BC Chefs Start Countdown to Cooks Camp, 2020

– Originally published to Scout’s new sister site, Islandist

Have you ever tried to look forward to things that are so far away on time’s horizon that you can barely imagine them at all? Try this: the Chefs Table Society of BC has dreamed up a vision of good times for our hospitality industry’s kitchen workers that is so uniquely awesome and unprecedented that even though it’s a year away it’s still easy to picture. What is it? Cooks Camp 2020.

Here’s the official skinny:

During the final week of summer in 2020, hundreds of cooks will venture up the Sea-to-Sky corridor for two days and nights (September 15-16) of hands-on learning, once-in-a-lifetime feasting, and the rare camaraderie that comes with sharing cool experiences outside the chaos of the kitchen.

Presented by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC in support of its upcoming, highly anticipated Culinary Library project, Cooks Camp will be the first event of its kind in Canada, a special outdoor jamboree designed for some of the country’s hardest workers.

Set amidst harvest on the Sturdy family’s stunning, 55 acre farm in the spectacular Pemberton Valley (arguably one of the most picturesque properties in the country), Cooks Camp will put attendees next to row upon row and patch upon patch of cauliflower, cabbage, beans, salsify, garlic, kale, parsnips, squash, beets, and – most importantly – next to each other. As the setting for many a legendary long table dinner, the location is experienced at bringing food-loving people together.

Cooks Camp will be anchored by seminars, real-time demonstrations and practical workshops that focus on the real world aspects of cook life. From expert guidance on butchery, fermentation and farm-to-table agriculture to spirited presentations and round table discussions on business development, social media marketing, and pinning down the elusive unicorn of work-life balance, the optional activity syllabus is being structured by cooks for cooks.

Campers can expect a variety of accommodations ranging from campsites which are walking distance to the farm to five star world class hotels in Whistler. There will be a range of activities: from farm tours, to key note speakers, to a butchery demonstration to morning yoga and pilates. Inspiring guest speakers and instructors from near and far are currently being recruited for the campout, which will culminate in a special dinner on the farm that will likely go down as the biggest “staff meal” in Canadian history.

Registration options include early-bird tickets, two-day passes, and group rates that are available for restaurants bringing several members of their brigades to the event. The Chefs Table Society of BC not only asks restaurants to encourage their entire staff to attend, but also to help subsidize their attendance with fundraising dinners, events and GoFundMe pages.

No matter the position – culinary student, stagiaire, dishwasher, commis, garde manger, sous chef, chef de cuisine or executive chef – all kitchen and hospitality staff will be welcome at this special gathering, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Cooks Camp will be a fun, safe, and unforgettable experience for everyone — a rustic, totally Canadian celebration of, for and by the people who make our lives so delicious!

Full details here. We’ll be seeing you there.

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