Growing Chefs! Ontario: Meet our Growing Staff!

Meet our Growing Staff!

The Executive Team


Andrew Fleet

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Learning to cook was where it all clicked for me. It was the first time I understood that all of the things I had struggled to put in a practical context in school, like why we learn math, history, geography, or science. Turns out that it all comes into play when you’re cooking. For me, learning to cook was the first time in my adult life that learning became fun and exciting again. Through cooking I discovered a platform that allowed me to be creative and artistic. It was one of the first times I felt excited to be challenged. All of a sudden, all of the healthy eating messaging that I had been hearing my entire life (but not listening to) became applicable for the first time. I suddenly understood that food that is good for you can be unbelievably delicious! For me, Growing Chefs! Ontario is an attempt to help children come to this realization earlier in life than I did.

Jen Wyant

Executive Administrator, Events, Stewardship

For me, it's personal. I have two young daughters at home and I want to be able to impress upon them the importance of making smart food choices at an early age. Luckily they both share my passion for cooking, so I feel it's my role to teach them how to use the best ingredients available to us. That means I need to learn all I can about it as well!

Katherine Jones

Executive Chef

Food is a universal language; everyone needs to eat and the choices that you have to make with food are endless. By encouraging kids to have fun with food and explore different foods and techniques that they have not explored before, we are empowering them to make life changing choices for themselves and those that surround them.

Christy Cook

Education Projects Manager

Food education is important to me because we need to inspire the next generation of gardeners, farmers, cooks, chefs, and eaters to come together and create a more healthy and sustainable food system. Everyone eats, but not everyone knows where or how their food was produced, processed or prepared and I think we should change that.

The Beet Café Team


Tim Drew

Sous Chef

Food education is important to me because I believe in peace through food. If people know how to grow their own food, understood and value the food that they eat, and had full bellies often, then those people don’t have time to hate.

Kathleen Milani

Sous Chef

Food is the language we can all express our love with! Having access to food education is just as important as having access to good food itself. With knowledge of how to acquire and prepare it, good food will spark self-care within kids and their communities.

Karla Conde

Pastry Chef

I think food connects people and cultures. Food education is important because it promotes healthy eating behaviours among children and it can help positively shape how kids think about food, where it comes from and eating.

Stephen O'Quinn

Chef

Food education is important because It allows people to be able to learn how to properly prepare and make meals. It’s also very useful as it teaches people new skills and expands their knowledge.

Tyler Norman

Chef

I have enjoyed cooking from a young age, and cooking for other people almost just as long. I find reward in preparing a delicious healthy meal. Cooking for others is nurturing, it is sustenance, it is a connection, and, it is a lot of learning. Food choices are never ending and I'm excited to be with an organization that is teaching the community how to make smart food choices at an early age.

Joanna Arbigail Que

Chef

Food is not just about cooking and eating. Food has the power to bring people together, to create a bond where we can share and impart our culture and experiences to each other and, where we can find gratitude towards nature. Food education will not only empower children with the knowledge and skills to make healthy food, but it will help them learn the value of food, the significance of each ingredient and it’s sources and, ultimately help them choose to make healthy food choices.

Rob Lewis

Distribution Engineer

Seeing the smilies on the faces of children at Montessori Schools who know me as "The Lunch Guy" shows me the connections we can make through food. As I get older, I realize more and more the benefits of eating healthy foods, and the importance of food education.

The Education Team


Ryan Wishak

Lead Programming Chef

Food education is important to me because of the huge role it plays in our day to day life. What we choose to eat or not eat impacts our health, the community and the planet!

Anna Carroll

Education Projects Chef Coordinator

Food education encompasses many subjects including math, science, literature, art, history and beyond! Using food as a lens for learning creates a stronger bond to these subjects and understanding of our greater world. We eat multiple times a day and understanding where that food comes from and how to use it creates confidence and a better sense of self.

Nick Paus

Programming Chef

Sharing our passion for cooking healthy foods is an amazing privilege. The way we eat has an enormous impact on our lives. Educating kids and families about healthy food is some of the most important and impactful things we can offer as chefs.

Ilana Guslits

The Grove Coordinator

Everyone deserves the right and dignity to equally access healthy food. Appreciating the efforts that go into our meals, from the work of farmers and Indigenous Peoples who have steward this land for generations, helps tell a story of connection that inspires us to care for our environment and about the food security of our community.

Mason Buchko

Digital Content Coordinator

Food education is critical. A healthy and nutritious diet improves all aspects of our lives! That’s why it’s important that everyone should have experiential learning with food from a young age. Growing Chefs! Ontario has taken on an important role in this initiative and I’m excited to help be a part of that success.

Emily McDonald

Events and Communications Coordinator

Food education is important to me because of the many doors it opens to students; allowing them to explore different cultures, learn more about the world around them and exploring new flavours! By participating in Growing Chefs! Ontario programmes students and families are able to connect more with their food and their own community

Ipek Aydin

Food Education Assistant

Approximately there are 7,000 languages in the world but only one can be spoken by everyone which is the language of food. Food is a universal language that unites people from many different cultures and through food education, we can explore the endless world of food which is very exciting.