September 30, 2020

Conestoga students help prepare meal for famous scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster

By DEVON SMITH

Young and bold met wise and old when students from Conestoga’s culinary program prepared a meal for David Suzuki on Nov. 15.

The students also helped prepare a four-course meal for guests of a special event at Borealis Grille and Bar in Kitchener. The dinner was planned by chefs at the restaurant but the event was organized by World Accord.

World Accord is an organization based in Waterloo that works with people in developing countries to help them create a sustainable way of life.

The night started out with a presentation by World Accord, followed by dinner and then a question period with Suzuki, who is a well-known scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster.

The event brought together people from all over Waterloo Region whose views are in line with that of World Accord.

“There are a hundred people here and the majority of them are working, one way or another, around sustainability issues,” said World Accord program officer, Nelson Rosales. “We thought that it was really important to find a way to connect what’s happening overseas with the work here locally.”

The organizers of the event were very happy that Suzuki was able to make it out.

“We felt really lucky because he only does a couple of speaking engagements every year,” said Rosales.

Rosales also said that Borealis was a natural fit for this event because it promotes sustainability.

Ed Jandrisits is the president of the Neighborhood Group of Companies Limited, which owns the Borealis restaurants, and agreed that it was a good fit.

“Our founder Bob has always bought local and believes in sustainability and that there’s no planet B,” he said. “He came along and met with the organizers and said, yeah, we’ll do it.”

Jandrisits said when they found out that Suzuki was coming, it was just icing on the cake.

“We had a lot of local organic farmers donate product that they had and from that group of product we developed the menu,” he said, “and that’s what the students are helping with tonight.”

The menu featured several different cuts of donated Baer’s organic beef for the first three courses, and a sumptuous beer float and brownie for dessert.

Borealis’s executive chef Mathew Foote helped plan the menu and he appreciated the students’ help.

“They were here for eight hours yesterday and almost 10 hours today so I think they did a really good job,” said Foote. “Events like these are always labour intensive because we’re still doing our regular service. I think it’s important for them to see how much goes into putting on events like this.”

There were three students who went out to lend a hand. The students all work in the college dining room, bloom, on a regular basis, but thought this was a really great experience and were happy to be cooking for a celebrity.

And though Suzuki had a lot of things on his plate that night, between talking about serious environmental issues, answering countless questions and signing people’s chests, he said the food was very good and was happy to hear the students had a hand in it.

PHOTO BY DEVON SMITH David Suzuki, a scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, answers questions at Borealis Grille and Bar Nov. 15.

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