Want to help send a student to learn in Spain and France?

While at the The Delicious Food Show we came across a very special booth being manned by some very food minded students.  These students were from Thistletown Collegiate Institute located in Etobicoke.  Their booth was stocked with bottles of salsas and dips and baked goods all made by students enrolled in the school’s food and hospitality classes.

We spoke with Keith Hoare, a culinary arts teacher at Thistletown and he explained the uniqueness of this school. The students in this program are very hands on. The school has a fully equipped kitchen and offers a joint program with Humber College.  The students grow their own fresh vegetables on the grounds and in turn use these as ingredients in the dishes they make.

They are also putting their talents to good use – making food that they sell with proceeds going to help fund culinary inspired trips.   Last year they were able to travel to Italy and in 2015, they hope to travel to Spain and France.  The goal is to broaden these student’s horizons and introduce them to the world of international travel.  It is economic pressures and financial difficulties that prevent many of these students from being able to participate.

These enterprising culinary chefs have been busy setting up shop at various food events like the Toronto Underground Market and Delicious Food Show as well as participating in local events like garage sales, bakes sales, car washes and even catering to help raise money for their 2015 trip.

The costs of the Spain/France culinary adventure are currently set at approximately $4200 per student.  They are looking to raise 75% of the trip costs thus reducing the cost to the student’s family to $1050.

The girls listening to their teacher as he explained the goal and purpose of their booth.


Offering up some samples of various homemade salsas.

After sampling, I came home with the Garlic Lovers Salsa made with tomatoes, jalapeño & bell peppers, onions, garlic, garlic scales, cilantro, tomato paste, sale, lime zest & juice, spices and oil.

The other was the mango pineapple salsa – sweet and spicy – made with similar ingredients but with tasty chunks of mango and pineapple.

I could taste the freshness and their bottling is very simple and classic.


If you would like to help a student experience a great educational opportunity, change outlooks and inspire new ideas, please take a moment to visit their website:


You can make a tax-deductible donation (amounts of $25 or more) by sending a cheque to ‘Thistletown Collegiate” c/o Alanna May-Gardiner.  Reference TCI European Culinary Trip on the cheque.

Mail to: 20 Fordich Cr. Toronto, Ontario, M9W 2T4



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