Shaping the future of Aboriginal Tourism

Thompson Rivers University’s Aboriginal Culinary Arts Program

September 1, 2013 - March 4, 2013 , Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

The Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism (ACT) at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is excited to announce plans for an Aboriginal Culinary Arts Certificate Program. This program will build on the success and longevity of their current Culinary Arts Program. The Aboriginal Specialization Culinary Program will begin September 2013 and will be a unique offering in Canada. The Aboriginal Culinary Arts Certificate Program will offer students the opportunity to receive the same foundation skills as the current Culinary Certificate Program but will integrate an understanding and appreciation of the important value food plays in Aboriginal culture.

TRU is hopeful that you will feel, as they do, that this is an important educational option for Aboriginal students and will provide them with the skills needed for employment in this sector of growing importance. A commitment now is the best way to ensure a student from your community is among the first group to take part in this important and distinctive program.

Currently, the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism is working with renowned First Nations Chef, Ben Genaille, to finalize the curriculum, instruction and focus on the new Aboriginal Culinary Arts Program. Ben, an esteemed First Nation’s Instructor, has years of experience teaching Aboriginal students.

A Metis of Cree Nation and French decedent, Ben was born and raised on the prairies in Russell, Manitoba. He moved to the West Coast in 1983 and learned his trade at some of Vancouver’s best restaurants. He was the first Canadian chef to work at the world renowned Le Crocodile. His greatest passion is what he calls “Kanata Cuisine,” utilizing Canadian First Nations produce, products and ingredients to prepare traditional foods with contemporary methods, presented with modern flair. Ben has been involved in Aboriginal Cuisine for over 15 years. He was a Chef Instructor with the Northwest Community College in Terrace and established the Aboriginal Culinary Program at Vancouver Community College. The program has since been winding down due to funding reallocation. Earlier this year, Ben took an Aboriginal Culinary Team to Germany to compete in the World Culinary Olympics. TRU hosted the team in our culinary building for a delicious fundraising event a couple of weeks ago. The four course meal presented was a spectacular hit with all in attendance!

“All my students have to taste everything, they must have a spoon of every dish they make to understand the tasting, the cuisine and the why.” – Ben Genaille

If you would like to be involved, please contact the Culinary Arts Chair, Ed Walker at [email protected] for more information. TRU looks forward to hearing from you and hope you share the same excitement and enthusiasm as they do in building this important new Aboriginal Culinary Arts Program.