WORLD ASSOCIATION OF CHEFS SOCIETIES (WACS) UNVEILS TWO YOUNG CHEF AMBASSADORS
The World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) is proud to appoint two new young chef ambassadors – Jon Garratt from Canada and Jasper Jek from Singapore. As WACS young chef ambassadors, they will represent the continental area of WACS on behalf of the Young Chefs Development team, acting as a conduit between young chefs, WACS associated members and educational bodies.
“A WACS Young Chef Ambassador plays a central role in the young chefs clubs in their continental area by reaching out to the association country presidents and establishing a relationship with young chefs from within the WACS associations,” says Andy Cuthbert, head of the WACS Junior Development Team. “Jon and Jasper were selected because of their involvement and good work with the young chef associations in their regions.
Into his second term as Junior President of the Okanagan Chefs Association, Jon Garratt played a pivotal role in the award the chef association received in 2011 for having the largest number of new junior chefs in the country. In 2010, Jon was nominated by his peers for Junior Chef of the Year and was also a part of the culinary team for the Winter Olympics recognised for serving up the single best food experience in Olympic game history that year.
Today, he is the Western Junior Representative for the Canadian Culinary Federation and Junior Representative for the British Columbia Culinary Arts Foundation while attending Okanagan College and working towards completing his apprenticeship.
When not cooking in the kitchen, Jon can be found at a local farm or producer learning about the many things the Okanagan Valley has to offer. His food philosophy is simple, believing in using the best local and freshest ingredients possible, allowing the individual flavours to speak for themselves. “Flavour is key in what we do as chefs,” says Jon. “Waiting another day for the fruit to ripen is well worth the wait.”
Since the formation of Singapore Junior Chefs Club in 2004, Jasper Jek has worked extensively with the club’s vision of nurturing future talents, holding various positions in its Executive Committee before helming the club as President from 2006 to 2011. Under his presidency, the club spearheaded many activities and was also named” Best Training Provider” in WA Oceana Fest Competition in Perth, Australia and “Award of Excellence” by Unilever Food Solutions. Jasper also started the Singapore Junior Culinary Team to train young chefs for major overseas and international competitions under the tutelage of seasoned veterans from the Singapore Chefs’ Association. Today, other than working as chef de partie in Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, Jasper also serves in the sub-committee of the Singapore Chefs’ Association.
Jasper has represented Singapore in numerous WACS events, including the WACS Asia-Pacific Forum in Kuala Lumpur in 2007, WACS Asia Pacific Arica Forum in Singapore in 2008, WACS Congress in Dubai in 2008 and the WACS Asia Forum in Daejeon in 2010.
Besides reading cookbooks, food essays and food magazines to widen his culinary perspectives and knowledge on its history, food and culture, Jasper also enjoys the arts, ballroom dancing and cycling. “I believe that good food is simply what makes people feel happy”, says Jasper of his culinary philosophy.
About WACS Young Chefs Ambassadors
The role of the WACS Young Chef Ambassadors was introduced by President Gissur Gudmundsson at the WACS Congress2010 in Chile. They are to represent young chefs worldwide and within WACS. This gives young chefs a voice and a platform to be heard. The ambassadors are tasked with reaching out to the member countries to establish Young Chefs Club in all of WACS regions, report to the board and their own continental director on what is happening around the world with young chefs and be the bridge between the young chefs of WACS and the board members. Most importantly, they will spearhead and facilitate the contributing role of young chefs within the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS).
The Selection Process
All Continental directors are to recommend one Young Chef whom they feel can make a difference, or young chefs can nominate themselves for this role, with attached reference letters. The President of the member country’s chef association will have endorse and support the young chef, followed by the Continental Director. The information will be consolidated and submitted to the Young Chef Development Team’s Chairman. Together with President Gudmundsson, a decision will be made. There should be 7 WACS Young Chef Ambassadors in total and the search is on for five more.