The summer break has given a group of Grade 12 Vancouver students a chance to feel the heat of an intense cookery program.
The students attended Vancouver Community College to complete their Level 1 ACE IT Cook program after working on their skills in their high school classrooms through the year.
In his high-tech kitchen, where digital teaching devices complement the traditional pots, pans and stoves, Chef Phillip Lie explained that the intense month-long summer program reviews what the students have learned and gets them ready to enter work. "We are trying to prepare them for the industry," he said.
The experience is invaluable for students determined to forge a culinary career. Liam Chernen said he took the ACE IT program because he wanted to finish Grade 12 with a skill.
"Chef pushes us really hard," said Chernen, who will start work in a Vancouver restaurant after completing the taught part of the program. "The program teaches us not only cooking skills, but also life skills like time management, organization and speed. I think like a chef."
Vancouver Technical student Bronwyn Vaisey, who is going to study business at Queen's University on a prestigious Loran Scholarship, said she had always enjoyed cooking and chose the ACE IT program to expand her skills. She pointed to the hotel and restaurant industries as two examples of where she could blend her business and culinary experiences.
"I want to get involved as much as possible and see where it leads me," she said. "If I can mix together different passions, that's perfect."
ACE IT - the Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training program - is the classroom component of a high school apprenticeship. Students who successfully complete the program earn credit towards high school graduation and a post-secondary credential.
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