Culinary school set to begin in June PDF Print
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Written by Marcia Love   
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 21:51

School will soon be in session at Etoile Culinary Arts International.
The professional cooking school will welcome its first group of students into the classroom on June 4.
According to the school's dean, Tina Cresswell, six applications have been received from potential students. They have been forwarded to SIAST, which is working closely with the Maple Creek-based school in delivering the program, where they will be reviewed for acceptance.
"We'll have a small, but viable group for our first class," Cresswell said, noting the school can accept up to 20 students per semester.
Applications were received from interested candidates in the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and the United States.
Cresswell is looking forward to the long-awaited opening of the school.
"I feel excited and anxious," she said. "It's been a long road, we've overcome a lot of hurdles and we've had to do a lot of negotiating in order to get it to this point. Now I want to go to the airport and pick up a bunch of students and say, 'Hey guys, welcome to Maple Creek.'"
The program will require students to complete hands-on work in both restaurant and classroom settings.
The Star Cafe & Grill's head chef Noy Lim will be teaching the students in the kitchen, while construction on a classroom in the upstairs of the restaurant's building is in the works. The school is looking into funding to complete the project and will hold classes at an alternate location until the classroom is completed in the summer.
Cresswell said a part-time teacher with Red Seal certification has been hired, and at least one more is expected to join the staff.
Classes will be taught about five days a week. Students are expected to complete the program in about 35 weeks in order to meet the requirements of a SIAST-approved certificate.
"(Classes) aren't necessarily going to be Monday to Friday because there'll be a lot of hands-on work, but it certainly will be a full slate of classes," Cresswell stated.
Only a quarter of the program will be comprised of time in the classroom, with the remainder consisting of work in the restaurant.
"People should expect to see them occasionally in the dining room, because they have to learn something about the front-end service in order to serve the customers adequately," Cresswell explained. "However, most of the hands-on practical work will be done in the kitchen, which is fully equipped to handle 20 students."
Students will serve customers at the Daily Grind as well.
Cresswell said Etoile Culinary Arts International is a great way to expose Maple Creek to a variety of cultures.
"We're really looking forward to some of the flavour profiles that people from other countries are going to bring. We're asking them to... share it with us, because some things will be unfamiliar and I think that will be very interesting to see, too."
The school was able to draw international applicants by advertising online and working with recruiters in various countries, but Cresswell said applicants closer to home are also desirable. Applicants must have at least a Grade 10 education and must meet SIAST application requirements.
The school's second cohort will begin class on Oct. 1.
A number of restaurant owners throughout western Canada are already interested in recruiting students to staff their businesses, Cresswell said.
"There's several restaurants that have come to us and asked if they can have our students for work terms and after they graduate, so we'll be working with them on that, too."
Etoile Culinary Arts International has enlisted a local resident to assist in providing lodgings for the students when they arrive, but Cresswell said the school is also searching for anyone interested in hosting a student.
"There's at least one person who would like to have a bona fide Canadian experience... by living with a family," she said. "So we're looking for anybody interested in having a student as a guest... for a short or long period of time."
For more information on the school or to apply, contact school administrator Cheng Lim at 662-3133 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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