September 01, 2015


Emile had his own restaurant when he lived in his native Haiti. When he moved to Canada a few years ago, he was unable to find work in his chosen profession because he lacked the right credentials. He worked at other jobs, as a school crossing guard and in security, but found himself needing social assistance for a time to supplement his income. Then he heard about The Ottawa Mission’s Food Services Training Program and applied right away. And so began Emile’s new journey of hope.

While taking the five-month program – which includes both theory classes and hands-on work in our large commercial kitchen – Emile picked up some new skills and knowledge, and a whole lot of motivation. As Emile says, “The Mission’s Chef Ric is a real inspiration to all the students in the Food Services program. He would often tell us to make sure that we loved what we were doing – that way we’d be cooking from the heart, and it would show in our results.”

Emile’s passion for cooking was rekindled during his time with us, and he has since gone on to a part-time job in the kitchen of a local retirement home, which he loves. He also still works part time in security, and is now able to fully support himself.

Emile plans to continue his culinary schooling at Algonquin College, and he is determined to achieve his ultimate goal of once again having his own restaurant. We know that with
enthusiasm like Emile’s anything is possible!