White linen and fine dining at Our Place

Camosun College hospitality management training students bring elegant dining to Victoria’s homeless

It’s a scene not often witnessed at Our Place: waiters and waitresses dressed in impeccable black and white while delivering savoury meals to the tables of Greater Victoria’s homeless and impoverished.

But on Wednesday (March 11), that is exactly what will happen when first-year students of Camosun College’s hospitality management training program bring a touch of fine dining to the area’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Just because you’re homeless or down on your luck doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience of a gourmet meal served with elegance,” said Our Place executive director Don Evans.

“The hospitality students get to practice their skills, learn more about giving back, and it’s a real treat for our family members.”

The special menu, served from 4 to 6 p.m., includes: coffee-rubbed tenderloin of pork with pear and parsnip sauce; garlic mashed potatoes; roasted carrots, sweet peppers and onions with honey-balsamic glaze. For dessert: Granny Smith apple strudel with salted caramel sauce and vanilla-scented whipped cream. Plus rich swiss rolls and whipped butter. Students will deliver table service, complete with all the amenities one expects from a fine dining experience.

“Partnering with the Our Place Society affords our hospitality management business students the opportunity to explore innovative ways to create partnerships, build relationships, and give back to the community,” said David Armstrong, program leader for Camosun’s hospitality management.

“This is our fifth year partnering with Our Place, and it’s a relationship we greatly value. You can talk about social responsibility, but it isn’t real until you experience the very tangible results of participating in some form of community service.”