|Eau Claire Park, Calgary|
Choosing to come to Calgary was an easy and exciting decision for me to make. My whole life I have been close to home, I’m from Wexford so college was never a big move for me. I decided that Canada was the perfect place for me to start pushing myself to be more independent.
I chose Calgary as I had contacts with an executive chef of a large fine dining and events company here who had worked in Ireland when he was my age and was more than happy to give back in the same way.
So as I have already mentioned I found my work placement independently. The company I work for is called Oliver and Bonacini and they have many restaurants all over Canada, three of which are here in the city of Calgary. Due to internal conditions within the company I paid for my own visa (I have an open work permit which was about €200) and had to seek accommodation for myself. Decent accommodation here in the city is about $700 a month but when you convert it to euros it’s similar to what you would pay at home. As I already was aware this year was going to be expensive process for the distance I wanted to travel I had already saved enough money for my journey so this wasn’t a huge issue for me (although everyone should be saving up for this year regardless).
So I made my way to Canada May 24th and began working the start of June. This allowed me time to find accommodation, settle down and explore this new place I would call home for the next 6 months!
The company had just opened a new restaurant, BuffoRistorante, a couple of weeks before I began working so I have been doing the majority of my placement there. Buffo is an Italian themed restaurant located just outside downtown Calgary. We make all of our pastas in-house so I’m learning a lot of interesting techniques and recipes. Also starting working here in the restaurants early weeks was really interesting for me to see how a newly opened kitchen operates, getting to experience improvements on recipes, presentation of dishes and the development of new menus (we have recently started running a brunch menu).
|Brewery and the Beast festival|
Oliver and Bonacini also have other restaurants here in Calgary which include Hudson that caters mostly for large functions such as weddings and corporate events and The Guild which is the other restaurant located in the city. Although I do majority of my work placement in Buffo, working for this company allows me to move freely and work in the other restaurants whenever hours are available. I have worked with Hudson’s for some large functions and with The Guild for some dinner services and the Brewery and the Beast festival which was held here in Calgary.
|"Ostrich and Egg"|
I really enjoy working for a company that has various sites that have very different kitchens. Having the opportunity to work for these three different kitchens has been a huge advantage for my learning opportunities here as the changing work environment helps keep me on my toes and I’m constantly learning and ready to learn whenever I step foot into the kitchen, whichever one it may be!
I'm really enjoying my time here in Canada so far and hoping to return in the future. But for now I'm just enjoying this amazing experience and all the sights that come along with it!