More than a dozen cook trainees on P.E.I. are back in the kitchen after COVID-19 forced a six-month pause to their education.
The free entry-level cook training program is offered by the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island and the Culinary Institute of Canada, with funding from Skills P.E.I.
The goal is to train cooks to work in Island kitchens and help restaurants fill their labour gaps.
“Not a two-year graduate, not a chef, but someone who can come in at a very entry level,” said Austin Clement, program manager at the Culinary Institute. “Someone who understands food safety, somebody who understands the sense of urgency, preparation of small little sandwiches, soup, salads — that sort of thing.”
Demand from restaurants
Clement said the program was launched in 2019 at the request of the food service industry on P.E.I., which was struggling to find enough staff. “In the past,