New program combines cooking and commerce

George Brown partners with food industry players to design program

In what is being called a first for Canadian post-secondary education, George Brown College is launching a bachelor of commerce program with a specialization in culinary management to better prepare chef school students to succeed.

The program, officially known as honours bachelor of commerce (culinary management), intends to provide a four-year degree tailored towards management and operations in the food and beverage industry, a niche previously neglected in Canadian schools.

“There are many schools in Ontario and Canada as it is that offer culinary management diplomas or certificates,” said Dr. Mark Holmes, professor and program coordinator at George Brown. “We will be the first school in Canada to offer a culinary management bachelor of commerce degree.”

The program is intended to offer a well-rounded education that will serve students regardless of what roles they end up in the food and beverage industry. Forty per cent of the program’s curriculum will be in culinary management, and students will emerge with “the same culinary skills, if not more,” than two-year culinary diploma graduates, Holmes said.

A good sign for prospective students looking to find work quickly is how closely some food industry giants worked with George Brown in developing the new program.

“The industry themselves are the people who came to us asking us for this degree,” said Holmes. Those partners, diverse in background and role, include Tim Horton’s, McCain Foods, Maple Leaf Sports and Fairmont Hotels.

No matter their post-graduation trajectory, Holmes has high hopes for program graduates.

“While students going into the program may not come out into managerial roles, it’s when the management positions become available later in their careers that they’re there to move up the ladder directly and faster.”

The program is set to start in September 2017.

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New program combines cooking and commerce