Do you have something to offer? We are an inclusive member-supported group, everyone is welcome to join us. Please consider contacting us if you want to get involved!
A passionate advocate for the empowerment and confidence building of youth effected by our current food system, Chef Jess is well situated to engage in a meaningful dialogue about change. He is currently a high school culinary arts instructor at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus Ontario, where he feels honoured to be interacting with youth in his community about real food.
With training from many great chefs in Canada, Australia and the U.S., Jess completed his professional training at both the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Culinary Program and at The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Slow Food mentors throughout his 20 year career have cemented both a love for local & seasonal ingredients, and a commitment to pursuing the tough questions that need to be brought to the table.
Ian is currently semi retired and spends much of his time as a kitchen designer. Ian’s career starting as an OPP constable and ultimately a career in social work/counselling. His interest in food has been a long time growing. He has managed two hospitality facilities and learned much about food preparation there.
He has served on several not for profit boards. He was a founding director and chair of Theatre on the Grand, a member of zone and national executive for the Canadian Ski Patrol, past president of the Centre Wellington Rotary Club. as well as others.
University of Waterloo provided his education in Counselling Psychology.
His love of cooking and food has led to a strong interest in quality and source of what we consume.
An architect / planner by profession and an early researcher and advocate of regional environmental systems modelling and sustainable development while undertaking a Masters program in Environmental Studies, I have lived, worked and eaten my way through Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, North America and the Caribbean. Work experience has ranged from architectural design and supervision of projects large and small; planning studies from community revitalization to urban and regional development, management and finance; land information systems; emergency reconstruction. As project officer at the World Bank was responsible for conception, appraisal, supervision and evaluation of urban and regional development projects. As an international development consultant before and since, have advised international agencies, governments and the private sector.
My belief in the need for change – for a better world – has propelled me into civic action and community engagement from student days to the present. I have served on many non-profit boards and have helped found a number of civic and arts organizations. A past chair of the Annex Residents Association in Toronto, Centre Wellington Citizens’ Coalition and Roseneath Theatre, I currently continue to be involved in community affairs, serving on the boards of Sensational Elora, Roseneath Theatre and Slow Food in Canada.
Exposure to diverse ecosystems and cultures, accompanied by myriad culinary experiences, nourished an early interest in food, its preparation, its environmental and cultural roots and the culinary arts in general. This led to an interest in the Slow Food movement and the founding of Slow Food Elora in 2005, which I led, then co-chair, until it was dissolved and merged with Guelph to form Slow Food Wellington County.
Julie Baumlisberger and her husband own and operate Windy Field Farms, just outside of Grand Valley. They are currently in transition to organic for their 500 acre farm, growing open pollinated corn, heritage oats, barley, IP soybeans and exclusively non-GMO crop. Many of their crops are used to make non-GMO animal feeds (poultry, pigs, horses and goats). They also have a large garden and greenhouse, where everything is grown using organic practices, with roadside sales.
Gardening since her early childhood, and helping her mother prepare meals and preserve the bounty of their large family garden, Julie is passionate about growing healthy food in a sustainable manner. She believes that mealtime is an opportunity to nourish the mind, body and spirit through savouring the food and enjoying conversation. This ultimately stems from how the food was grown, and to this end, Julie is very committed to education and information sharing about sustainable farm practices.
Anne is an Instructor at Seneca College in The School of Media and Marketing and is also a Freelance Event Producer with international experience in producing both business and consumer event programs.
Anne is also a big believer in giving back – both personally and professionally – she has served on a Program Advisory Board at Seneca College (Media and Events Production), is a Founding Board Member for Sensational Elora (a local arts and cultural festival), was involved in fundraising initiatives for the 2012 Habitat for Humanity build in Centre Wellington, and is currently working with KIPP (Kitchen in the Park Project) on building out a series of food related initiatives over the coming months.
Anne is an ardent home cook who enjoys working with local, seasonal food and loves nothing better than cooking for family and friends….. She’s a big supporter of local farm markets and is a firm believer in the power breaking bread together….
Christian has been involved with Slow Food for 6 years. He has had the luxury of attending Terra Madre in Turino twice, 2008 and 2014. Christian has a long history of working in the hospitality industry, starting in Stratford, Ontario then moving to Toronto and finally landing in Guelph for the last few years. After working for a downtown locavore restaurant in Guelph, Christian sought to start his own business: Sourdough Ontario. SDO sources organic ingredients from small scale farmers and deliveries the products to clients homes in the city of Guelph and the Kitchener-Waterloo Region.
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Chef Ben settled in the Elora area three years ago, after many years honing his craft in some of the better restaurants in Stratford and the Niagara region of Ontario. He lived and worked in Japan for one year during his apprenticeship, and has completed brief work-terms at numerous restaurants in Montreal, Toronto, and even a vegetarian fine-dining resto in Ireland. Why Elora? “the Fergus Elora area has some truly impossible natural beauty, and a vibrant energy and community unlike any I’ve experienced anywhere. Though perhaps more importantly, Centre Wellington as a whole contains a pleasingly high concentration of quality farmers and artisanale producers, making it a dream for any chef
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