Sunday, 18 December 2016

Serve with Humility and Tranquility

I am SO proud of my students!

Last Wednesday night's catering for a condo association in Forest Hill ...

We were ready to go with ginger and pear shooters with sherry and creme fraiche, horiatiki and Sicilian bruschetta on house croustades, home-made ciabatta or olive cheeks with Kozlik's mustards and 24-hour slow-roasted HiLow Farms brisket
with caramelized sugar onions, simple salad
with house croutons, gravelax
with piped cream cheese on house crackers, a selection of Canadian cheeses and mini
cheesecakes with 5 offered coulis styles (orange, raspberry, blackberry, pear and blueberry).

Conclusion = happy happy people!


The very next afternoon (after spending all morning cleaning equipment from the night before), the whole brigade went down to The Good Shepherd Mission on Queen Street East. There we served lunch to about 350 street people and others in perilous, precarious circumstances. I took no photos of this event, but will share the following:

For the young student chefs it is an absolute eye - opener ... we have done this now for three months, and they recognize some of the people they're serving. It can be jarring. Being part of this service, even for a while, can be a hard personal challenge.

Before offering ourselves to their community yesterday we gathered together, and I told them "I don't care what or who or how you have any faith, if at all. I have great faith in your ability as decent human beings to choose to be kind. I have that on the door of my chefs office and you see it every morning upon arrival ... "Be kind, Do kind, Spread kind".

"In the end it is our choices which will define us, not our money, for kindness is a wealth that no one can purchase but can have in great abundance just for the decency of choosing.

"So offer your service today in exactly the same spirit as last night ... we are all one group of people in this city, each of us needy in some ways. Sometimes great wealth hides desperate need, and poverty just lays it bare and more easily seen. So today we are kind, we do something kind, we spread our kindness. And that is good."

My students served with care, interest, willingness, a friendly smile and compassion ... they are growing into being fine young adult Canadians with decent values and willing hearts.

I am impressed.

Thanks, everyone ... from the bottom of this old chef's heart.

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