Cultivating culinary connoisseurs

3/20/2019 3:33:47 PM

Get ready to rock your taste buds at CNA's Bay St. George campus March 26-28, as Qalipu, Navigate and CNA bring together indigenous, entrepreneurial expertise in Culinary Start-up Forum.

STEPHENVILLE, NL – If you’re interested in awakening your taste buds, while at the same time, turning your culinary business idea into a start-up, then College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Bay St. George campus is the place to be March 26-28.
Over the course of three days in Stephenville, there will be two events involving a partnership between CNA, Qalipu First Nation and Navigate (a joint venture between Grenfell and CNA) that will see experts and food enthusiasts gather to combine ideas and share skills using local ingredients and resources to put forward new ways of experiencing cuisine.
Kicking off the sessions on Tuesday, March 26 is the Qalipu Business Forum 2019, a First Nation initiative, where the focus will be on culinary experience development and highlight offerings created by Experience Qalipu and its partners. The day will also include a blend of presentations from traditional knowledge keepers, local entrepreneurs and indigenous chefs.
As a major event partner, CNA is providing its Bay St. George campus facilities and expertise. Students in the college’s Cook program will work alongside Native Chef Rich Francis, owner of Aboriginal Culinary Concepts on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario and top Chef Canada finalist, and food foraging expert Lori McCarthy to engage delegates in an interactive culinary experience. An evening reception will see participants gather at the Secret Cove Brewing Co. in Port au Port for a meal featuring traditional indigenous ingredients that is prepared by chefs and students.
On Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 28, the Navigate Entrepreneurship Program will launch its two-day culinary business start-up exercise that will see interested participants form teams and brainstorm ideas that they will develop with mentors and coaches to pitch to a panel of judges. The goal is to create something (potentially delicious) that could lead to a start-up business. Award presentations will wrap-up this portion of the event.
“This event will combine two themes near and dear to everyone’s heart – food and culture,” said Wayne Quilty, CNA’s Director of Partnerships, Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement. “Our relationship with the Qalipu First Nation and Grenfell enables a blending of these themes into a culinary cultural event with a focus on indigenous heritage, culture and opportunities for the future, be it in the culinary trades, tourism or a combination of the two. We are also excited about the fact our students are gaining hands-on experience in a real-life situation. CNA is honoured to be part of the development and delivery of this one-of-a-kind event, and we look forward to many more opportunities for the college to partner on innovative community initiatives.”
“This sort of collaboration is exactly the type of engagement for which Navigate was created,” said Ken Carter, Director of Grenfell’s Office of Engagement. “The business start-up exercise being delivered by Navigate and CNA will support new businesses interested in the culinary arts. The influence of traditional Mi’kmaq techniques will add an even more appropriate flavour to the event. We’re excited to be able to help create a new community of entrepreneurs interested in food and agriculture, bringing them together with business owners, mentors, funders and researchers. This is the kind of collaboration that is imperative as we support the growth of the western region.”
“We are thrilled to be partners in this year’s forum, and know that the delegates will walk away with a better understanding of how to create an authentic experience for their visitors,” said Tara Saunders of Experience Qalipu. “We have had so much interest in this culinary forum that we are confident it will become an annual event.”
If you are interested in attending either, or both, of the events, you are encouraged to pre-register.
For the Qalipu Business Forum 2019, click here, or call Megan at (709) 634-5479. Interested attendees for the Navigate event can pre-register by clicking here.
Media contacts:
Michelle Barry
Communications Specialist
College of the North Atlantic
Pam Gill
Communications Manager
Grenfell Campus
Allison White
Communications Officer
Qalipu First Nation