The NAIT Chef in Residence program is a pretty big deal. The school brings in incredibly talented chefs to mentor their Culinary students and each year it feels like the program is bigger and better than the last. The 2014 Chef in Residence was no exception! Celebrity chef and celebrated cookbook author Chef Lynn Crawford spent a week (March 10-14) at NAIT and I had the fantastic opportunity and pleasure of “covering” her time at the school, as part of my social media / Digital Communications Specialist duties. (Best. job. ever).
I met Lynn just before lunch on Monday, after she had gotten a tour of the kitchens.
My first impression was wow, this woman is really cool. That sentiment was reinforced as I spent more time shadowing her throughout the week, taking photos and video to share on NAIT social media channels.
NAIT Chef in Residence Lynn Crawford poses for a photo with a student. Photo Credit: NAIT/Blaise van Malsen.
NAIT Chef in Residence Lynn Crawford teaching Culinary students. Photo Credit: NAIT/Leigh Frey.
I got to dine Chef Lynn style, at a three-course “Lunch with Lynn” on the Thursday of her week at NAIT. Students and Lynn had prepared dishes from her cookbook, including: Crème brulee smoked trout, Filet Mignon with bison short ribs & lobster mash, and zucchini olive oil cake.
NAIT Chef in Residence Lynn Crawford with Culinary students ahead of ‘Lunch with Lynn’. Photo Credit: NAIT/John Book.
I was lucky enough to have gotten luncheon tickets to give away on my blog. A Canadian Foodie & The Kitchen Magpie also did giveaways (see A Canadian Foodie’s Chef in Residence review here). The food was delicious. Everything was spot on and I could have had two more plates of the main dish – it was so good. Check out a Storify recap of Lunch with Lynn below:
I was amazed to see how much Lynn was sharing about her experience on social media. I’d been monitoring her account prior to her arrival and there really hadn’t been too much activity – daily tweets about her restaurant specials and retweets, but not much beyond that. So I was super excited to see her share daily tweets/Instagram posts about her experience as NAIT’s Chef in Residence, including raving about the great work the Culinary students were doing!
Cool. Down-to-earth. Humble. Very funny, talented, and genuine. These are all words that come to mind when I think of Chef Lynn. She really was all about the students and all about trying to encourage them, inspire them and teach them. She also gave them tons of kudos. Never before had a Chef in Residence brought out all of the student chefs after the luncheon so that they could get a huge round of applause from the 160 guests at Ernest’s. Such a wonderful sight to see. I love my job normally but during Chef in Residence week, I REALLY loved my job! So much fun capturing behind-the-scenes moments and getting to see this talented chef in action.
Me & Chef Lynn Crawford: Besties, obviously.
Check out a Storify recap of Lynn’s week as NAIT Chef in Residence below:
What an awesome Chef in Residence! Great experience for everyone involved!!
Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other cities she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival…