The SCS Alumni Project | July 29, 2021

July 22, 2021



Photography by Terry Manzo  (SCS Class of 1985)
Mike Lurz (Class of 2009) took a less than obvious route to Stratford and the Stratford Chefs School. He is a computer science grad who really wanted to play in bands, so he worked in kitchens so he could afford to play in bands, but fell in love with food and the culinary arts. Voila!

When band gigs gave way to a culinary career Mike says he “fell in love with Stratford, and the Stratford Chefs School was always at the top of my list.”  What Mike loved about the SCS program is the “focus on the entire gamut of gastronomy.” He also thought Stratford was a step above all of the culinary schools he looked into.

Mike says that what makes SCS different is that “it has a finger on the pulse of the entire industry because so many people involved with the School come from a high level in the industry.” The depth and immersion of the program “allows you to live it while you’re in it,” he says.
Mike had restaurant stints at Bijou, formerly owned by graduates Bronwyn and Aaron Linley (both Class of 1996), as well as time at The Common with Tim Otsuki (Class of 2002).
These days you will find Mike amongst the incredible staff of The Local Community Food Centre where he wears all kinds of hats. He loves the many facets to his role, which makes his job different from some of his more traditional restaurant roles. He credits his time at SCS with teaching him adaptability, good organization and above all, cleanliness, which helps keep The Local doing all of its good work in our community. Hats off for working so hard, Mike and for your good nature and community spirit! 
Are you thinking about a career in the culinary arts?
Contact Jeff Leney at for more information.



Stratford Chefs School’s hands-on, immersive curriculum and reputation for excellence make it the obvious choice for your culinary training, whether you’re just starting out, or making a career change.
The culinary arts are creative, entrepreneurial, artistic and fulfilling. Located in the beautiful city of Stratford, Ontario, Stratford Chefs School will give you the foundation you need to succeed, whether your passion is in becoming a Chef, owning your own restaurant, catering, recipe testing, or any number of opportunities in the hospitality sector.
We’re now accepting applications for our OCTOBER 2021 intake. Experience the Stratford Chefs School difference for yourself!
Photography: Terry Manzo | Video Edit: Slater Manzo



5 STAR REVIEW What a great evening!
The video instructions are very helpful, and we learned new skills… the meal was a sensory delightso many delicious flavours, textures and colours. Thank you!” -OK@H Patron Erin L., June 2, 2021

Meal Kits Available This Week

SOURDOUGH BREAD Starter Kit | Saturday, July 31 and Saturday, August 7
1 Litre living sourdough culture
Ingredients to make Traditional Sourdough and Caraway Rye (4 loaves)
Downloadable instruction and recipe booklet with 2 Sourdough recipes
Video tutorials and trouble-shooting guide
$15 per kit + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne

INDIAN | 3 Course Finish at Home Meal Kit | Saturday, July 31
Potato samosa with raita
Tandoori & butter chicken
Infused basmati
Naan bread
Gulab jamun
$40 per person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne
Optional Add-ons:
Vegetarian option is available
Wine (750 ml bottle) $30

GYOZA POTSTICKERS | 2 Course Finish at Home Meal Kit | Thursday, August 5
Pork and cabbage gyoza dumpling with chili soy sauce
Pork belly with green mole, smoked crème fraiche and pickled pearl onion
$30 per person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne
Optional Add-ons:
Dairy-free option is available
Wine (750 ml bottle) $30

MIDDLE EASTERN PLATTER | 3 Course Finish at Home Meal Kit | Friday, August 6
Whole-wheat pita
Super smooth hummus 
Smoky babba ghanoush 
Potent garlic aioli  
Pickled red cabbage, full sour pickles 
Turmeric rice with raisin & almond 
Vegan coconut panna cotta with rum raisin compote
$40 per person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne
Optional Add-ons:
Grilled ‘Greek’ marinated Pork loin $5
Gluten-free option available (no pita)
Vegan option available
Wine (750 ml bottle) $30

MEXICAN | 3 Course Finish at Home Meal Kit | Saturday, August 7
Chicken tortilla soup
Pork belly with herbed green mole & smoked crème fraiche, with pickled pearl onions 
Churros with spiced chocolate sauce
$40 per person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne
Optional Add-ons:
Wine (750 ml bottle) $30

Where the Best Chefs Train
Our innovative hands-on Professional Cookery Program will give you the foundation you need to succeed.

We are now accepting Applications for our October 2021 intake.

Since 1983, Stratford Chefs School has helped set the standard for excellence in professional culinary training in Canada and graduated over 800 students who contribute to the development of a distinctive Canadian cuisine.

Experience the Stratford Chefs School difference for yourself!

QUESTIONS? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or email Admissions at:

Posted in Alumni, Blog, Open Kitchen
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