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I am such a proud mentor! Today it is official!

It has been an amazing year and a half mentoring Kyle, aka. “the chosen one”…..In September of 2014, we began working together, and he was enrolled in his second year of culinary apprenticeship classes. Since then, he has been a huge part in the swift success of our business, and his abilities have taken leaps and bounds since the beginning. As the pictures show, he is always happy in the kitchen-in fact, I am fairly certain I have yet to see him on a day without a smile…..

I have been incredibly fortunate for the mentors who have shared knowledge with me over the last 20 years. The evolution of our industry is based on this, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue this tradition of sharing experiences in the Backyard Farm kitchen with Kyle.

When I took the leap on my own 4 years ago, I was looking to develop a career lifestyle of balance,  and future for my family. Two years in the kitchen alone, I certainly felt I was missing something. I was creating the opportunity for quality culinary experiences for our clients, with ever-changing menus based on what I “felt” like cooking on any given day. I developed my business to allow my creativity to be priority, and found that I was missing that certain person to share in the excitement.  In September of 2014, as luck would have it, a young Kyle showed up on the door, referred to me by his best friend. Prior to our meeting, I had asked myself numerous times what the most ideal apprentice would be, and it turned out to be a rather long list…..

Kyle possesses many of the traits that have led me to living my chef’s dream. I have acquired a family member in him, as he has an unquestionable desire to do everything he can to represent my vision. In addition, he has been beyond dependable-much more than the lack of any “sick days”, or never arriving late. He arrives typically before I do, getting himself sorted out for the day, tidying if needed and getting some coffee started. We walk the dog together and discuss the mise en place list, while discussing prior and upcoming events. We enjoy “farmhand” days, tandem weed-eating, fruit thinning and mowing while enjoying frosty afternoon beverages and discussions around future menus. Kyle literally is willing and excited to do anything that needs to be done around the farm, as well as in the kitchen. I have not once ever questioned that his ambition and motivation was to be the best cook he could be, while showing nothing less than the utmost appreciation for the opportunities in front of him. No complaints, no arguments, no unsavoury attitude. All this said, I am certain it would be a challenge to find someone as dedicated,trustworthy, respectful and appreciative. The success of Backyard Farm thus far can very obviously be attributed to his involvement in my kitchen.

So on this day, I would like to reach out to everyone who has chosen to join us at the farm for an evening, or at an offsite event, and who knows Kyle to congratulate him for his efforts and success in obtaining his Red Seal Certification in the Cook trade. Our modest team, and family are very proud of him, and look forward to watching as he continues his journey as up and coming talent in the culinary industry. Congratulations Kyle, the very first Backyard Farm Apprentice! I look forward to at least a few more seasons cooking with you, and watching you continue to evolve as a very talented and humble cook! I also look forward to watching you help to mentor our next apprentice………

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