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Student help boosts culinary school

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Ashish Gurung, 778.999.5622; aga5@sfu.ca
Chef Andrew George Jr., 604.584.2008; ageorge@sacsbc.org
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.4323

March 5, 2009

A Surrey-based First Nations culinary school has a new recipe for success – thanks to a creative group of Simon Fraser University students.

The students are part of SFU SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) Consulting, which provides voluntary consulting to help local businesses grow.

Their efforts have paid off for the Kla- how-eya Aboriginal Centre and its Culinary Arts and Catering Services program, whose administrators worked with the student service to help solidify a new strategic plan.

Since implementing changes the school has hired two high quality chefs and five other staff - and attracted new funding from the Metis Nation of B.C. The strategic plan will be implemented in several regions of the province to assist the start-up of new culinary programs.

“The students have given us the potential to grow,” says Chef Andrew George Jr., culinary arts manager, who started the school, which offers a 16-week pre-apprentice course on basic culinary techniques, two years ago in the confines of a small kitchen.

“They helped to give our plan a sense of professionalism and we’re building on that in many ways, including our enrolment.”

Students showcased their involvement with the culinary school at a recent SIFE business case competition in Calgary.

A national business crowd at the event also learned of a SIFE-developed money management program called M2. To date, the program has involved 25 street youth from the downtown eastside and Surrey’s Whalley area in sessions on developing feasible money management plans and providing new techniques for resume writing and job hunting.

“As SFU students, we’re striving to have a real impact in the community,” says SIFE president Ashish Gurung. “We are passionate about practicing social entrepreneurship and driven to take our knowledge and put it to good use."

SIFE SFU has about 60 members from various fields, including business and interactive arts and technology.

Note: (*Students working on the Kla-how-eya project include Ivy So, Daniel Lee, Devin Young and Jennifer Yeung. Pong Yang manages the M2 program team.)


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These are just two of the numerous projects that SIFE runs to benefit students and the communities surrounding them. Find them here: www.SIFEsimonfraser.com