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Going for gold – Olivia's journey to WorldSkills

Olivia Sewell preparing a dish in the NSCC Akerley Campus kitchen.

NSCC Culinary Management alum, Olivia Sewell (’23), is getting ready to compete against 50 of the world’s top cooks for the title of World Culinary Champion in September 2024.

A Skills Canada - Nova Scotia and Skills Canada gold medal champion, Olivia is the first Nova Scotian and NSCC alum to represent Canada in cooking at WorldSkills.

“Being the single competitor to represent NSCC, Nova Scotia and Canada at WorldSkills in France feels incredible. I'm excited to get this opportunity to show what our province and country can bring to a worldwide competition.”
- Olivia Sewell (Culinary Management '23)

Support Olivia’s journey

Help Olivia go for gold and raise funds as she proudly represents Canada on a world stage. Be a part of her success by donating, sharing her story and cheering her on as she trains and competes for WorldSkills. Funds raised will help Olivia and her team cover expenses like training supplies and travel.

Make a donation 

From her mother’s kitchen to WorldSkills competitor

Olivia stands while holding a gold medal in her left hand and a Best in Region medal in her right hand.

Olivia inherited her mother’s love of cooking. She grew up with home-cooked meals where her mother experimented with recipes from a variety of cuisines and cultures. Olivia didn’t know that she too would develop a passion for cooking and that it would lead her to compete internationally against the world's top cooks.

Today, she works at Bar Kismet in Halifax and spends several days each week practicing in the kitchens at NSCC Akerley Campus with Chef Instructors Johnathan Canning (CCEDP ’15) and Sean Kettley (CCEDP ’03), Canada’s WorldSkills Expert for Cooking.

Before realizing her true passion in cooking, Olivia spent a year in university studying psychology. It was amid the COVID-19 pandemic and online classes when she realized that it wasn’t the right educational path for her. In 2021, Olivia decided to apply to NSCC’s Culinary Management program after friends told her of their positive experience as a student at NSCC.

A few weeks into the program, NSCC instructor Chef Jonathan Canning approached Olivia and encouraged her to compete in the Nova Scotia Skills Competition. Read Olivia’s full story.