Cook with Stone: Empowering Indigenous Youth through Culinary Education - Loon Company
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Cook with Stone: Empowering Indigenous Youth through Culinary Education

At Loon Company, we are committed to empowering Indigenous youth and promoting traditional knowledge through innovative programs and services. One of our flagship initiatives is Cook with Stone, a unique program designed to help Indigenous youth navigate the tourism and culinary industry in Alberta.

Since its inception in 2021, Cook with Stone has provided an immersive and supportive learning environment for Indigenous youth aged 14 to 20 years old. The program incorporates Indigenous knowledge and teachings into its curriculum, including sessions with elders to transcend generational trauma and build a stronger connection to cultural heritage.

One of the highlights of Cook with Stone has been the mentorship of renowned Indigenous chefs, who shared their expertise in Indigenous cuisine, entrepreneurship, and food sovereignty with the participants. In the pilot program in 2021, Chef Rich Francis, Executive Chef at Seventh Fire Indigenous Cuisine and Canada Top Chef Finalist, played a crucial role in mentoring the participants and inspiring them to explore Indigenous culinary traditions. Chef Scott Iserhoff, founder of Pei Pei Chei Ow and an expert in outdoor Indigenous cooking, was the partnering chef and mentor for participants in Cook with Stone 2022.

Chef Francis and Chef Iserhoff brought their unique perspectives and skills to the program, introducing participants to traditional cooking methods and indigenous ingredients that are often overlooked in mainstream culinary education. They also shared their experiences as Indigenous entrepreneurs and advocates for food sovereignty, inspiring participants to think beyond the program and pursue meaningful careers in the culinary industry.

The impact of Cook with Stone has been significant, with many participants reporting increased confidence, skills, and job opportunities as a result of the program. The supportive and inclusive environment created by Loon Company and its partners has helped participants overcome challenges and stereotypes that have historically hindered Indigenous youth in the workforce.

At Loon Company, we are proud to be part of this groundbreaking initiative and look forward to continuing our work with Indigenous youth and communities. Together with our partners, mentors, and participants, we are creating a brighter and more equitable future for all.

To learn more about Cook with Stone and other initiatives by Loon Company, please visit our website or contact us directly.


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