George Brown alum Raquel Fox among winners of 2022 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, credits GBC as an inspiration for her cooking style

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Chef Raquel Fox poses with students from GBC's Culinary Arts program.

We’re excited to announce that Chef Raquel Fox, a graduate of George Brown’s Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts (CHCA), is one of the recipients of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. The award program, running for over a decade, recognizes immigrants to Canada who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada.

“We’re thrilled that one of our graduates has been recognized with such a prestigious award, among a line-up of other incredible Canadians,” said Rudi Fischbacher, Dean, Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts. “Chef Fox is an inspiration to both our CHCA alumni and current students – seeing that they can achieve great things once they leave George Brown.”

Fox is originally from the Bahamas; she ran The Wine Lounge bar and restaurant with her husband in 2009. Five years later, she immigrated to Canada with her family. She enrolled at George Brown because she wanted to learn from other chefs, in order to enhance her cooking style.

“At George Brown, I explored all aspects of cooking, food culture and international cuisine. It allowed me to experiment with my own recipes,” she said. “Learning at GBC really enhanced my style of cooking and plating. In the Bahamas, we put a lot of emphasis on using local, sustainable ingredients to create meals; it was the same at GBC.”

“For Chef Fox to be honoured with this award speaks to the exceptional learning opportunities and experiences present in our college programs,” said Dr. Cindy Gouveia, VP, Office of Advancement & President, GBC Foundation. “When a student leaves George Brown, their relationship with the college doesn’t end. Whatever our graduates accomplish, we’re thrilled to celebrate with them and support them in any way we can.”

Fox graduated from the Culinary Skills Certificate Program in 2016. In support of students at her alma mater, most recently she created the Chef Raquel Fox Leadership Award. The new scholarship will help full-time students at the Chef School, who demonstrate financial need, which includes food insecurity.

Today, she’s in Loblaw stores nationwide with Island Gurl Foods, a line of culinary sauces inspired by her grandmother. Being a student at George Brown kickstarted the idea, with Fox crediting former CHCA professor Ryan Whibbs as specific inspiration for her Flavour Pepper Sauce, a sauce that is well-balanced with nuances of fruits, spices and a mild heat on the palate.

Aside from her line of sauces, Fox is planning on selling a selection of dried spices and barbecue sauces, too. Being a Canadian Immigrant Award winner will only add to her continued success.

“It tells me that my grandmother did something right,” she said. “I love this country: we made the journey here and decided to call Canada our home. To receive an award like this solidifies my contribution to Canada.”

Fox is the second George Brown graduate to receive this distinguished award. Edsel Mutia was a recipient of the award in 2021 and graduated from George Brown’s Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing.