Alum Chef David Wolfman celebrated with a new Indigenous student award named in his honour

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Chef David Wolfman smiling and holding a microphone

A new financial award for Indigenous students has been established to honour alum Chef David Wolfman's tremendous and continuing legacy at George Brown College (GBC). This year marks his 30th anniversary at GBC, mentoring students as a professor at the Chef School, providing inspiration with his many professional achievements, and playing a vital role in shaping the college's reconciliation efforts.   

Chef Wolfman of the Xaxli'p First Nation in British Columbia embodies the GBC experience as a graduate, respected professional, instructor, and community leader who always looks for ways to use his experience and expertise to help others reach their full potential and find success. 

On September 25, at the start of Truth and Reconciliation Week, the George Brown College Foundation announced the David Wolfman Leadership Award. Students who identify as Métis, Inuit, or First Nations (status or non-status), have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, are actively involved in initiatives at GBC or the greater community, and demonstrate financial need are eligible for this award.  

The GBC community celebrated Chef Wolfman's 30th anniversary and the launch of the award in his honour at an event at The Chefs' House, GBC's student-run restaurant. Honoured guests included Elder Julie Debassige, Michael D DeGagné, President & CEO of Indspire, college Chancellor Noella Milne, and others. The Chefs’ House event was also held to observe Truth and Reconciliation Week and Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 

"This award will support students who demonstrate the qualities David exudes—a desire to get involved in the greater community and a passion for making a difference. We are very proud to launch this award that celebrates a person who has and continues to contribute so much to the progress of George Brown College and our students," said Dr. Cindy Gouveia, George Brown College's Vice-President of Advancement and President of the George Brown College Foundation. 

Chef David Wolfman instructing students at The Chefs' House

Donate to the David Wolfman Leadership Award

The George Brown College Foundation is accepting donations in support of the David Wolfman Leadership Award, with 100 per cent of all funds collected going directly to eligible students. Currently, one $1,000 award will be distributed this academic year. Another award will be given out for each additional $1,000 raised through a fundraising push. We hope to soon distribute multiple awards a year. 

Find out how you can make a difference.  


Chef Wolfman graduated from GBC's Cook Apprenticeship program, honed his knife skills as a prep cook, moved up through the kitchen ranks and has worked across North America and Europe. He's been a professor at the Chef School since 1994. Since then, he's travelled across Ontario to speak with young people and deliver cooking demos at high schools to show off possibilities in the culinary industry. He's also been a vital part of the Indigenous Initiatives team at GBC. 

A champion of Indigenous cuisine, he launched and ran Toronto's first Indigenous catering company, Lillooet, in the 1990s. For nearly two decades, he produced and hosted Cooking with the Wolfman on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). Wolfman's signature Indigenous Fusion style was a vital feature of the show — cooking "traditional foods with a modern twist" — introducing Indigenous cuisine to broader audiences across North America and beyond. 

In 2017, he released the acclaimed cookbook Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion, co-authored with his partner Marlene Finn. 

In 2022, Chef Wolfman won an Indspire Award in the Arts Category. Indspire says its annual awards represent "the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own people." 

Read more about Chef Wolfman and his accomplishments.