Meet Julius, a new entrant to hospitality who trained at Hawthorne Food & Drink, a social enterprise restaurant of Hospitality Workers Training Centre as a Culinary Pre-Apprentice in 2016. This course accepts youth, and/or people in receipt of Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Supports (ODSP).
Julius is not afraid to try new things, as long as the choices lead to financial stability and success. He moved to Canada from Saint Lucia in 2012 and for four years explored various career options. None of the options led to a stable and long-term career. When a social worker finally referred him to HWTC in 2016, he decided to explore culinary arts as a viable career choice.
Julius’ biggest challenge in life as a young adult has been his pace of learning. He feels that he is a slow learner and takes longer to absorb new information. Despite this barrier, he thrived in our 16-week Culinary Pre-Apprenticeship program at Hawthorne Food & Drink because of our hands-on approach to learning, a supportive environment and strong instructors. Besides learning cooking practices and cooking, as a Culinary Pre-Apprentice, he also learnt about health and safety, equipment usage, receiving and maintaining inventory, managing waste, and career development choices in the field of culinary arts. After 8-weeks in the kitchen with Hawthorne’s team, Julius went on for his 8-week training placement at Park Hyatt Hotel, Toronto to get a feel of working in a large, high-volume kitchen.
“It was an intense program. I learnt so much about the kitchen but most importantly, I learnt that punctuality is the most important thing in this industry.”
He also found immense pride in his work as a pre-apprentice.
“There is nothing more satisfying than watching customers finish and appreciate the food you have prepared.”
Julius is currently employed at Real Food for Real Kids as a cook. He cooks from scratch and makes portion for each school under the program. He finds the pace of work and the environment conducive to his learning process as a new entrant.
“I am proud that I am preparing good, healthy food that the children of Toronto eat.”
Some day Julius hopes to run his own business and wants to continue to explore new ideas, avenues and experiences.