PACTCooking is an introductory and experiential project designed to give at-risk youth, ages 13-21, an opportunity to obtain practical culinary skills and learn about nutrition and food safety, while also give back to the community. It provides a team-building, skills-based learning environment and a strong community-service component.
As with all PACT LifeSkills projects, passionate and motivated students who complete the introductory course are then encouraged to participate in a continuity of programming – taking part in a more advanced/entrepreneurial course which potentially leads to higher education, start-up businesses and entry level jobs.
All PACTCooking classes will be held at our downtown Queen West location at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street in the lower level Sketch program area (MAP).
In the introductory eight-week PACTCooking course, youth are introduced to different cuisines from around the world and especially those that reflect and celebrate their own ethnic backgrounds and heritage. The project culminates with a graduation dinner that allows them to create a menu and cook a meal for individuals in their community that could use the friendship and warmth.
The program requires a commitment of 2.5 hour classes, one-night-a-week for eight consecutive weeks except holidays.
This 10-week advanced curriculum allows youth to continue to build leadership and confidence while learning more advanced culinary skills such as baking and pasta making in a real world catering environment.
There is a strong mentoring and entrepreneurial component, with lessons on kitchen management and opportunities to make meals for PACT events and community groups. Future plans are to create a PACT line of products using produce from the gardens. As well, there will be opportunities to receive honourariums and ultimately employment in a real catering operation.
PACTCooking is led by Chef La-toya Fagon, entrepreneur, tv food expert and owner of Twist Catering.
Having worked with the PACT program for several years, Chef La-toya brings her entrepreneurial spirit to the table teaching hands-on, accessible classes while also providing motivated youth with real world experiences as they pursue careers and post secondary education in the culinary arts. More about Chef La-toya here.
PACTCooking would not have been possible without the leadership and support of Marjorie Agnew, owner of Toronto specialty kitchen store, The Main Course.
For more information about PACTCooking or to make a referral, please contact Ben Marshall at 416-656-8824 or email@example.com.
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