The North Vancouver Island Chefs Association, North Island College and LUSH Valley Food Action Society and are teaming up to provide training for culinary-inspired students in the Comox Valley.

The brand new Food Prep and Mobile Kitchen Training program includes 180 hours of hands-on training that focuses on the basics of cooking, baking and food prep, and how to operate a mobile kitchen, ‘food truck’, for various types of events. The program starts on July 24th, 2023.

LUSH Valley works with 25 Comox Valley farms and is encouraged by a program that utilizes an abundance of local flavours to prepare a variety of dishes and menus.

“Students will ‘extend the season’ of produce by creating value-added products such as dehydrated mixes and sauces,” says Maurita Prato, Executive Director. “By working in the Farmer’s Kitchen Food Truck and other settings, students will gain the skills and confidence needed to master food preparation and service while supporting our local food economy, improving food security and ‘sharing the harvest’ with our community.”

The program emerged as a result of conversations between North Island College, the North Vancouver Island Chefs Association and LUSH Valley about food security and economic development.

The training is fully funded for students who are either unemployed or are working less than 30 hours per week, so it is an excellent opportunity for students looking for practical training or a change in career.

“North Island College’s Continuing Education and Training has really been prioritizing developing partnerships between community organizations and knowledge specialists in order to meet the needs of students in an accessible way,” said Bob Haugen, NIC Director, Continuing Education and Contract Training. “The partnership offered NIC the opportunity to coordinate a program we have wanted to develop for a long time–helping meet the needs of so many different employers in the Comox Valley, from grocery stores, delis, restaurants, food trucks and food processing.”

“There is a growing demand in the Comox Valley for people to prepare food and build the dynamic skills needed to run a successful food truck business” says Lesley Stav, President, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association.

Funding for the Food Prep and Mobile Kitchen Training program is provided by the Province of British Columbia and Government of Canada through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement.

Students interested in the program can sign up online to be contacted directly.

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