Members: Mrs. Saltzbrennerl (Chef Training), Mr. Reisle (Chef Training)
Located in the scenic town of Invermere, British Columbia, Canada, David Thompson Secondary School is fortunate to have a unique and highly successful Professional Cooking program. With a student population of 550, the Rocky Mountain Café’s chefs-in-training have more than their hands full. Not your average school cafeteria, The Rocky Mountain Café features Canadian regional cuisine, multicultural menus, and organic and locally grown foods.
At DTSS we strive to provide healthful foods to our staff and students. Our school is free of both “food” vending machines and deep fried foods and The Rocky Mountain Café is recognized around the province as a leader for its innovative and healthful food. Like all teenagers, our students are inundated with junk food advertising, but our approach has had a positive influence on their food choices. Initially, this took a little educating! But with perseverance, we now have very food-savvy customers. Cedar Plank Wild Salmon with Wild Rice and Cranberry Chutney sells out in a flash. As does, Curried Yam Bisque, Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies, Tofu Burritos, and whole-grain baked goods; just to name a few! All this while learning the fundamentals of food preparation in culinary courses or by completing the provincial Cook Level One qualification.
Since the inception of the program in 1994, we have worked to instill a respect for food in our students and the greater school community. In addition, we do all we can to bring an awareness of the social issues surrounding food and food security to our students. For example, we prepare frozen meals for the Food Bank, hold a “Hunger Banquet” on World Food Day, have established strong farm-to-school alliances with local producers and host the senior citizens of our community at special catered events. Every Tuesday, we hold a Slow Food Cooking Club after school which is sponsored by Slow Food Columbia Valley. Best of all, since April 2009, we have been growing food for our program in the Community Greenhouse at DTSS. Check out our YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkLaytBsE3s
The possibilities are endless!