U.S. Ambassador David L. Cohen and U.S. Consul General Susan R. Crystal visit George Brown College for a tour and to meet students

US Ambassador David L. Cohen's visit to The Chefs' House, November 23, 2022

George Brown College welcomed United States Ambassador to Canada David L. Cohen and United States Consul General Susan R. Crystal to our student-focused restaurant and food and beverage research facility. We highlighted George Brown's vital role in Ontario's economy and the college's commitment to meaningful partnerships that benefit students and employers.

Ambassador Cohen and Consul General Crystal visited St. James Campus on November 23 to tour the hospitality and culinary arts facility at 215 King St. East. This building houses the Food Innovation & Research Studio, or FIRSt, where student and faculty researchers help businesses develop new products and get them onto store shelves. It also houses a state-of-the-art wine theatre and The Chefs' House, our restaurant where students showcase their skills and "learning is the main ingredient." 

"At George Brown, we are committed to ensuring that students build up-to-date skills that meet the needs of employers and communities, both now and into the future. While many of our instructors are still active in their fields, we also rely on the input and guidance of partners across Canada and around the world," George Brown College Board of Governors Chair Kevin Constante said.  

George Brown College Provost Dr. Cory Ross also highlighted the importance of college partnerships. 

"By engaging meaningfully with our local and global community through partnerships, we enrich the experiences of our students and our institution while creating the conditions for social and economic success," he said. 

Students prepare and serve a three-course meal for U.S. Ambassador and Consul General 

Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts (CHCA) students got a fantastic opportunity to prepare and serve a three-course meal to Ambassador Cohen, Consul General Crystal and the George Brown team hosting the tour. 

George Brown graduate and owner of Island Gurl Foods Chef Raquel Fox represented the college alongside Constante, Ross, Board of Governors member Saeideh Fard, Vice-President of Advancement and Alumni Relations Dr. Cindy Gouveia, and CHCA Dean Rudi Fischbacher.  

The Ambassador and Consul General met with students before heading to the top floor of 215 King St. E. for a FIRSt tour. 

FIRSt provides a wide range of services and technology for small and medium-sized businesses to develop new recipes and products, scale up, for nutritional analysis and labelling, and more. There are more than 3,000 food and beverage manufacturing companies in Toronto alone. George Brown is in a unique position to provide research and development support. 

The tour also included the third-floor wine theatre. It is equipped with private tasting stations that can be used for special events, beverage research and testing, product launches, product development, and training. 

Ambassador Cohen later thanked George Brown for the tour and the opportunity to learn more about the college's equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.

Contributing to Ontario's economic growth 

Ambassador Cohen was in Toronto this week for the Ontario Economic Summit, which focused on improving resiliency and growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We were pleased to host the U.S. Ambassador and Consul General and to showcase how George Brown College contributes to Ontario's economic recovery. We do this by supporting small and medium-sized businesses with research and development expertise, knowledge exchange, and, most importantly, workforce-ready graduates. The Chefs' House is a great example of how hands-on learning opportunities for students can contribute to business success and outstanding services," George Brown College President Dr. Gervan Fearon said.  

"We continue to work closely with industry partners to ensure our programs address current challenges businesses and organizations face. We're proud to highlight the important work of the George Brown College community and strengthen ties with our American partners."