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A virtual exchange

Six chefs wearing uniforms and facemasks stand behind a long counter. There are cupboards behind them. On the counter is a can of beer, a glass of beer and some produce.

Bringing Nova Scotia lobster and NSCC skill to the Philippines

When COVID-19 required Culinary Management students and faculty to cancel a planned NSCC International trip to the Philippines for the Culinary Cup, an international culinary competition, all was not lost.
Partnering with Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia, and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines, students and faculty organized a virtual, culinary exchange that would bring the tastes of Nova Scotia to the Southeast Asian nation. 

An exchange of flavours

With the support of the Canadian Embassy, all three colleges chose a local ingredient to be shared and used to prepare a dish unique to their region. The Canadian ingredients were then shipped to the Philippines. Over video call, students and instructors demonstrated the recipes and cooking methods for their dish.

NSCC’s key ingredient, of course, was Nova Scotia lobster.

The NSCC group prepared a traditional lobster roll complete with homemade brioche and coleslaw as the Filipino and Canadian partners followed along and did the same. In turn, the Filipino students demonstrated poached lobster in alavar sauce, a traditional Filipino recipe, as the NSCC students and faculty followed along. 

Jude Gerrard, NSCC Senior Advisor, Mi’kmaq and Indigenous Initiatives, also explained the importance of lobster in Mi’kmaw culture and demonstrated the traditional way of cooking and preparing it. 

“I was drawn to this project because it offered a fun, creative way to stretch my knowledge and expand my skills while discovering new passions,” says Michelle Small, NSCC Culinary Management student. “It was a way to build relationships in a fun, technologically creative environment while learning new skills, using new ingredients and creating a new building block on my culinary journey.”

The project has inspired a delicious, additional partnership as well. 

Once a new date for the Culinary Cup is chosen, students from NSCC and the College of Saint Benilde will form a collaborative team and compete alongside one another using a recipe featuring Canadian ingredients. The team will be judged on a variety of skills including mise en place, knife skills, safety and sanitation.

Future exchanges

As the pandemic continues to place travel restrictions on the world, NSCC International says they will use the success of the virtual culinary exchange as a model for future learning opportunities.

“This is one of several, virtual, international learning exchanges underway this academic year,” says Kellie McMullin, Manager, International Learning (Outbound). “NSCC students and employees in programs across the College will partner with learning institutions in countries including Austria, Ecuador, Vietnam, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands.”

If you would like to learn more about the many opportunities available to NSCC students through NSCC international, please visit