Welcome to the December issue of the “Hot Off the Grill” Culinary Federation Newsletter!

It has been a tough year for everyone, especially those in our industry. It’s hard to believe we find ourselves coming to the close of another year, but here we are! We are wishing our members and their loved ones health, happiness and hope this Holiday Season, even as it looks very different for everyone. 

Last month you should have received your renewal notice for 2021. We are excited to partner with TrainCan Ltd. to offer some incentives for those who renew before December 31, 2020.

The branch with the largest percentage of renewals by December 31st will receive:

·        5 TRAINCAN, Inc. BASICS.fst® Courses   
Based on the Canadian Food Retail and Food Services Regulations and Code, Health Canada and CFIA. Reviewed by more than 60 Public Health Inspectors, instructors, industry leaders and students. Employee level food handler training.

·        5 TRAINCAN, Inc. ADVANCED.fst® Courses
An exam-based training and certification program for food retail and foodservice professionals, developed in Canada based on Canadian Food Retail and Foodservice Regulation and Code, Health Canada and CFIA. Owner/manager level training.

These courses have an $800 value. Training and Exam is all on-line and will be coordinated for the branch to participate together. Percentage is determined by their current membership numbers.

Every member who renews by December 31, 2020 will be entered to win - one Chef and one Young Chef Member Conference Registration for each region.

Wishing you a season of peace, happiness and hope for a bright future ahead.

Ryan Marquis
CF National President
In the Spirit of the Holiday Season, Lisa Evangelos would like to share with you an excerpt from Maya Angelou’s Poem “Amazing Peace.”

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things.
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us. 
We're excited to announce that the Member Benefits Micro-Site is now LIVE and can be accessed by logging into www.culinaryfederation.ca and going to the Resources/Member Benefits section.

Content and partner offers will be updated on an ongoing basis - make sure you check back regularly so you don’t miss anything!
Simplot Launches New Delivery Fry with Longest Hold in the Industry!

Your delivery window is about to get A LOT bigger. With a 40+ minute hold time—the longest in the industry—Conquest® Delivery+™ Fries stay crisp and delicious for the long haul. And their unique, clear coating makes them versatile enough to serve all day: dine-in, drive-thru and catering, too. Customers can even reheat them at home with just 20 seconds in the microwave (within 30 minutes of delivery). Say goodbye to soggy fries, and thrill your patrons—here, there, anywhere!
See the five cut sizes of Simplot Conquest® Delivery+™ Fries, learn more, and request a free sample here: 

Kelly-Jo Beck, CF Nova Scotia
Kelly-Jo Beck was born and raised in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. Her upbringing was enriched by family gatherings, filled with music and traditional Newfoundland food. Kelly-Jo’s family was full of avid hunters and fishers who loved to prepare their catch at home. She learned at a young age how to clean fish, trap rabbits, and make moose stew. 

After completing her undergraduate arts degree at Memorial University, Kelly-Jo moved to Halifax, NS where she began a career in Financial Services and Insurance. She found herself yearning for a career that would satisfy her need for creativity and provide her with more meaning. 

With her upbringing, the support of family and friends, and the will to find her passion—Kelly-Jo went back to school at the age of 32. She excelled in the Culinary Arts Program at NSCC (Nova Scotia Community College) earning the highest academic achievement in her class in both years of her program. While attending school she also earned a bronze medal in Nova Scotia’s Provincial Qualifying Competition for Skills Canada in Cooking. One of Kelly-Jo’s most meaningful learning experiences was during the Saputo/CF Culinary Exchange to Niagara Falls in July 2017. Her guide and mentor for the exchange was none other than National CF Board President, Ryan Marquis.

Upon graduation from NSCC Kelly-Jo took a position with the Prince George Hotel as a breakfast line cook, quickly advancing to the lunch line and then night line at Gio Restaurant. Today, Kelly-Jo is working at Afrite Restaurant with MasterChef Canada Alumnus Andrew Al’Khouri. Additionally, she is working towards the final exam for her Red Seal Certification.  

In the New Year, Kelly-Jo will begin an exciting new chapter in her culinary career. She will be fulfilling her lifelong dream of opening a diner. If you are in the Halifax area, keep an eye out for the Easy Street Diner – tentative opening date of April 2021. She will be running the day-to-day operations as well as the front of house while also contributing to the menu with all of her delightful desserts. Her partner and fiancée, Chef Lalanya Kaizer will be leading the charge in the kitchen as the head chef. They both plan to give back to NSCC for all the support they provide and mentor other young chefs who are new to the industry through work placements and restaurant takeover opportunities.  
Mark Gregory, CF PEI
Chef Mark Gregory is a proud Prince Edward Islander and longtime supporter of the Culinary Federation. He became a member in 2001 and has been active in various roles since then. Early on Mark enjoyed the federation for its networking opportunities and to stay involved in the Culinary community beyond the workday. He served several terms on the CF PEI board as Secretary and for several years competed as a member and Manager of Culinary Team PEI, winning multiple Gold and Silver Medals in Regional hot competitions. Getting involved in competitions wasn’t just about competing but also the opportunity to network with Chefs from other provinces and making industry connections.  Competition also challenges you to stay up to date on industry trends and helps keep you focused on industry and workplace standards, like organization and sanitization. In 2018, Mark was part of the Host Committee for the Culinary Federation National Conference in Prince Edward Island. Taking part in previous conferences and helping shape the look and feel for the Conference on PEI (Canada’s Food Island) was rewarding for Mark and the rest of the organizing committee. PEI has so many unique offerings and is a fantastic culinary destination. The conference was hosted at the Delta Prince Edward and PEI Convention Center where Gregory was working as Director of Food and Beverage at the time. Wearing two hats for the Conference and the Hotel was tricky at times but it also put him in great position to negotiate for both parties to ensure ultimate success for the hotel and the conference. Being able to showcase PEI to Chefs and Industry Partners from across the Country was a proud accomplishment for Mark and the PEI branch.
In 2020 Mark has taken on the role of President of CF PEI. While this year is filled with uncertainty in our industry, Mark is proud to re-commit the PEI branch to providing up to 100 meals per month at the local soup kitchen - an initiative that Gregory started in previous years at his workplace and adopted into the CF PEI prior to Covid stalling most things in spring 2020. Being able to provide food in a safe environment to those that need it most is rewarding and very relevant to our industry. They are happy to be back on track with this monthly initiative since October. With competitions and events on hold these days, the focus for CF PEI this year and 2021 will be to stay engaged with membership by providing opportunities to give back to the community and take part in educational presentations during monthly meetings.

In Mark’s current role as Marketing Associate with Sysco Atlantic, he works with many restaurants and food service establishments on a daily basis. The role these days has really become a consulting role as they try to help operators navigate through these uncertain times. Providing owners and Chefs with new options for generating revenue, saving costs and connecting them with industry partners has become paramount. Our industry is pivoting on a regular basis during the many restrictions in many regions.  PEI is a great place to be in 2020 as the Province has seen very few Covid cases up to this point in December, however the restrictions during the tourist season and even now continue to wreak havoc on most of our industry even in PEI.
Like many of us Mark started working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant with one of his eventual Culinary Mentors, Chef Irwin MacKinnon.  After cooking with Chef Irwin for several years, Mark went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of Canada in his home town of Charlottetown, PEI.
After Graduation he travelled across Canada with CP and Fairmont Hotels in New Brunswick, Alberta and British Columbia. After 6 years away he returned home to work as Chef at a couple local restaurants. After a few years at home the lure back to a hotel was strong and Mark went to The Delta Prince Edward Hotel as the Banquet Chef. Soon after he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef, a role he would hold for 6 years. After 8 years in the Kitchen at Delta Prince Edward, Mark was promoted to Director of Food and Beverage and oversaw the entire F&B operation for another 8 years.  In his time as F&B Director he was part of the National Food and Beverage team for Delta Hotels in Canada, was involved in the planning and opening of the PEI Convention Center, renovating and rebranding the hotel's Lobby restaurant/bar and renovating and rebranding a once vacant space into a unique and successful outdoor restaurant on the Charlottetown Waterfront. 
Along with his Red Seal Chef certification, Mark is a Tourism Certified Professional by The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council and was part of a team of industry professionals asked to evaluate and revise the training material and testing for this designation. Mark would also later teach this course to other Food and Beverage professionals on behalf of the Tourism Industry Association of PEI. He also has a certificate from Cornell University in Strategic Hospitality Management. 

In 2019 Mark took on his current role of Marketing Associate at Sysco Atlantic where he regularly draws from his 30 years of industry experience to help customers with operations and profitability. The connections made over the years as a Culinary Federation member have proven invaluable and he credits the comraderie of the membership locally and across Canada as a great reason to stay connected and involved.  
Click HERE for a look at the National Calendar template.

All Branch Presidents have now received an invitation from our new Calendar Wiz software! Please make sure to be logging in to list your branch events.
Communication about what all branches have been up to across the country has been a consistent request from membership! We want to make sure we are doing our best
to accommodate this request, as well as take advantage of the new software National has purchased for all the branches. If you did not receive your invitation, or are having
any issues using Calendar Wiz, be sure to be in touch with Lisa Evangelos, National Administrator – admin@culinaryfederation.ca