Camosun introduces first student-run food truck in Western Canada
“It’s the perfect promotional vehicle for applied learning, no pun intended,” says Culinary Arts Chair Steve Walker-Duncan. “It’s certainly generating a great deal of interest and I think it’s going to be something that a number of programs and departments across Camosun will be very proud of.”
Over the next several weeks, students from a variety of disciplines, including culinary arts, business, graphic arts, electrical, pipefitting, metal and automotive trades will come together to modify the food truck for its official launch later in the spring. “It’s going to be a showcase for not just the culinary program, but for many trades and programs within the college,” notes Walker-Duncan.
The new food truck will be wrapped in Camosun branding and operate on both campuses as well as creating awareness for the broad scope of Camosun programs out in the community. One goal is to visit local high schools for demonstrations and offer a ‘taste’ of what is available at the college. Currently, plans are underway for students from Camosun’s Comics & Graphics Novels program to design a ‘mural’ that will wrap around the truck featuring students and distinctive campus scenes. Trades students will help design and manufacture parts required for an overhaul of the interior and exterior sections.
When all is ready for launch, Culinary Arts students from the Professional Cook 1 (PC-1) program will staff the truck, gaining invaluable real-world experience. “This is really applied learning in its truest sense in that students will be on the truck, preparing, planning and organizing all aspects of a small moveable restaurant business,” notes Walker-Duncan. “They’ll be out of their regular environment, beyond the comfort and a feeling of complacency in the regular teaching kitchen. They will gain industry-ready skills in problem-solving, thinking on their feet, food preparation, customer service and general organization.”
In order to expose students to a broad range of skills, the mobile kitchen will offer a rotating menu of food options such as tacos, burritos & quesadillas, hot sandwiches, pasta & noodle dishes, gourmet salads, international cuisines, sweet treats, and more. With so many areas of the college collaborating together to ensure its success, Walker-Duncan is excited to note that the new Camosun food truck is shaping up to be an interdisciplinary success story. “Food trucks are not really new, having been around for decades in other cities, and they certainly seem to be here to stay in our region,” he says. “Camosun College is proud to be a leader in Western Canada, for applied educational activities that are relevant and in demand.”