As part of this year’s Skills Canada Indigenous Skills Showcase, artist and the Construction Foundation of BC’s Catalyst, Indigenous Communities, Dean Heron spoke with renowned chef Andrew George about his life and career in the culinary industry.
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George was born in Smithers, British Columbia, raised in Telkwa and attended Vancouver Community College in the early eighties, earning his Red Seal certificate in 1989. He worked in the Vancouver area, with positions at the Chateau Whistler and the Four Seasons Hotel during that time span. He opened and ran the Toody-Ni Restaurant and Catering Company in Vancouver during the early 90’s before being selected to be part of the Canadian Native Haute Cuisine team that participated in the 1992 Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany.
At the 2010 Olympics, held in Vancouver, George’s eyes were truly opened to the great opportunities and what a career in the culinary trades had to offer. He also recognized the lack of Aboriginal peoples in this career field. When an opportunity arose to prepare Aboriginal youth for the 2010 Winter Games, George mentored aspiring students in a certified 16-week pre-apprenticeship program that readied the students for cooking school or an entry-level Prep Cook position.
George is the co-author of “Feast”, a traditional Native people’s cuisine cookbook originally released in 1997 and re-released in 2010 as a “Feast for All Seasons”. He has also released “Modern Native Feasts” a modern version of Aboriginal cuisine in October 2013.
“It is my mandate to continue to promote healthy aboriginal cuisine to the world and to have it mainstreamed with other cuisine,” stated George.
Andrew worked with the Industry Training Authority (I.T.A.) in British Columbia as an apprenticeship advisor from 2014 until 2019 and currently works as a Cook Instructor for Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.
Watch Andrew George’s full interview with Dean Heron by clicking HERE.