Professional Cook Program instructor Peter Krauseneck in the kitchen putting out the graduate dinner buffet for the students.

Ostrich stew and curried crocodile

The items on the menu at the Professional Cook Program graduation on Dec. 5 read more like a dare than a local restaurant.

The items on the menu at the Professional Cook Program graduation on Dec. 5 read more like a dare than a local restaurant.

The students and their instructor, Peter Krauseneck, chose the items on the menu together, based on what had piqued their interest during a tour of Hills Foods in Coquitlam, one of the food-related places the class visited while on a five-day field trip to the renowned culinary destination city.

The students raised money for the trip to visit some of the big commercial kitchens such as the Pan Pacific Hotel, the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, and other places like the Granville Island Market, where students were impressed with the variety of foods available.

There were some amongst the students, their friends and family at the graduation dinner who seemed to have some trepidation as they filled their plates along the buffet line, asking “what is this one?” as they went.

There were so many unique dishes in the meal it was hard to keep track of what was on your plate.

Ostrich stew, braised venison,  wild boar, kangaroo cutlets, curried crocodile, rabbit and blueberry terrine, and elk and fig terrine were the extensive list of exotic items for people to try.

There were later indications the dinner guests were more than satisfied with the meal, when plates of leftovers were being taken home to enjoy again the next day or to share with family.

After the dinner, the class was recognized for their hard work in finishing the program, and for their performance. The eight graduates this year had an 80 per cent average through the program, and during the program they fed almost 8,000 customers through their meals at the college campus and at the Fort St. James National Historic Site where they operated the cafe for the summer.

Anne McCormick, campus supervisor for the college said a few words to the class and to each student as they came up to receive their graduation gift.

“We’re pretty honoured to have a professional cooks programs at the campus,” McCormick said, describing how they would bring her food to try as they learned.

“It an amazing accomplishment,” she said. “We thank you for making our campus a vibrant and giving community.”

Many of the students have already secured jobs through the final job placement they did as part of the program to gain more hours towards graduation.