Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose says Durham College’s new restaurant and field to fork initiatives are “fantastic.”
The minister stopped by the Durham College Whitby Campus Centre for Food to tour the facilities on Tuesday.
The Minister was joined by Durham MP Erin O’Toole, Oshawa MP Colin Carrie, newly-elected Whitby-Oshawa MP Pat Perkins and Durham College president Don Lovisa for a quick bite to eat at the onsite restaurant Bistro ‘67.
Ambrose had planned to tour the residential homes at the Whitby campus but because of a busy schedule she only had enough time for lunch at Bistro ‘67. She heard from Lovisa about the restaurant’s sustainability initiatives such as field to fork, where all the food prepared is grown in Durham Region.
“Lunch was phenomenal, you can tell that everything is fresh and homemade,” said Ambrose. “It’s a great model and I know there is more and more people demanding farm to plate and this kind of innovative running of the kitchen and I think it’s really cool. I hope that more restaurants do it. It’s fantastic.”
As the health minister, Ambrose was impressed with the healthy food choices being offered at the college.
“It’s one of the things we’ve been looking at is encouraging, especially kids, to eat healthier,” said Ambrose. “When you have a restaurant, a college, like this that’s really pushing healthy eating from every perspective it’s fantastic… I encouraged the chef to keep on doing it and I told him it was a wonderful meal.”
Lovisa was thrilled to have Ambrose visit and after lunch he briefly showed her around the pantry, where students can buy food prepared at the Centre for Food on the go.
“It’s always a pleasure to have a minister visit us, they represent our country and for them to spend some time and learn a little bit more about Durham College is a real honour,” said Lovisa. “It’s nice that she’s a foodie so she really enjoys food and she enjoyed learning about our story of field to fork.
“She was very interested and it was a nice – quick – but very, very nice visit.”