Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism’s Dean Tom Bornhorst last week in Swerve Magazine. The article was called
The Education Of A Chef
and I include it because if you want to understand how – like a great soufflé – Calgary’s culinary scene has risen so well and so high in the last few years – than all this background information is very helpful.
We do have an excellent culinary school in Calgary. The video below shows off the facility, the program and the instructors.
When you watch a promo video like that and a student says our instructors are soft; they want to help us; they want to find us jobs and they use their connections for us – you might be tempted to think that the comments were scripted. I know for a fact these things really are true. I have had the good fortune to witness many of the instructors interacting with and acting on behalf of their students. The instructors I know are kind, fun and passionate about what they do.
This blog is not a glitzy video or flashy newspaper article. It’s more of an overdue thank you note to a few friends of mine – Andrew Hewson, Simon Dunn and Kat Mori – for the day last spring when I popped by with 25 people for a tour of SAIT’s culinary garden. Even though school was done for the year and they had started their summer holidays, they not only agreed to help me spread the word about Calgary’s thriving Urban Agriculture scene but they also treated our tour group to an al forno pizza making class and a tour of the pristine clean and seriously scrubbed post semester kitchen.
I call this blog post “a study in stainless” because beyond the colourful garden shots and short video of Dunn stretching pizza dough, what you’ll see is the massive amount of stainless steel it takes to outfit a professional kitchen. I had never realized it before that eerily quiet – where are all the students – day in this kitchen.
My husband makes more than a little fun of me because I have “a place for everything and everything in its place” in my home kitchen. I felt quite vindicated when my camera captured that adage in the truly silver lining of this kitchen.
For the pros, working as a team with everything in place – mise en place – is an axiom true for ingredients but also for their equipment. It’s one of the keys to running a successfully organized and smoothly operating facility.
I hope you’ll enjoy this behind the scenes visit to SAIT’s culinary school via these photos as much as I enjoyed being there in person with my culinary heroes – my amazing culinary instructor/chef friends. I don’t watch TV so these guys are my cooking rock stars. I doubt there could be any finer.