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Testimonials From Our Graduates

John Paul Mooney harvests his own produce, fillets his own fish, grows, dries and smokes the hot peppers that go into the spice rubs for JP’s Barbecue & Catering. The trout he serves come from a fish farm just around the corner from his home in Otterville, Ontario. 

JP’s approach to food reflects his rural roots: born in Simcoe, he has lived most of his life surrounded by the farms of Norfolk County. After working in several kitchens around the province, he headed out west to the tree planting camps of British Columbia.
“I helped the cook one year,” JP recalls. “They loved my food so much I ran my own kitchen the following year.” His roots pulled him back to Ontario: his interest in cooking brought him to Liaison College in Hamilton.

After graduating from the Chef de Cuisine program in June 2010, he brought to life the idea that had been percolating in his mind: a barbeque catering service. So where does JP’s custom trailer fit in? 

“The idea developed to get around the challenge of finding certified kitchens wherever I needed one,” he explains. “Now I have a fully mobile kitchen in my 30-foot trailer that I can do all my catering from.” 

You don’t have to be amongst his regular customers to catch a glimpse of JP’s Barbeque and Catering though. He has been out and about with the trailer this year to events like Friday the 13th in Port Dover, The Woodstock Fair and Woodstock sidewalk sales, where new customers came back with friends in tow four days in a row. It could be the dry-aged meat from a small local butcher that brings them back to JP’s, his unique, home-grown blend of dry-rub spices, or his extensive menu that, along with the usual beef, pork and chicken options, includes grilled fish and vegetarian dishes too. Or maybe it’s his commitment to support the farms of Norfolk and Oxford County. Whatever his winning formula, we are proud to count him among our graduates. 

Gorilla Cheese was not the first food truck business in Hamilton, but owners Graeme Smith and Scott Austin might have been the first to announce their ever-changing location on Facebook and Twitter. It’s this urban-savvy marketing combined with their innovative curbside menu that attracts great crowds wherever they set up shop.

The inspiration for Gorilla Cheese’s gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches took flight while Graeme was studying at Liaison College Hamilton.
“Originally I developed the project as a restaurant,” he recalls. After graduation, he was ready to follow through with his plan until his long-time friend got him thinking outside the box. “Scott came up with the idea of a food truck. We started researching the same day. I had no idea until then that they were such a massive trend in the United States.”

Gorilla Cheese’s popularity is no accident. With a small crew of employees they work long hours in a hot truck, producing comfort food with a twist. Who would have thought a grilled cheese sandwich could create such buzz? By adding things like bacon, apples and maple syrup (the Lumberjack), or turkey, pear and cranberry sauce (Quirky Turkey) to the requisite cheese and bread, they have elevated the status of North American street food to a new level.
After just one year in business, the demand for their portable menu has outstripped their one-truck capability. “It kills me to turn down so many functions,” says Graeme. Their second truck is on order, and should hit the streets in late 2012. “Another truck will let us travel out of town, or be in two places at once in Hamilton.”

That’s great news for fans who check their phones before deciding on lunch, and for the rest of the Golden Horseshoe hungry for a twist on tradition.
You can follow the Gorilla Cheese schedule or check out their imaginative menu atgorillacheese.wordpress.com


Sous Chef - The Aqua Grill in Aurora.
"I chose this career because I have a passion for food ad wanted the ability to be creative each time I go to work. I love being able to challenge myself in a kitchen and hearing positive feedback from customers about the food I have prepared. Liaison College Hamilton gave me the tools and knowledge, both basic and advanced, in order to work in a kitchen properly and successfully."

Head Chef - Cascata Bistro in Carlisle

" I have been a cook and caterer in business for myself for quite some time. I decided that perhaps it was time to "validate" my skills and provide paper as a back up. I visited Liaison Hamilton and found the environment to be both friendly and professional." 

"My son who was with me at the time said 'Mom, I'm gonna come here one day too!' Chef Bill was my teacher in the advanced level. HE provided me with a lot of insight into restaurant work ans gave me skills that I apply daily in my role as Head Chef at Cascata Bistro in Carlisle."

"Liaison College Hamilton provided me with immeasurable skills that have allowed me to deepen and hone my craft for use in the industry and at home!"

Radius Café + Urban Casual Dining

"I chose this field because I remember the first time I put on a pair of chef whites and walked into a kitchen, it felt right. I love that I can be creative every day and work hard as a team with my kitchen brigade. I consider the feedback I get from not only diners, but from my chefs, to be a gift, helping me constantly strive to get better." 

"Liaison college Hamilton gave me the tools and knowledge, as well guided me in the right direction to be able to work in a kitchen ans be successful."

Owner of 494 Kitchen Company, Food Truck
"Liaison college helped me to rediscover my passion for cooking and made it possible for me to achieve my goals in becoming a creative chef. Attending Liaison College was the best decision I ever made and I now have a successful career to truly be proud of."

Sous Chef - Lasalle Park Retirement Burlington
"It all started when I was 10. I was enrolled in the recreational boot camp course for kids by my parents when they found the course being offered, and noticed my increasing interest in the culinary arts. 

I was taught by Chef Lindsay Vandekamp and Chef Bill Sharpe. It was the best experience I had ever had - I constantly wanted to learn more and was so excited to be able to attend Liaison College for the Chef De Cuisine program when I was old enough.

I tried every chance I had to be in the kitchen from volunteering, taking home economics classes in school, to working in the school cafeteria. People were very skeptical to employ me as I was so young and didn't have enough experience.

In my last year of high school I took a co-op position with Good Shepherd Men's Centre in downtown Hamilton and completed almost 500 hours of volunteer work in their kitchen, going well above the hours needed for the course credit. I learned so much from the Executive Chef, Allan Buehner, but also from all of the cooks in the kitchen on a daily basis.

I enrolled into Liaison College for the coming year and began to work with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board. I was sent to Living Rock Ministries, to work in their kitchen, during the summer. 
I learned a massive amount of cooking advice from the chef, Gail Lowe, but also a great amount of life advice. She was very proud of my decisions and was comfortable with letting me take control of the cooking in the kitchen for a couple weeks while she was on vacation.

I then started the Chef De Cuisine course at Liaison College, and was the youngest in the class at 17 years old. 
I was extremely excited to see that I was going to be learning under Chef Bill Sharpe for the cook basic portion of the course and very shocked to realize that he still remembered who I was after so long.

The Chef De Cuisine course was the best time of my life. I learned so much from the chefs and I constantly strive to continue to be more like them. I am so lucky to have also been able to help with recreational courses, even after I had long since graduated. I have never seen people given the same opportunity at other schools. I also owe a thank you to Murline, Gene, and Nicole for trusting me with those opportunities. And also for all the support they have given me."

Sous Chef - Charred Rotisserie House
"I loved cooking even when I was young. And I dreamed of becoming a chef one day. I came to Canada as a Live-in caregiver or nanny. I worked for a family for more than 4 years, but my dream did not stop there. When I was given the chance to go to school, I look around for a good culinary school and found Liaison College through the billboard advertisement in the streets of Hamilton. And I looked in the internet the nearest branch of Liaison College in my workplace and the culinary program they are offering. Upon checking their website, I saw an opportunity because they have this part-time course for Diploma Cook Basic program that suits my work schedule. So, I went in Liaison College at Jackson Square branch to enroll and found it very interesting. 

The instructors were very helpful making it sure that we the students will learn the basic techniques of not only cooking but also baking. Our practical lessons helped me developed my skills and broaden my knowledge in cooking, giving me confidence to do such a job. I am now working as a Sous Chef at Charred Rotisserie House. And I thanked Liaison College for helping me achieve my dream."
Chef de Partie - Royal Hamilton Yaught Club

I have been in the culinary industry for many years and 
seen the many changes and demands that happen with time.

I am a Liaison graduate and during my time with the College I experienced firsthand the knowledge and experience the Chef Instructors and staff shared with the aspiring cooks on a very close and personal level. Impressive was the close working relationships and amount of hands on training Liaison dedicates each day. 

I highly recommend their programs to anyone with an interest in the culinary arts and love for cooking."

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