BMR Youth Culinary Competition
After 8-weeks of intensive culinary training, participants in the Youth Innovation and Work Integration Pilot Program (YIWIP) were ready to showcase their skills during an exciting cooking competition happening at Blue Mountain Resort. The black box competition came with butterfly, boneless chicken breast as the surprise ingredient that the students had to create with. The overall winner of the competition was Grace Shuya who made a delicious Chicken Parmesan with Pesto Penne garnished with deep fried basil leaf. Olivia Thompson created a gorgeous and colourful Honey Soy Chicken Stir Fry. Dyllen Lopes dished up Honey Garlic Grilled Chicken with fried rice and broccoli. Dre Ring presented an outstanding Chipotle Chicken Burger with house cut fries and Kylee Cameron served up a juicy pan seared Chicken Breast with fingerling potatoes and roasted pepper. Congratulations to all of the participants. The program is a result of Collingwood’s Elephant Thoughts Educational Outreach working in a partnership with Blue Mountain Resort and the Collingwood Youth Centre to successfully secure a grant through the Ontario government’s Skills Catalyst Fund. The provincial fund supports initiatives that foster greater collaboration, innovation and inclusion in Ontario’s labour market. Participants have been receiving culinary training in kitchen facilities at Blue Mountain Resort since October, learning a variety of skills from chefs and other culinary professionals. The skills learned include recognizing culinary health & safety principals, fundamental principles of food hygiene, how to read prep lists, cooking basic recipes, understanding food allergens, fundamental principles of short order cooking, vegetable preparation and basic egg cookery. Successful participants gained a certification at the end of the program, which concluded on December 17th with the culinary competition. Following certification, students will be employment ready and have a direct connection to prospective employers, including Blue Mountain Resort, by January 2019. The Youth Innovation and Work Integration Pilot program also includes carpentry, welding and adventure tourism training. The program serves 216 youth participants from five communities in Grey and Simcoe Counties.