The kitchen brigade, led by executive chef Joe Levesque, kicked off the evening with a four-course meal, before five awards were handed out to industry leaders, starting with two CAFP Champion of Education and Training nods to Ann Buller, president of Centennial College and the International Centre.
Later, Charles Grieco, legendary Toronto restaurateur and president and chair of The Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI), accepted the Hans Bueschkens Awards of Merit on behalf of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation — an OHI-managed source of industry-driven scholarships. “What this award of merit does it validate the work of the board and committee members who reward $220,000 in scholarships [annually],” said Grieco, upon accepting the award from Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher of Foodservice and Hospitality magazine.
The final trophies of the evening were awarded by Ontario Restaurant News to Michael Doyle, vice-president of Food and Beverage at Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment for Newsmaker of the Year and Ion Aimers founder of The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro for Restaurateur of the Year.
Capping off the night, Dr. Nick Bontis, Ph.D., an award-winning professor from Hamilton’s McMaster University, took the spotlight, captivating the audience by explaining how to work smarter by processing information more efficiently. “We have morphed from a physical world to an intangible world,” said the author and educator, alluding to the information age that is growing exponentially, potentially leading to problems down the road. “Our kids are going through a tremendous challenge in comprehension, and we have to teach them the skills” necessary to succeed in the future.
CAFP promotes professional development in the industry and among students aiming to work in the field.