“We are very excited to create this new opportunity for students,” said Lesley Stav, President, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association. “There’s 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.”
The program is 180 hours of hands-on training that focuses on the basics of cooking, such as knife skills, basic baking, as well as cooking in a mobile kitchen for events, food truck operations such as menu planning and pricing. It starts July 24.
“LUSH Valley works with 25 Comox Valley farms and is encouraged by a new 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,” said Maurita Prato, Executive Director, LUSH Valley Action Society. “By working in the Farmer's Kitchen food truck and other settings, students will gain skills and confidence in 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 with NIC, LUSH Valley Food Action Society and the North Island Chefs Association 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’s 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.”
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 Food Prep and Mobile Kitchen Training program at NIC can sign up online to be contacted about the program.