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Local Apprentice Ready To Cook Up A Storm

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Category: General

Media release

May 24, 2017

Local apprentice ready to cook up a storm

While most visitors to Canada can’t wait to explore the country’s natural wonders, Nundah apprentice chef Jade Smith plans to head straight to a kitchen.

The East Coast Apprenticeships’ 2017 Canadian Exchange Apprentice Ambassador will travel to British Columbia next month for a 4-week work and travel tour of Vancouver, hosted by iconic family restaurant group White Spot.

“I’m keen to learn because they do have different cooking methods,” said Jade, “For example, they cure their meats differently and have 25 different ways of cooking salmon – they even turn their salmon into jerky!”

As part of Jade’s ambassador duties, she met with Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and Minister for Training and Skills, Yvette D'Ath, who handed Jade a letter of introduction to her British Columbian Skills Training Minister.

The Minister’s hoping Jade’s experience will shine a much-needed spotlight on the State’s booming tourism industry.

“We are going to need 25,000 extra workers in this industry over the next 3-4 years,” explained Minister D’Ath.

“I’m very keen to talk to Jade about what got her into commercial cookery and what we can be doing here in our own state to attract more people into apprenticeships.

“I’m also keen to hear, on her return, what experiences she’s learnt from Canada so that we can potentially improve on what we do.”

Jade was selected from a shortlist of ten ECA apprentices, and becomes the first chef and female selected for the honour.

“We still have a lower intake of females into traditional apprentices in this country,” said Minister D’Ath.

“We want more females putting their hand up to do a whole range of different trades and hopefully Jade will be an inspiration to many, in what she’s doing in this ambassador role.”

While in Vancouver, White Spot have organised a busy schedule for the third-year under the guidance of Corporate Training Chef and British Columbia’s Restaurant Hall of Fame inductee James Kennedy.

“We look forward to meeting Jade, having her spend time in our restaurants learning about our apprenticeship program, and we’re eager to learn more about her and her Australian culinary experiences,” said White Spot’s Human Resources Vice-President Denise Buchanan.

Jade’s experience of a lifetime will include working with an all-female-chef team, lessons in canning cherries, an Aboriginal (Indigenous Canadian) workshop highlighting fresh seafood; tours to local fisheries, meat plants and the Granville Island market, as well as time in the White Spot test kitchen.

“Canada has a wider variety of cuisine and more Michelin-hat chefs than we have over here, so their food quality is a lot higher and their expectations are a lot higher,” said Jade.

“I’m definitely going to come out a better chef than what I go in!”

 The Ambassador Exchange is a collaboration with ECA’s Sister Organisation, SkillSource British Columbia, and is designed as an international learning experience for respective winners and to also strengthen the relationship between both countries.

Young people aged 17-20 years, interested in apprenticeships and traineeships, can register online at or by calling 3881 3166.