The Chef School at George Brown is a hidden jewel in downtown Toronto. I love their website which states
“If you love everything about food, you’re in the right place.”
They are committed to being one of Canada’s best culinary schools and in fact have launched the first four-year Culinary Management honours degree in Canada. The Chef School’s alumni includes some pretty impressive Canadian chef-celebrities such as: Mark McEwan, Jamie Kennedy, Bonnie Stern, and Roger Mooking.
Therefore, I was fortunate to be introduced to Alison Fryer who is currently a Professor at The Chef School. Alison was the energetic and passionate General Manager of The Cookbook Store for over 30 years, and best known for her sold-out interviews with many of the world’s best chefs such as Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay. She’s such a fountain of culinary knowledge!
Alison SO graciously agreed to give me a tour around The Chef School. It was so fun hearing her speak so fondly about her decades at The Cookbook Store, and also how much she has been enjoying teaching at The Chef School. I wondered whether there was any coincidence that she has dedicated her life to institutions with the acronym “T.C.S.”. 🙂 She showed me shiny new areas such as the RedPath Bakery and Demo Kitchen. She also described how The Chef School welcomes ideas for new courses. I suggested a Hakka cooking course!!! Here are some pics from our walk-about.
Slideshow: George Brown’s Chef School
Finally, I had a chance to interview Christine Walker, Interim Director of Hospitality and Culinary Programs, George Brown College. She shared how The Chef School is doing some really unique and innovative programming. Read more below!
Interview with Christine Walker, Interim Director of Hospitality and Culinary Programs
1) Can you describe The Chef School in three words?
· Committed to students
· Helps students succeed
· Ahead of the competition
· Best faculty ever
· Innovative, International, Inspirational
2) How many students are currently enrolled? What is your most popular program?
We have 10 programs and our total enrolment is approximately 1400 over the year. Or most popular in Culinary is H100 which is our flagship Culinary program. Our Baking and Pastry Management program is also incredibly popular and has very long waiting lists each year. Our post grad programs however (the Italian, French and Nutrition) are unique in Canada and provide students opportunities and experiences they can’t get anywhere else.
3) What new programming have you been most excited about and why? Have you ever gotten any wacky requests for offerings?
I could go on forever but right now I am most excited about our Four year Honours Bachelor Of Commerce Degree. It was 4 years in the making, the only one in Canada and we are incredibly proud of it. We met our full enrolment in the first year which is incredible.
We get numerous requests, and if we can, we never say no! I can’t think of anything wacky since we all tend to think wacky anyway, all requests are like challenges 🙂
4) What’s coming up at GBC that we should know about?
Well I can’t tell you about new programs that are being developed but we are working on a new degree that will be incredible!!!
We have a really big garden that we are continuing to work on, and in the next five years it will be amazing.