June 23, 2017
The School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism is pleased to announce that James Bodanis, Program Coordinator for the Cook (Cuisine) Apprenticeship, has been granted the Chair’s Award of Excellence by the Ontario College of Trades. The Chair’s Award of Excellence honours individuals or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to skilled trades and apprenticeship training in Ontario. James was recognized for his involvement in promoting and supporting the culinary trades, supporting apprentice cooks and institutional cooks, and supporting students and apprentices in advancing their careers.
James Bodanis has been working in the culinary industry for the past 35 years. His expertise began when he worked supporting the Hilton and Sheraton hotels for over 20 years. But before launching his career, he himself completed a college apprenticeship program. In addition to his impressive work history, James is equipped with all the highest industry credentials – he is a Registered Apprentice with the Ministry of Training, a Certified Chef de Cuisine and a certified Red Seal Chef. While James has many memorable career moments, one of his biggest was when he won gold in the World Culinary Olympics while representing Team Ontario.
James began working at Humber College in September 2006 and since then he has become a pillar for culinary students looking to get into the industry. In fact, that’s one of his favourite parts of the job. He loves working with young students coming out of high school who have not yet been exposed to the industry. While the cook apprenticeship program is challenging and comprehensive, he is passionate about grooming students for a rich career and helping them to excel throughout the entirety of their schooling. He supports the challenging nature of the program because the curriculum is always refreshed to keep up with changing trends in the industry.
While James has many proud moments as the Program Coordinator for the Cook Apprenticeship, one of his best was when he coached two students to become national junior champions for the Canadian Culinary Federation and again when he helped the Humber Culinary Olympic Team win gold in the Culinary Olympics this year.
Throughout his time at Humber and a rich and fulfilling career, James has accumulated a wealth of wisdom about the industry. If he were to pass along one bite of advice to upcoming culinary pros, he’d ask them to always remain “open minded and committed.”