Connecting Students to Agriculture
BC students deserve to cook and eat only the best — and that’s BC grown products! Since 2009, BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC), together with the BC Culinary Arts Association, BC agricultural commodity groups, and BC producers, has been delivering fresh, BC grown product five times a year to secondary schools running a Culinary Arts program. Take a Bite of BC has grown from 14 schools in our first year to over 50, impacting over 7,200 Culinary Arts students directly and influencing an additional 65,000 students to eat local, BC grown and prepared dishes on a regular basis in their school cafeterias.
Why We Love Take a Bite of BC
- It builds awareness for teachers and their students of the abundance of local, fresh, and delicious products grown throughout BC. Students in teaching kitchens gain an appreciation of the value of local farms and farmland to their communities, the economy, and the environment.
- It promotes healthy food choices in the kitchen to Culinary Arts students, who are our future chefs and farm-to-table ambassadors.
- It provides instructors and their students with fresh, healthy food.
Watch Take a Bite of BC in action in BC secondary schools
Meet Chef Randle, one of the founding chef instructors of Take a Bite of BC and Culinary Arts instructor at Maple Ridge Secondary School.
Sign Us Up!
Take a Bite of BC is available to public, First Nations, and independent secondary schools offering a Culinary Arts program, as stipulated by the provincial grade 11 and 12 curriculum: "Cafeteria Training," "Cooks Training," and/or "Youth TRAIN in Trades (Formerly ACE-IT) Program".
To find out more, see our Take a Bite of BC School Application.
What Do We Need to Get Started?
- Teaching kitchen classes are full-time grade 11 and 12 “Cafeteria Training” and “Cooks Training” students, as listed on the BC Government curriculum site. “Youth TRAIN in Trade (Formerly ACE-IT)” students are also included, if applicable.
- The kitchen/classroom is staffed with a Red Seal or similarly accredited chef who is a BC Culinary Arts Specialist Association (BCCASA) member in good standing. This may be the teacher or chef assistant.
- To best communicate the program's featured BC products, participating schools are asked to hang our Take a Bite of BC signage and producer and product information sheets in a prominent location in the cafeteria in view of the entire school population.
- The majority of the dishes produced from the Take a Bite of BC shipments are meant to be enjoyed by the entire school. What students make using the donated products, as well as how you pass the savings on to the customers of the cafeteria, is left to the discretion of the chef instructor. (While the program’s objective is not to supplement school budgets, this is a possible positive outcome.)
- Complete and submit online feedback log forms after every delivery. Please include pictures, quotes, and stories of how the items have been utilized. These images will be used in newspapers, donor communications, bulletin boards, presentations, the BCAITC website, and/or other types of educational publications. We ask that you send in at least three feedback forms (schools that do not comply may be removed from the program).
A Crop of Resources!
Teaching chefs, along with Chef Randle and BC Culinary Arts students, have developed a number of kitchen-tested recipes and techniques using all of the products in the program (for a complete list, see our Take a Bite of BC Recipes page).
Many of our general resources on bringing agriculture into your classroom are available for you to download, or order online, to help further the food/farm connection with your Culinary Arts students:
Watch a Culinary Arts student at Burnaby Central Secondary School demonstrate how to fillet a fresh BC salmon!
Partners Make It Possible — Thank You!
Through the generous donations from these 35 partners, we provide a wide range of products for cooking in BC secondary school Culinary Arts programs throughout the province at no charge to the schools. BC Culinary Arts students thank our product suppliers too! Watch the video.