(December 2015) – Jamie-Ede-1Jamie Ede grew up in a home where cooking and gathering to eat around the table were a big part of family life. She always had a personal interest in cooking, but it wasn’t until high school that she considered it as a career.

Junior high and high school Food classes built on the kitchen knowledge and skills Jamie learned from her mom and grandma. Teachers at Archbishop Oscar Romero High School encouraged her to participate in Skills Canada and the High School Culinary Challenge (HSCC). “I really like working with food, and having done art, I saw the artistic part of it,” says Jamie. “It’s not just about cooking the food, but engaging the senses in seeing, smelling, tasting … about taking it to a higher level.”

The advice Jamie would give future HSCC participants is what she learned from her first year—and followed in this, her second, year in the competition. “Be prepared with your times. Make sure everything is precisely timed and that your schedule is down pat.” Then she adds: “And make sure you have fun!”

Jamie’s interest in home-style cooking found an excellent fit in her first apprenticeship placement at The Workshop Eatery, a new restaurant featuring higher-end home cooking. (She dreams of one day working with her family in their own restaurant.) “Everything—sauces, snacks, main dishes, desserts, even ketchup—are made from scratch. Learning has been such a highlight for me in this position, and the HSCC and scholarship made it possible.”

 Tasty tidbits about Jamie …

 Eating out: “Chinese food.”

Eating in: “Spetz—bread dough that’s pulled and deep-fried, like a savoury version of an elephant ear—topped with Cheez Whiz and then vermicelli, a tomato-cheese sauce, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper.”

Cooking up: “Enhanced versions of traditional home food, family recipes. My favourite dish to cook is shepherd’s pie.”

Give it a go: “Be willing to try new foods that others offer you.”