Alumni Testimonials

Graduates of the Cookery Program share thoughts on their Stratford Chefs School experience.

Carl Heinrich Executive Chef

When I decided to be a chef, I made it a goal to pick the best culinary school in the country to build a solid foundation. I chose the Stratford Chefs School, mostly for its reputation for producing talent, for its intense training program, and for the intimate student-teacher ratio. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am in my career without the connections I made and the skills that I learned there.


Carl Heinrich |  Co-owner, Richmond Station, Toronto | Top Chef Canada 2012 | Stratford Chefs School Class of 2005

The intersection of education, hospitality and passion at which the Stratford Chefs School staff live and work is phenomenal, and the dedication and care that they each bring to every aspect of their role at the Chefs School is the reason that this institution is so special.

I’ve learned so very much about this industry and about life while I’ve been here, but the biggest lesson I will take away from any of this is the importance of giving a damn. All of you give a damn, and it has changed lives at this place since 1983.

Jonathon Farrell | Stratford Chefs School 

Class of 2023 Valedictorian

Jonathon Farrell

I am so honoured to be a Stratford Chefs School Alumni! The school gave me the foundations and structure of cooking and the discipline it takes to be successful in the industry. I have been self-employed as a caterer for 26 years so far!

To this day, I use techniques, ideas and inspiration from what I learned. From service skills, planning and menu development, strategy for execution of menus to inspiration from seasonal ingredients.

I take my work very seriously, and try to inspire the young cooks I train to endeavour to do their best every day, and to honour the products we use, including meats, fish, poultry and vegetables. Neil Baxter really influenced my cooking, and getting to meet and work with Paul Bertolli was particularly exciting!

Bonnie Rubica | Chef & Proprietor, BE Catering | Stratford Chefs School Class of 1996

One of the best educational experiences of my life. I will always recommend Stratford Chefs School for a great place to learn how to cook. It changed my life!


Carrie Rau | Wine Educator | Loblaws Test Kitchen Innovation Team member | Red Seal Certified Chef | Stratford Chefs School Class of 2004

As parents, we were extremely impressed with the organization and welcoming nature of the school. The Stratford Chefs School promised to be hands-on and personal with small classes and many qualified instructors who brought real-world experience to the kitchen. This promise became reality and our son flourished under instruction from top-end Chefs, including many visits from highly regarded Chefs from around the world.

The facilities are world class and allowed him to work with equipment that he will see in the real world.

Stratford Chefs School and the Stratford community were a perfect fit for our son. We highly recommend the School to anyone pursuing excellence in food preparation, especially to begin a career in fine dining.


Glenn & Yvette Wickert | Parents of Jalen Wickert (pictured left) | Stratford Chefs School Class of 2017

Stratford Chefs School is a great program that taught me the foundation of all cooking techniques and how to really respect the food I serve … SCS taught me more than just the knowledge and technical skills of how to cook. They teach you everything the industry both offers and expects of you. I could not have asked for a more real representation of what it means to be a Chef.


Erik Cholod | Chef-Owner, Custom Catering & Co. | Stratford Chefs School Class of 2018 (pictured right, centre)

Erik Cholod

I liked that the School’s chef instructors kept current in the industry by working in fine restaurants like Rundles and The Old Prune. Stratford Chefs School gave me a great foundation to explore the world and its abundant flavours.


Tim Otsuki | Chef-Owner, The Common | Stratford Chefs School Class of 2002.



We’d love to hear from our Grads! Tell us about your School experience, and where you are now!

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