CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Market skills on the menu at Liaison College

By Nick Candiotto
Special to The Toronto Sun

Whether starting out or making a change, career options are plentiful in the food service trade. According to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association (CRFA), the food industry reached its 1-million employee mark earlier this year.
Liaison College graduate Felix Sano with Michael Smith, host of Food TV's Chef at Large. Sano won the 2002 Knorr/Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks Ontario Junior Culinary Competition. He now works as the executive sous chef at the Toronto Board of Trade.

The most obvious career within the industry is that of chef. As the largest trainer of chefs and cooks in Ontario, Liaison College offers all the training needed to launch a career as a personal chef, food stylist, catering chef, apprentice chef or even test kitchen staff.

"Our biggest focus is getting our students jobs," says Rudy Florio, Liaison's director. "By focusing on what the industry is looking for, we can achieve the goal of employing our graduates."

That is why Liaison's training doesn't stop with chefs. Both traditional restaurant venues and specialized cuisine are in the market for trained staff who know their food and how to handle it. In fact, the demand for professionally trained chefs and personnel in the hospitality industry is at an all-time high and continues to grow.

"The majority of our students are adults with work experience who want to change careers -- and get it done quickly."

To help launch a career quickly in this fast-growing industry, Liaison College's courses are conveniently scheduled around students' timetables -- offered in the morning or afternoon, Monday to Friday, with classes starting every five weeks all year round. In addition, evening courses are available.

"We get students in, get them out and get them a job," Florio says. "We offer the 300-hour provincially approved program in just 15 weeks, so our graduates can get to work quickly."
Felix Sano

The course curriculum, subject to the approval of Ontario's Ministry of Education and Training, offers students basic and advanced training to meet the real needs of employers. Class sizes are small and feature state-of-the-art equipment and culinary techniques, and instructors have extensive experience in the industry. In fact, all of Liaison's instructors meet the minimum requirement of Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCE) -- the highest level of certification in Canada.

"The maximum student to teacher ratio at any time at Liaison is 18:1," Florio says. "But most classes are even smaller than that."

Students also benefit from the school's extensive career action plan service. Graduates who keep in touch with the college can utilize Liaison's employment services to find new job opportunities and to keep an up-to-date employment file on record.

For additional information, and to find the location nearest you, visit the college on the Web at or call toll-free at 1-800-854-0621.

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