Culinary Arts Program Focuses on Locally Produced Food

CANADA - Assiniboine Community College's (ACC) new Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts is emphasising locally produced food products as it expands its role in the training of food service industry workers, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 5 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Officially opened last month, the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts houses Assiniboine Community College's culinary arts and hotel and restaurant management programs.

The facility includes a state of the art teaching kitchen equipped with the latest technology.

Culinary arts instructor Matt Otten says ingredient choices depend on seasonal availability, the course being taught and cost but local products are always the first choice.

Matt Otten, Assiniboine Community College

I try to use as much Manitoba products as possible, expose the students to what's available.

There's such a huge variety of products from produce to all kinds of protein that is coming out of Manitoba production and from Manitoba producers so I try to use as much as possible.

To promote Manitoba products, we could maybe do an iron chef, black box competition where all our local producers will give us product maybe a day or two before a function and our students will create a menu from Manitoba only products as the products arrive.

They will kind of go blind into this thing, it's called a black box.

They get a whole bunch of ingredients, all Manitoba, here it is, come up with a menu.

You've go one day to create, design and execute and actually cook a menu.

I think that would be a wonderful event.

Otten believes this is one way to promote the wide range of wonderful Manitoba food products, from wine to produce to protein.

He notes products change quickly so it's important to know what's out there, what's new and what's available and the sooner that information is received, the faster these products can be introduced to the classes.

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