Chef Bernard Casavant, one of the country’s best-known chefs, has joined Okanagan College as the institution’s culinary manager.
Casavant’s reputation spreads beyond the kitchen. He has also been a major force for improvement in the hospitality industry during his career, and in promoting the farm-to-table movement in the Okanagan and throughout B.C.
“The addition of chef Bernard to help lead our team of talented professionals signals the importance of the culinary arts to our educational mix,” said Jonathan Rouse, the director of wine, food and tourism at Okanagan College.
“He brings tremendous expertise, energy and enthusiasm to the role that will help inspire many more chefs who will serve the industry well.”
Casavant has been at the forefront of improving the standards of the hospitality industry throughout his career.
In 1986, he was one of the first chefs in Canada to earn Chef de Cuisine Certification. In 1991, he became the first West Coast-born and trained chef to represent Canada in the prestigious Bocuse D’Or Competition, France, and currently serves as president of the Okanagan Chefs Association.
“I see this as an opportunity to have an influence on how we train tomorrow’s great chefs,” said Casavant.
“Okanagan College is developing a solid reputation for chef training and is also importantly taking the lessons of the locavore movement to heart, which we will endeavour to support through our culinary department.”
Casavant is a member of the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame. He has held directorships with the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Industry Training Authority, and the B.C. Culinary Tourism Society.
“The list of chefs he has influenced is long and distinguished and the opportunity to join that list by attending the culinary arts programs at Okanagan College will definitely be a deciding factor for future students as they consider their educational options,” said OC chef instructor Geoffrey Couper.