On September 3rd 2019, the Friendship House hired Lochlan Smyth (pictured above) as the new Chef/Kitchen Manager, along with his years of experience Lochlan is also hoping to bring some new ideas to the Friendship House. Some of these ideas are very much in line with Executive Director Anna Zanella’s vision for the new kitchen which she had been planning for the past couple of years.
One of the main purposes of this new kitchen is to provide hospitality employment skills through hands on skills and training for youth and all other community members who are interested in this line of work. These new skills can then be applied to securing new employment in the hospitality industry as an entry level kitchen worker.
The Friendship House kitchen would also like to start cultural cooking classes by bringing in members of different ethnic communities to host cooking classes that would showcase their unique cuisines. These classes would be offered to the general community on a first come first served basis.
Another planned offering is cost effective shopping and meal preparation classes that can benefit families and individuals by helping households make the most of their grocery budgets. Attendees will learn about less expensive ingredients and techniques as opposed to expensive prepared or processed items that can be less nutritious.
Lochlan has an intriguing idea which he has described as a pop up charity fundraising restaurant event. He envisions these to be collaborative events between the Friendship House and other community groups, organizations or companies. The idea would be to promote and launch a pop up restaurant with the objective of raising funds for the partnered organization through the sale of food to the general public. These could be a multiple of possibilities that vary from a street vendor type setup to events where tickets are sold in advance for a fixed menu type meal.
These are but a few of the ideas that have been mulled over in the past couple of months since the new kitchen has opened it’s front door. As usual it will be very exciting to see what can be possible at the Friendship House.