For the school's first 43 years, most CDS parents packed lunches for their children. We dreamed of one day having a proper cafeteria space with a permanent food service provider. That dream finally came to fruition in September 2015 as the CDS community gathered together in its new state-of-the-art Niczowski, Temovsky, Arrigo Dining Hall.
Since the grand opening that fall, our students, faculty and staff, and alumni and parent guests have enjoyed homemade meals that vary from grilled marinated flank steak and gnocchi with butter sage sauce, to butter chicken and baked flaxseed chicken fingers. These delicious healthy meals are made from scratch with locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Dietary needs are easily accommodated by the kitchen staff and we offer our youngest students a little extra help since they are not quite ready to serve themselves.
Meals are delivered to our Kindergarten classrooms and students in Grades 1 to 3, while students in Grades 4 to 6 serve themselves marché style from the food stations and eat alongside the Junior School faculty. Junior, Middle, and Senior School students eat at separate lunch times so to maintain a pleasant flow through the food stations.
Daily snacks are delivered to the Junior School, and nutritious snacks and fresh fruit are available in the Middle and Senior Schools throughout the day.
Julie Axford is CDS's new Head of Operations (food/housekeeping) and comes to us from Pickering College where she was Director of Food Services for the past seven years. Prior to that she had worked for a number of other independent schools in the GTA as an Executive Chef, including Trafalgar Castle and Bayview Glen, as well as Toronto French School and Branksome Hall. Before returning to Ontario 17 years ago, she studied at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in BC where she worked at various Vancouver restaurants, and for private charters as a personal chef for families and celebrities touring some of the most remote areas of Alaska.
Richard Perks, CDS's new Executive Chef, was born and raised in southwest England and attended culinary school in Italy. He traveled and worked throughout Italy exploring his passion for food and love for Italian cuisine. Most notably he learned to make gelato and Italian pastries with renowned chef Corrado Assenza at Caffè Sicilia a Noto and mastered the art of pasta making with the ‘Salami King of Italy’ Massimo Spigaroli in Parma. Richard continued his formal training in the UK where he was fortunate to work with one of Canada’s top chefs, Malcolm Campbell. In addition, he has trained under world renowned and Michelin-starred chefs in Europe. Richard followed his passion to Hong Kong and to Perth, Australia, where he fine-tuned his culinary talents at fine dining establishments.
Communicating health, wellness and sustainability information to students is just as important to us as it is to providing wholesome and delicious food.
Multimedia LCD screens will be used on a daily basis to provide nutrition information related to a monthly health and wellness theme. At least once a month an interactive Health for Life booth will be held by a nutrition scientist to engage students in current health topics, as well as nutritious food sampling. Students will also get the chance to meet local farmers, food suppliers and artisans, and connect with gues chefs on Local food Days.
To Help support our commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impact, we are excited to bring forward a "farm to market" program with local partnerships with farms, such as the Yorkshire Valley Farms, Pine River Cheese, Carron Farms and Slegers Greenhouses.
In an effort to expand our opportunities with small to medium size local producers, we are also working in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund on a local 100km Food Hub pilot that provides additional access to local farms.
Our seasonal menus - not cycle menus - are a core part of our commitment to sourcing local and keeping things fun, fresh and interesting.
Local vegetables and fruit will be clearly identified within our menus and change with the seasons. A continued force on scratch cooking will also guide menu development - including our sauces, salsas, dressing, soups, stocks, pastas, pizzas, desserts and more!