SCARBOROUGH, Ont. — It was a monumental day for 16 graduating members of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) Adaptive Cooking Class for persons with disabilities, which honoured participation in the program with a graduation ceremony, held at Toronto’s Delta Toronto East hotel.

The students took part in a six-week cooking program, held at the Delta hotel and led by Romel Griarte, executive chef of the Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront. With the help of an occupational therapist, Romel discussed healthy eating habits and budget-friendly recipes, including chicken chili, Mediterranean quinoa salad, apple crumble and oven-friend parmesan chicken.

“We are so proud to put our name on this pilot initiative, as hospitality is simply what we know, and what we do best,” said Fatima Finnegan, director of Corporate Marketing and Business Development for ORHMA, in her opening speech. “Over the last six weeks, we have been mesmerized by the culinary leadership of our executive chef, Romel Griarte.”

Before the certificates were presented, Tony Elenis, president and CEO of ORHMA, thanked the program volunteers, and sponsors, including McCormick Canada, which donated a mobile kitchen that accommodates people with various disabilities; the Delta hotel, which hosted the classes; the ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment; and Variety Village.

Stay tuned for a special ORHMA cookbook, to be released in June, featuring recipes from the pilot program.


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