Cook It Up moves to Molly’s in Minden
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | March 8, 2018
Sonya Paterson says there’s so much to learn, and it’s so much fun, that she’s decided to do a second Cook It Up this spring.
She’s one of seven participants in this year’s SIRCH community services program that provides food services trainees with hands-on experience. They delivered their first lunch this past Monday, March 5 at Molly’s Bistro Bakery in Minden and will be back every Monday until April 30. The trainees plan, prepare and serve a three-course, by donation, meal.
“I had a wonderful time last time and it helped me with my confidence ... meeting and talking with people and working together as a team,” Paterson told The Highlander. Her goal is to get a full-time kitchen job and she wants to be a versatile employee. As for the first lunch of this, the fourth season of Cook It Up, she said the team had butterflies but the nervousness quickly went away as they got down to business.
Last year, nine trainees took part, and more than two-thirds (76 per cent) were offered jobs in Haliburton County. Diane McKnight is the food initiatives coordinator at SIRCH. She said that in addition to the restaurant experience, the trainees are getting certification, in things such as safe food handling, smart serve, knife safety, WHMIS, Occupational Health and Safety, resume writing and interview skills.
They’ve been doing some cooking at the SIRCH kitchen, too, prior to their maiden voyage at Molly’s. McKnight encourages the public to come out for lunches, served between noon and 2 p.m. It’s part of their pay it forward philosophy. They’d like to serve 50-60 people each time. Wait staff are working with the support and direction of Brenda Coty, an experienced food industry worker.
McKnight said that so far, “it’s going great. They’re a good bunch.” Customer Judith Bamford from Bancroft agreed. “It’s a great learning opportunity, a hands-on experience of what it’s like to work in a typical restaurant,” she said. “It’s also a chance for them to deal with customers.” McKnight thanked Molly McInerney and Guy Dumas for opening up their restaurant.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.