Britt Santowski Krystal Dickinson

Culinary feast cooked by students

Annual fundraiser for culinary arts program prepared by student chefs

It’s that time of year again, where the culinary students from Edward Milne community school hosts their annual fundraising dinner.

This year’s event, billed as a three-course culinary extravaganza, will be hosted at the Sooke Harbour House on Thursday, May 9 starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 for a three course dinner prepared and served by the culinary students of EMCS. The funds raised will go to expanding the breadth of experience to which the EMCS culinary students are exposed.

“The fundraiser is for our culinary arts program,” says Marion French, the current chef at the Culinary Arts Program at EMCS. “We use the funds for field trips and it goes back into the program.”

In the past, students have gone to Salt Spring Island and the Cowichan Valley, and have also visited institutions such as the Vancouver Island University (VIU) which has campuses throughout the Island.

This year, they hope to go to Salt Spring Island and take the students to a range of farms on the island, including some farms where cheese is produced.

In addition to funding field trips, some of the funds will also go towards the school’s own produce. They have a garden in the back field where they grow a range of vegetables and lettuces.

“We really try and teach the kids about local produce and products. The Sooke Harbour House is definitely one of those restaurants that strongly believes in that philosophy. So, they have generously let us come there, and we’ve got about seven students cooking and another seven students serving. And so they (the Sooke Harbour House) will basically provide us the the entire venue and the food and everything for this event,” says French.

“It’s such a great experience,” continues French, “It’s great for the students too because they get to work in this great restaurant with professional chefs. We have a great commercial kitchen here, but it’s not the same. Now, they’re put into a real kitchen with real chefs. It’s pretty great.”

Students are focussing on local and seasonal foods. On the Monday before the event, the students will meet with the chefs at Sooke Harbour House and collectively determine what they will be serving based on what’s fresh and what’s available.

“Oliver and I are looking forward to attending this culinary event!

“The EMCS Cooking Programme has produced countless talented cooks, including Canada’s most recent Top Chef winner. With their Slow Food Kitchen Garden, and under the tutelage of incredible chefs Pia Caroll and Marion French, they nurture the farm to table philosophy,” said Brooke Fader and Chef Oliver Kienast of Wild Mountain Dinners.

Though delicious aromas will be wafting through Sooke in the afternoon, the doors open at 5:30 p.m. The first of three dishes will be served at 6 p.m.

As these dinners regularly sell out, reservations are required. Call the EMCS main office at 250-642-6371 between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to reserve your seat.