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Okanagan chefs to feature kids program during royal visit

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Okanagan chefs to feature kids program during royal visit – Sep 23, 2016
KELOWNA, B.C. – When Will and Kate visit Mission Hill Winery September 27 on their tour of British Columbia, they will also experience a unique Okanagan program where chefs volunteer in local classrooms.

Chefs in the Classroom – Edible Education was begun a year ago by the Okanagan Chefs Association who believed helping kids eat better was all about showing them where food comes from.

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the winery for a private event, the guests of honour will include several Okanagan chefs and 50 students from nearby schools.
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“Oh ya! It’s kind of a big deal,” Okanagan College culinary instructor Melissa Masters said about the invitation to demonstrate the school program for Will and Kate.

Masters hopes she is able to answer questions the royal couple may have as they tour the culinary demonstration at Mission Hill where they’ll prepare dishes using local ingredients.

“This is awesome not only for the Okanagan but also for the Chefs Association and our Chefs in the Classroom program that we spent a lot of time and hard work going into this and to get this kind of publicity and recognition for it. It is pretty amazing. I’m like a proud parent. I’m pretty excited,” Masters said.

Predator Ridge Resort’s executive chef Jeremy Luypen also believes the exposure in front of a worldwide audience will be a great opportunity for their one-year-old initiative.

“We teach kids about the importance about eating local, growing their own vegetables, showing them what’s in season at different times and what they can eat and how easy it is to make a whole lot of food at home with their families,” Luypen said.

Chefs in the Classroom organizer Debbie MacMillan hopes the exposure turns into investment in the program as growth is dependent on funding.

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“It’s a wildcard on what this exposure is going to do for us,” MacMillan said. “If it does nothing more than spread a good message of educating kids to grow, cook and eat local, than we’ve accomplished what we need to do.”

Chefs involved volunteer their time in local classrooms, so far reaching three grade 3 classrooms in the first year.

Will and Kate arrive at Mission Hill Winery around 2 p.m. Tuesday for the Taste of British Columbia Festival. It is not a public event.

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