Roland Pouliot is the Chef and Culinary teacher at Eastdale Secondary School. His program is responsible for all food related events held at the school.The Culinary Program at Eastdale caters to the Welland community and the Niagara Region, and they have been doing so for over 7 years. Eastdale’s cafeteria food has always been prepared by and served by students. Mr. Pouliot's goal is to provide students with universal skills and knowledge in order to become successful in this quickly growing industry.
A majority of the culinary students have chosen this pathway to gain valuable experience and exposure to enter the work force. A small percentage will continue into post secondary education. Regardless of their chosen career paths, they have entered this industry from the gratification of a successful event. Receiving payment for their professional service from a high school program is a great achievement also.
Most students who enter Mr. Pouliot's kitchen do not like to be the centre of attention nor viewed by the public and this is why the kitchen is a great fit for those who like to remain in the background. If you haven’t viewed the many wall displays throughout the cafeteria showcasing all the events they have catered , please do so. The next time you are at Eastdale, please find the time to witness the pride that these once quiet and shy students display. They began to open up and celebrate. They continue down this culinary pathway because they love that sense of belonging and discovering their new found talents. This is why Mr. Pouliot displays and celebrates their successes.
The culinary field is a selfless job and students learn to appreciate the applause when it is given. The appreciation is shared during morning announcements, but of course none of it can be realized without a well experienced and self motivated team, leading the way for them to learn. Mr. Pouliot can’t say enough about this culinary team, where the chef is only as strong as his assistants and the students make this team complete and the program successful.
To see the excitement from students at on an off-site experience, school function or fund-raising event and the nerves they display during competitions is priceless. Great team building techniques are displayed at all the events. Those are the fundamentals for building self esteem and confidence. In the culinary world, there are two sayings “no news is good news” because as long as everything looks, taste and smells good nothing is said other than how great the coffee was.The second is “don’t expect the proverbial pat on the back”. Do it for yourself.
So remember when you’ve had great service, an excellent meal or if you just want to make someone’s day better , a few nice words go a long way. A simple acknowledgement for a job done well is very rewarding for aspiring chefs and culinary teams.