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Cori Lemmen

Q. Program and year graduated?

A. Culinary Management 2006

Q. Why did you choose Humber College?

A. When I first applied to college I researched all the colleges that offered culinary arts; at the time there were three. I applied to all three and was accepted into all of them. I chose Humber since Humber by far had the best program that suited me. I'm a very hands-on person and the fact that Humber had far more hands-on experience than the rest really stuck out to me. Also, Humber had a lot more variety in the courses that were necessary for the program. For example, Humber offered an Asian cuisine course, along with many other ethnic classes relating to food. That stuck out to me since I wanted to learn about as many cultures as I could. I went on a tour of each school and once again Humber stood out from the rest.

Q. What are 5 skills Humber taught you that are necessary to be a top performer in this job?

A. There are a lot more than 5!! Multi-Tasking, Creativity, Punctuality, Team Work, People Skills/Customer Service, the ability to work well under pressure, Passion and Determination.

Q. How was your major related to your current work?

A. Very related! I have become a Red Seal Head Chef!

Q. Which class did you find most beneficial?

A. To be honest I can't pick just one! It's impossible!... They were all beneficial! I was lucky to have many great professors/chefs teach me and inspire me during my time at Humber.

Q. How did Humber prepare you for the work world?

A. We had two different co-op opportunities that gave us a true taste of what it's like in the real world of a chef. Many of the professors were chef's themselves and all told us stories and scenarios of what happens in the work place and what to expect of it. They thoroughly prepared us for what to expect in the work world.

Q. What was the biggest obstacle you faced during your time as a student?

A. Due to where I lived at the time I had to take 3 buses to get to Humber. Classes started early so in order for me to be there at a comfortable time I had to be up at 4.30am and ready to catch the bus at 5am. It was the first bus of the day! I was very determined to complete my diploma at Humber and I didn't let my traveling obstacle's get in my way.

Q. How did your experience at Humber help you find employment after graduation?

A. It was a HUGE help. In my final year, I did a co-op at Canoe Restaurant in Toronto and my boss offered me a job before my co-op was completed. It helped me gain all the experience that I have now from each of the kitchens I've ever worked in.

Q. What do you enjoy about your career?

A. Creating recipes and serving great food to everyone and putting my own twist on everything I make! Leading and inspiring my kitchen team to have fun while at work and to believe in themselves and accomplish their own dreams! Having fun in the kitchen by trying new ideas all the time! I love hearing feedback from guests about my creations!

Q. What accomplishment are you most proud of since graduating?

A. Achieving my dream of becoming a head chef in B.C.

Q. Would you recommend Humber to future students?

A. Absolutely!!! I highly recommend anyone who wants to be a chef to go to Humber!

Q. How did you end up working at Shames Mountain ski resort all the way in Terrace BC?

A. Living and working in B.C. has been a dream of mine for many years. I set a goal many years ago that I wanted to be in B.C. in 2017, and I worked very hard to get there. I moved out to Terrace as a chef and fishing guide at a fishing lodge for the summer and due to the fishing lodge being seasonal I wanted to make sure I had winter employment as well. I did some research and found out about Shames Mountain, and it turned out that they were searching for a new Chef. I applied for the job and was hired within a few days!

Q. What advice would you give a recent graduate from the Culinary Arts program on how to become a head chef?

A. Always keep a positive attitude! Don't give up chasing your dream! Be creative! Be open-minded and willing to listen and learn from others! Communicate! Understand the importance of teamwork and be punctual! And remember to always keep it fun!