The George Brown College (GBC) Chef School, renowned for its culinary excellence, has become the first chef school in Canada to achieve the prestigious Gold Organic Campus Designation from the Canada Organic Trade Association.
Under the guidance of dedicated faculty and in close collaboration with the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts’ (CHCA) Inventory Control Centre, fellow students, administrators and a local distributor, a group of second-year students undertook the task of increasing the amount of certified organic produce in over 300 weekly culinary classes at GBC. Their efforts ensured that organic food, cultivated without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers and with special attention to soil health, became an integral part of the curriculum.
“The food sector is at the heart of the planetary crisis,” said student Ronna Manalo. “More than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions are connected to the food system. We are proud to be doing our part as chefs and to help shape the future of environmentally-friendly endeavours at the college.”
The group of students – who blazed a trail during their Food Movements course as part of the innovative Honours Bachelor of Food Studies program – were honoured with George Brown’s 2023 Student Innovation in Leadership Award. This recognition highlights the dedication, knowledge and organizational skills displayed by these aspiring chefs who are championing sustainable practices in a post-secondary setting.
"I am thrilled about the launch of our new degree program at George Brown College,” said Dr. Lori Stahlbrand, who developed the Food Movements Course and co-developed the new degree program. “The Honours Bachelor of Food Studies represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to culinary education and innovation. Our students are poised to become the next generation of food leaders, and I am excited to see the positive impact they will have on the culinary world and beyond.”
“I'm particularly proud to see the launch of this program,” said Rudi Fischbacher, Dean, CHCA. “It is a testament to George Brown’s dedication to excellence and sustainability in the field of culinary arts and further drives the college closer to its goal of becoming the leading sustainable institution in Canada.
All are invited to commemorate the Gold Organic Campus Designation on Thursday, September 21st, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Atrium of CHCA at 300 Adelaide St. E. This event coincides with National Organic Week, during which the Canada Organic Trade Association will present GBC with a commemorative plaque celebrating this historic achievement.