VWS: Tell me about your work and education after graduating from the VWS.
MC: I worked many odd jobs for a couple of years before being pushed to go back to school by my family. After much debate, I decided on a brewery program in Niagara, but I needed to get my Chemistry 12, so during that year, I thought I would take a culinary program and learn how to cook. Halfway through that year, I knew that this was what I wanted to do! After finishing that year-long program, I worked at The Terminal City Club for just over a year, moved to Montreal and worked at Toqué, the top-rated restaurant in the country, and their affiliate bistro Brasserie T! as well as spending some time at Dill, the top-ranked restaurant in Iceland.
VWS: What kind of work/study are you involved in now?
MC: Since I moved back to Vancouver, I started my own private dinner business. I’m taking all the different styles from everywhere I’ve worked and turning them into my own fine dining experience. This gives me the flexibility and schedule to complete internships at restaurants worldwide to further my knowledge and grow my experience. My next goal is Peru.
VWS: What advice would you give to this year’s graduates?
MC: Relax and don’t panic. Everyone will be telling you how you need to know what your next step is out of school, which program you’re going to take, all of that. It can seem intimidating and possibly a little scary. It took me a few years after I graduated before I figured out what I wanted to do. While a couple of years of uncertainty wasn’t always pleasant, it was well worth the outcome! Everyone’s intentions are good, and many of you may need or love that push, but for those like me, just know that if you don’t know what you want to do yet, that’s okay. Just start searching.
VWS: What are your fondest memories of your time at VWS?
MC: I don’t have any specific memories that jump out at me, but just the experience of Waldorf as a whole had a great influence on me and the man I have become. The friends I made (most of whom I’m still in contact with), the lessons I learned, the mistakes I made, it was a great experience, and without it, I would probably be in a much different place. I knew all the art classes would amount to something!
Interview date: February 2017 Ronaye Ireland, for Development