Vic High student Zak Chaudhry and chef Cosmo Meens create a dish at the high school as part of the school’s lunch program.

Vic High student Zak Chaudhry and chef Cosmo Meens create a dish at the high school as part of the school’s lunch program.

Chefs share cooking skills with Vic High students

The program is an opportunity for students to learn valuable lessons in nutrition, food security and food preparation.

When Vic High life-skills teacher Asha Rao first approached the Harbourside Rotary Club for a grant to help students expand the breakfast program at her school, she had no idea how quickly the idea would catch on.

“This isn’t the classical school lunch program,” said Randi Falls, Vic High’s principal.

The program isn’t a nutritional necessity for students, but rather an opportunity for them to learn valuable lessons in nutrition, food security and food preparation.

“Vic High has a life-skills program that teaches students the basics of food preparation as well as programs that are designed to pave the way to careers in the food industry,” said Falls. “The partners in this (lunch) program are enhancing those courses in a way that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.”

The level of community support has surprised both Falls and Shellie Gudgeon, the Rotary Club representative working on the program. Shortly after reaching out to the community, Vic High was offered assistance by Sysco Victoria (for supplies) Fairway Markets and Fol Epi Bakery.

Most importantly, the program has the hands-on support of chef Cosmo Means, the culinary master behind the Hot and Cold Café. Means will be in the school kitchen where he will both teach students cooking skills and share his knowledge of food selection, nutrition, and menu selection and preparation.

“Chef Means is only the first of the chefs that we expect to bring into the program,” said Gudgeon, adding other chefs have already expressed interest and it’s hoped they’ll join the program to help guide the students who have an interest in the food industry.

“With more chefs coming on we can expose the students to a variety of styles and approaches, and let them gain the knowledge of some of the best professionals in the field.”

Although the program is starting out with the goal of preparing one meal a month for 250 students at Vic High, Gudgeon said with the growing level of support, she can see the program expanding to a weekly effort in the near future.

While the first lessons involve the preparation of soup, Gudgeon hopes it will expand to other menu items such as locally sourced salads and entrees.

“We want to partner with local farmers and food producers and even explore urban gardening as a potential source of products for our program,” she said.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nic Hume and his fellow paramedic stopped to rescue the victim of an Oak Bay hit-and-run – a duck – at the end of their shift Thursday morning. (Nic Hume/Facebook)
Paramedics rescue unusual patient after Oak Bay hit-and-run

A female duck was rescued while a male one was deceased on scene

Tina Starkey with her seven-month-old puppy Sugar on the E&N Trail in Esquimalt. Starkey now carries a small personal alarm device, her thumb on the button. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Encounters leave Vic West woman concerned for her safety

The 50-year-old wants self defence training, says she’s not alone

An early morning fire along Cameron Street has left two cats dead and two tenants homeless. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Early morning fire guts Victoria house, leaves 2 cats dead

Victoria Fire Department called out shortly before 2 a.m.

Starting in June, Government Street will be closed to most vehicles between Humboldt and View streets. A section of Government Street was transformed into a pedestrian-priority walkway in the wake of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria plans 10-hour closures of Government Street come June

City’s business relief plan extended, Government St. from Humboldt to View closed noon to 10 p.m.

The Better Business Bureau is reminding people to do their research before starting any home improvement projects this spring. (Black Press Media file photo)
Don’t get scammed on home improvements, warns Better Business Bureau

Scams typically involve paying cash upfront for jobs that never get done, says BBB

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Vancouver Islanders warned of fire risk caused by dry conditions

As dry spell poised to end, officials warn of risks involved with backyard burning

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

Most Read