Weekly Update | January 13-19, 2022 • Stratford Chefs School

Weekly Update | January 13-19, 2022

Mel Athulathmudali | Class of 2016

A passion for food and creativity is a common driver among many SCS graduates. Some come to SCS to explore their long-standing desire to enhance a current career or to explore cooking as a second career.
Mel Athulathmudali did just that, not simply to make a change from his more than 20 years as a flight director with Air Transat, but to complement that career, while scratching a lifelong itch to perfect his love of cooking and entertaining. If you’ve ever met Mel, you get the feeling that you are the most important person in the whole world at that very minute, a rare and beautiful talent essential in hospitality.
Photo: Terry Manzo
Mel grew up in the company of restaurants. His parents owned a restaurant, and he has always worked in the industry in some capacity, to fund his education and beyond. Having a family cottage in nearby Goderich, Mel was familiar with SCS. His love of food and hospitality eventually gave way to his nagging desire to classically train in the culinary arts. He was unsure of what he wanted much beyond that, but he knew that Stratford Chefs School was where he wanted to make his training official.  
Mel took a leave from his two-decade career with Air Transat, where he says: “I only fly to London, Paris and New York – one of the perks of such a long tenure. It also makes for great places to shop for food on layovers! I can bring home these amazing ingredients to entertain and educate.”

Another benefit of his time at Air Transat is that Mel has made many friends at all levels of the organization. One such person learned of his SCS training and asked him to assist in designing the airline’s national food program.  
Travelling, cooking, and entertaining – combined with his seemingly endless energy – led Mel to cater holiday parties for friends, which gave way to professional catering gigs including numerous charity events. As a favour to one such friend, the principal at the community Montessori Adolescent School, Mel was asked to help with a food insecurity event to send the grade 9 class to a conference in the Netherlands. And, as things do with Mel, working on this event led to another incredible life experience.
Through his connection to the school, Mel met students who were passionate about food, learning and social justice and was hooked. His involvement led to designing a student lunch program featuring food from around the world, much of it brought back from Mel’s travels. Unfortunately, the pandemic brought it all to a complete stop.
Mel transitioned to an online food program for students and families doing weekly interactive menus from around the world. This project sprouted weekly online cooking classes for the public which allowed friends and colleagues time together to have a friendly dinner.
Given the success of his Montessori projects, Mel was offered a full-time role with the school. He became a certified Montessori teacher and now teaches kids about food, food security and how to create a meal from a different part of the world each week.  
Says Mel: “I’m happy I can bring the resources I learned at SCS to help teach my students about growing produce, raising animals ethically, restaurant life, restaurant cooking, all of it. My students are a really important passion in my life and to share the skills I have learned at SCS with them is such a rewarding experience.”


Happy New Year

JOIN US Sunday, January 23 at 1pm EST

Industry-leading SCS Alumni who have gone on to exciting and vibrant careers in hospitality will speak about what sets the Stratford Chefs School apart, and the many possibilities that come with a classical culinary education.


Feel like a gourmet chef at home, without the cooking!

We can’t serve you in our Dining Room right now, but you can still support the School and enjoy fabulous four course Student Chef Designed Dinners TO GO for the month of January. 
Next week’s fantastic Student Designed dinner menus reflect the delicious diversity and passions of our Level 2 Student Chefs.
There is Arvin Pamoceno’s ‘Filipino Feast’, Anthony Liu’s ‘Izakaya Evening‘, Scott Featherston’s ‘Iberian Dream: Portugal and Spain in Stratford‘, Daniel Cassar’s ‘A Taste of Trinidad‘, and Bridget MacMillan’s menu ‘From the Scottish Lochs to the Colombian Andes‘.

Which Menus are you going to try?

Simply book online for easy pick up, lay the table and enjoy a fine dining experience at home. Sommelier-selected wine pairings are available to add to your Take Out order for $20 per person.

Perhaps some of the best food I have experienced from anywhere in the world. Bravo!”  -Jennifer C., Dinner Guest, December 18, 2021

What’s For Dinner Next Week?

Student Designed Menus

Available for Take Out only**

“Our dine-at-home dinner was just right. Everything was labelled and ready to serve. You made us look like gourmet chefs! Thank you.”

-Barb V., Dinner To Go Guest, December 8, 2021


MENU: Arvin Pamoceno’s Filipino Feast
Lumpiang Shanghai
: Fried Springroll with Vinegar-Garlic Sauce
Crisp Sisig Tartlet: Pastry Shell Filled with Pork & Quail Egg
Lobster Bicol Express: Lobster in Coconut, Chili, Ginger Sauce
Kamayan Feast: Roast Suckling Pig, Grilled Chicken, Stuffed Eggplant, Grilled Shrimp & more!
Halo-Halo Supreme: Leche Flan, Sweet Beans, Jackfruit, Tapioca, Sweet Potato

Student Chef Arvin Pamoceno
Chef Instructor Scott Roberts

Dinner To Go $40 per person

Add Wine Pairings Package (15 oz)
To Go $20 per person


MENU: Anthony Liu’s Izakaya Evening
Salmon Hand Roll
Tempura of Kabocha Squash, Enoki Mushrooms, and Shrimp
Beef Tenderloin Tataki with Ponzu Sauce
Zaru Soba: Buckwheat Noodles with Daikon, Wasabi, and Bonito
Miso-Glazed Salmon with Pickled Napa Cabbage
Yuzu Ice Cream with Citrus Meringue and Puffed Buckwheat

Student Chef Anthony Liu
Chef Instructor Jonathan Kemeny

Dinner To Go $40 per person

Add Wine Pairings Package (15 oz)
To Go $20 per person


MENU: Scott Featherston’s Iberian Dream – Portugal and Spain in Stratford
Broa de Milho: House-Milled Corn & Rye Sourdough with Butter
Pot-Roasted and Grilled Octopus with Ajo Blanco, Grapes, Fingerling Potato
Açorda Alentejana: Portugese Bread, Herb, and Egg Soup
Roast Porchetta with Carrots, Caramelized Fennel, Salsa Verde
Basque Burnt Cheesecake with Salted Brandy Caramel Sauce, and Orange Confit

Student Chef Scott Featherston
Chef Instructor Randi Rudner

Dinner To Go $40 per person

Add Wine Pairings Package (15 oz)
To Go $20 per person

It is always a pleasure to be at the Chefs School, delicious inventive food painstakingly prepared and presented. Makes one feel like royalty. -Rosemary D., Dinner Guest, December 1, 2020


MENU: Daniel Cassar’s A Taste of Trinidad
Trinidadian Paratha
with Baigan Choka (Grilled Eggplant spread)
Pholouri: Chickpea and Callaloo Fritters with Tamarind Dip
Grilled Herring with Fried Ripe Plantains and Chadon Beni Sauce (pineapple and cilantro)
Brown Stew Chicken with Rice and Peas, and Trinidadian Fruit Chow
Black Cake with Coconut Ice Cream and Angostura Sabayon

Student Chef Daniel Cassar
Chef Instructor Mike Booth

Dinner To Go $40 per person

Add Wine Pairings Package (15 oz)
To Go $20 per person


Bridget MacMillan’s MENU: From the Scottish Lochs to the Colombian Andes
Oatmeal Sourdough with butter
Arepa Rellena con Cordero y Hogao: Griddled Corn Cake filled with Braised Lamb, with Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce
Citrus-Cured Salmon with Fennel, Radish and Lima-Limón Vinaigrette 
Sancocho: Traditional Colombian stew of Beef, Pork, Plantain & Corn, with Avocado, Rice, Ají Sauce and Neeps-and-Tatties
Pineapple Cranachan with Orange Shortbread, Meringue, and Dulce De Leche

Student Chef Bridget MacMillan
Chef Instructor Randi Rudner

Dinner To Go $40 per person

Add Wine Pairings Package (15 oz)
To Go $20 per person

**IMPORTANT: Please note: As of January 5, 2022, Dine-In is temporarily unavailable to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In compliance with Government Protocols, all TAKE OUT patrons must wear masks and maintain physical distancing when picking up their order at our facility. Click for more info / FAQ




QUESTIONS? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or email Admissions at: admissions@stratfordchef.com

Photography by Terry Manzo (SCS Class of 1985)

What Sets Stratford Chefs School Apart



Innovative, World-class Program

Our unique program model is method-based, hands-on, experiential, work-integrated learning, safely adapted to Covid-19 protocols.

High Quality Program

An enriched, immersive curriculum with exceptional standards and small classes. Collaborative, experiential learning through practical classes, Dinner Labs, and Dinners To Go, with strict adherence to Public Health requirements.

Expert Instructors

Our approachable Chef Instructors and Guest Chefs bring diverse experience and culinary backgrounds to our collaborative, real-world learning environment.

Not-for-Profit Model

Profits are reinvested into our program and facilities; fundraising helps keep tuition costs realistic.


SCS is widely recognized for training cooks who become the best chefs. Our reputation is built on Alumni success stories.

Applications are now open for our 16 Week Summer 2021 Diploma Program and our 32 Week Professional Diploma Program 2021-22!

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