The 50 Years. 50 Chefs. fundraising gala on Nov. 17 lived up to its billing as the “Culinary Event of the Year.” A packed Rocky Mountaineer Station enjoyed a unique culinary showcase served up by a roster of talented Vancouver Community College alumni chefs who have made their mark on the Vancouver food scene.
Chefs on hand represented Vancouver’s full culinary range including dining establishments, resorts, hotels, bistros, restaurant groups, bakeries, food trucks and more. What they all had in common was a connection to VCC’s renowned culinary and baking and pastry arts programs and perhaps a little friendly competition to see who could wow gala attendees the most.
Upon entering the finely-appointed venue, guests were immediately greeted with tasting-sized food creations served at 15 stations and as passed appetizers. Dishes ran the culinary spectrum from venison and bison to every type of seafood, incorporating both exotic and local ingredients and reflecting ethnic influences.
Desserts items, prepared by a collective of bakers and pastry chefs, included chocolates, s’mores and pastries, while liquid nitrogen was expertly handled to produce ice-cold treats on demand. Both savory and sweet items were meticulously assembled, demonstrating the artistry of the participants and providing a treat for the eyes as much as the palate.
As a perfect culinary complement, seventeen wineries from the Naramata Bench Wineries Association poured generous samples to the roving guests throughout the night.
Students from VCC’s culinary arts and international culinary arts programs got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist many of Vancouver’s top chefs, while students in VCC’s hospitality management programs provided service.
The evening also turned into a reunion of sorts for chefs to re-connect with former classmates, instructors, culinary luminaries and others in the restaurant industry, with more than one chef overheard to say “We should do this more often”.
Live music provided by an all-star ensemble composed of VCC’s noteworthy music program faculty and alumni including Laurence Mollerup, bass, vocalist Tom Arntzen, Bernie Arai on drums, Daryl Jahnke, guitar, Bill Sample on keyboards, with special guest, saxophonist Karen Graves. 50 Years. 50 Chefs. served up more than an amazing array of food offerings, as other VCC programs provided the evening’s entertainment. These included:
50 Years. 50 Chefs. would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors including:
50 Years. 50 Chefs. raised over $150,000 for Vancouver Community College Foundation which funds scholarships, bursaries and training aids for VCC students.
And finally, a toast to the chefs who are testament to VCC’s culinary programs and helped make VCC’s official 50th anniversary celebration such a memorable event.
Here’s to the next 50 years!