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Culinary Apprentice at Fairmont

Publish Date: 02-Sep-2011

Victoria BC Friday, September 02, 2011

Apprentices to Cook for Culinary Mentors and Guests at Culinary Apprentice Dinner

Vancouver, BC, September 2, 2011 – The tables will be turned on Friday, September 23rd, as Culinary Apprentices from Fairmont’s Pacific Northwest region take to the kitchen on their own to prepare a six-course dinner for 280 guests and their culinary mentors, Fairmont’s Executive Chefs.

Fairmont’s Culinary Apprentice Dinner is a much-anticipated annual event. This year’s dinner will take place at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver with CTV’s Coleen Christie as Master of Ceremonies. The evening will kick off with a reception and hors d’œuvres at 6:00pm, followed by a six-course meal paired with wines at 7:00pm. Cost for the evening is just $109 per person (inclusive of wine, gratuity and taxes). For reservations, please contact 604.443.1815 or

After years of slicing and dicing under the noses of the top toques, talented apprentices from seven Fairmont Hotels in the Pacific Northwest will take part: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, The Fairmont Empress (Victoria), The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Seattle), Fairmont Pacific Rim (Vancouver), The Fairmont Vancouver Airport and The Fairmont Waterfront (Vancouver).

Anyone who has cooked dinner for the boss before knows how stressful it can be. Now imagine making dinner for your boss along with 280 other guests. The old adage of “too many cooks in the kitchen” is taken seriously and Executive Chefs have been banished from the kitchen for the night to enjoy the labour of their apprentices. This is unscripted reality drama at its finest. Months of preparation and planning go into the evening – from canapés through to dessert, every detail has been scrutinized and the timing rehearsed.

The 36-month Fairmont Culinary Apprenticeship Program was created to prepare individuals for a career as a chef. Chefs-to-be apply for one of the coveted positions (usually only three are offered at each hotel every year), and once accepted, receive career guidance, mentoring and training in all of the food and beverage departments: saucier, entremetier, garde-manger, patisserie, butchery and restaurants. Canadian participants are registered as an “apprentice cook” and receive Fairmont benefits as well as a federal government training allowance if they are registered in a community college or institute. Upon successful completion, they are awarded a Red Seal Certificate and a designation of “Journeyperson Cook,” along with a Culinary Apprenticeship Certificate from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

Over the years, there have been over 150 graduates from the Fairmont program in the Pacific Northwest. Some recognizable “foodie” graduates from the program include Jeremie Trottier, Executive Chef at Quattro in Whistler and Karen Gin, Chef de Cuisine at Shangri-La Hotel’s Market Restaurant.

“We resurrected the Fairmont Apprenticeship Program in 1989 and have seen over 150 graduates,” explains Robert LeCrom, Executive Chef at the iconic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. “I am proud to be a part of the legacy that makes the Pacific Northwest area so rich in culinary offerings, whether it’s in restaurants, catering operations, bakeries or food products. It’s an honour to be a professional chef and very encouraging to see the level of interest and passion in the youth who are the faces of tomorrow’s restaurants. This is a ‘made in Canada’ program so our next goal is to grow it with our company and take it outside of the country.” 

For interviews with our Culinary Apprentices, behind-the-scenes tours or photo opportunities, please contact Emily Armstrong. To view a YouTube video from last year’s event, click here.
Here is the planned menu; however keep in mind that, like any dinner party menu, it is subject to change.

Fairmont Pacific Rim – Reception Hors d’œuvres

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport – First Course
Fairmont’s version of “Cobb Salad”
Chicken Confit, House-Cured Bacon and Roquefort
Avocado Mousse, Red Wine Gastrique and Chive Essence

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Second Course
Pressed Quail Terrine
Pickled Chanterelles, Apricot Chutney and Walnut Crisp

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Seattle) – Intermezzo

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – Main Course
A Taste of Canada from Coast to Coast
With Salt Spring Island Lamb + Atlantic Lobster

The Fairmont Waterfront – Cheese Course
Salt Spring Island “Juliette” Semifreddo
Roasted Beetroot, Truffle and Chevre Sabayon
“Beddis Blue” Soufflé

The Fairmont Empress (Victoria) – Dessert
Sticky Date Pudding
Fairmont Empress Honey Mead Panna Cotta
Cowichan Black Cherry Compote

Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London’s The Savoy, New York’s The Plaza, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

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