June 22, 2018

Food Services Training Program Students Positions Graduates for Success

Ottawa, ON – On June 21, 14 graduates of The Ottawa Mission’s Food Services Training Program (FSTP) received their diplomas. This program, which runs for five-months and includes both academic and practical components, provides students with the necessary skills to work in a commercial kitchen.

Chef Ric Allen-Watson leads the Program, which has been in existence for the past 14 years. He was a recipient of the Canadian Culinary Federation “Chef of The Year” award in 2015 and the first Non-Profit Chef to receive the award.

The Mission works with St. Lawrence College and Ontario Works to accept men and women into the FSTP.  Since 2004, it has had 125 graduates, most of whom have gone on to work in restaurants and food services companies throughout our community. The program is part of a suite of education and job training programs that the Mission offers to help the most vulnerable in Ottawa rebuild their lives.  Scott Switzer and William Deschamps and are both proud new FSTP graduates who have secured positions in commercial kitchens and are enjoying their newfound careers.

“The FSTP is an incredible program that’s academically challenging and also provides essential practical skills to work in a commercial kitchen. It set me on the right path. I want to thank not only Chef Ric but also everyone who works at The Ottawa Mission for providing me a helping hand when I needed it,” notes Scott.

“It’s very important to me to not only have survived past challenges, but also to reach a place where I thrive, prosper and contribute to society. Chef Ric and the FSTP gave me the support, encouragement and practical tools I needed to re-invent my life.  I am so thankful,” says William.

Chef Ric understands the power of mentorship and paying it forward to change lives. “When I was young, a co-worker took me under his wing and saved my life. That’s why this training program exists:  he showed me how to change your life through food. So when students come into the program, that’s how I support them to change their lives.”

The next FSTP course will begin on July 9.

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and hope. In 2017, The Ottawa Mission sheltered an average of 233 men every night and served an average of 1,308 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health supports programs, addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community. Visit to learn more.