The SCS Alumni Project | September 23, 2021

September 23, 2021


Alondra Galvez

Owner and Chef, El Cactus Taco Shop
Alondra Galvez (Class of 2003) has travelled a great distance both personally and professionally in life. Accompanying her along the way were the tastes and memories of her grandmother’s kitchen as a young child growing up in Reynosa, Mexico. At age 11 she moved to Canada and her adopted country gave way to another culture of cooking, but her roots were never far behind her. “I remember the time I was going to be a chef,” says Alondra. “I had started working at the original York Street Kitchen with Susie Palach (Class of 1987) and I just fell in love with the lifestyle. It felt like I was home. I fit in and felt welcome.
At age 18, while working at YSK, Alondra found herself thinking, “Chefs are cool, so I wanted to become a chef and everyone in Stratford at that time was going to Stratford Chefs School.” She enrolled shortly thereafter. When asked what she found special about SCS she says, “The labs were exceptional, hands-on experiences working with food that was so different. Working closely with the instructors, meeting the other students. It’s a lifestyle. You get drawn to each other.
Stratford Chefs School gave Alondra the confidence to seek out experiences and to move forward in cooking, travel and ultimately in business. Upon graduation Alondra spent three seasons apprenticing at Bijou Restaurant under original chef co-owners and SCS grads Aaron and Bronwyn Linley (Class of 1996)Travel took Alondra to the far reaches during off seasons, but she always returned. She enjoyed working at The Old Prune for three seasons and spent five years at SCS as the senior service instructor, as well as managing The Bakery at Pazzo
Now a triumphant new chapter is unfolding for Alondra as the Chef-Owner of the instant hot spot, El Cactus Taco Shop in downtown Stratford. “It’s an amazing new experience, one I’ve always dreamed of,” says Galvez. “I get to bring some of my culture here and share it with the people of Stratford.”
Gracias, Alondra.  Stratford is grateful for your return!
Are you thinking about a career in the culinary arts?
Contact Jeff Leney at for more information.


Photography by Terry Manzo  (SCS Class of 1985)



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.

Limited space available for our OCTOBER 2021 intake.

Located in the beautiful small city of Stratford, Ontario, a cultural and culinary destination, 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.
Photography: Terry Manzo | Video Edit: Slater Manzo




Final Meal Kits of the Season!

SOUS VIDE STEAK | 3 Course Finish at Home Meal Kit | Friday, October 1
Wedge salad
Sous vide tenderloin (4 oz)
Twice baked potato, seasonal vegetable 
Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Chantilly  
$40 per person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne
Optional Add-ons:
Shrimp Skewer $5
Mixed Mushrooms $5
Upgrade to 10 oz steak $15
Wine (750 ml bottle) $30

ULTIMATE BURGER | 3 Course Finish at Home Meal Kit | Saturday, October 2
 Baguette crostini with house ricotta, herbed tomatoes & balsamic
House ground beef burger with homemade bun, full sour pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion
Potato salad
Grilled pineapple, chocolate, hazelnut and Chantilly cream
$40 per person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne
Optional Add-ons:
Bacon $1.50 each
Cheese $1.50 each
Gluten-free Bun $2.50 each
Wine (750 ml bottle) $30

SOURDOUGH STARTER KIT | Saturday, October 2
Kit includes:
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 person + HST | Chef Instructor Eli Silverthorne

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:

Photography by Terry Manzo (SCS Class of 1985)

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