Acrylic on canvas, 40x40in - 2022
Executive Chef Ric Allen-Watson is The Mission’s Director of Food Services and founder of our successful Food Services Training Program for vulnerable community members. He has worked for The Mission for 20 years.
As a survivor of homelessness himself, Chef Ric understands paying it forward. “When I was young, a co-worker took me under his wing. That’s why this program exists. He showed me how to change your life through food. So that’s how I support students to change their lives. This program comes from my experience and my heart. It’s incredibly empowering when you’re supported unconditionally to change your life.” Chef Ric went on to earn his Red Seal, the highest certification a chef can attain.
In 2020, Chef Ric started The Mission’s food truck program in response to deepening hunger in Ottawa brought on by the pandemic. The program now serves 7,000 meals per week. In 2021, The Mission’s Rideau Street social enterprise was named “Chef Ric’s” in his honour.