Every decision we make concerning the ingredients and tools our students work with says everything about us.  And we want to make sure that story is one that sets us apart instead of doing what everyone else does.  We like dealing with suppliers/artisans who have a value system and special stories to bring to our table, from the knives we supply in our toolkits to the onions they chop.

Discovery Organics is an independent wholesaler of certified organic and Fair Trade produce we’ve recently committed to – basically importing into our school their passion and values concerning provenance and transparency about anything grown, cultivated, and nurtured.   Discovery have quickly proven to be the perfect partner to help Northwest translate those values in our everyday cooking and learning, treating their customers the the very way we treat ours.


Douglas Chan, owner of Ai & Om Knives, not only supplies the knives and stones for our toolkits, but is the resident expert about knifes and knife-sharpening.  This means our students have access to his expertise, one which very few chef-instructors have.  Note: The canvass roll supplied in the professional toolkit was designed by Douglas and fabricated locally in Vancouver by the Portland Hotel Society, a Downtown Eastside Community Service.

Basil Koutalianos, of Basil Olive Oil Products and with his wife Helen, have been supplying Northwest with their wonderful organic Greek olive oil since day one.  Basil is the expert on one of the more important yet controversial and adulterated product in the pantry.  He goes to Greece once a year to make the estate olive oil and brings it to Canada.  He delivers the oil personally – and proudly! – and shares his story and expertise to our students.  Perhaps no one in the country knows more about olive oil.


Glorious Organics is a local cooperatively owned farming collective serving directly to restaurants for years.  Once per term our students forage under the guidance of their expertise in all matters related to soil, seeds, sustainability, and wise practices.  We bring in their seasonal produce on days when we want to play outside the box of the written curriculum recipes, keeping things –  in more ways than one – fresh.

Soup Sisters is a non-profit charitable social enterprise dedicated to providing comfort to women, children and youth through the making, sharing and donating of soup.  About twelve times per year we coach guests in our kitchens to make upwards of 150 combined liters of 4-6 different soups, our way of giving back.