Alum of the Month: Jason Lloyd

VIU Culinary Arts alum Jason Lloyd

From Canada's top apprentice, to working in some of the country's top kitchens, to his current position as Chair of VIU's Culinary Arts program, VIU alum Jason Lloyd reflects back on an exciting career.

December 6, 2019 - 5:00pm

Food and cooking have always interested Jason Lloyd. Growing up, family dinners were an important part of his life; after completing the Professional Cook Training/Culinary Arts program at VIU (then Malaspina College) in 1993, Lloyd’s eyes were opened to the wide range of opportunities the industry offers. Before returning to teach at his alma mater in 2011, Lloyd’s career included working in some of Canada’s top kitchens, being named top apprentice in Canada in 1996 and experimenting with various aspects of the industry, including competitions, consulting, food styling and catering. Throughout his career, Lloyd has always made a point of passing on his knowledge to others; he returned to VIU to scratch that itch more deeply. Now Chair of the Culinary Arts program, he loves watching students develop a professional work ethic, learn new skills and then move on to start their own careers.


What have you been up to since graduating?

After graduating, I went to the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver to finish my apprenticeship, entered many culinary competitions and was named the top apprentice in Canada in 1996. I went on to work for other top chefs who are internationally recognized at the Creek Restaurant on Granville Island, then Fairmont Hotels at YVR. Just before coming back to VIU, I worked as executive chef of the Terminal City Club in Vancouver for nine years, entered more competitions, and then pursued consulting, food styling and catering. Currently I am the Chair of our Culinary Arts programs at VIU’s Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River campuses.   


Do you have a favourite workplace from your past?

Looking back on my career, I have very fond memories of the Terminal City Club, including the executive team, the staff, the iconic property and especially the club members. We had an incredible time using the best products available, entering competitions, working with charitable organizations and generally having fun!


What do you like most about your current job?

I really appreciate the opportunity to give back to the industry that treated me so well. Sending young cooks out to begin their career with new skills learned from our program is both exciting and rewarding.


What exciting things are coming up for Culinary Arts students?

Our field school to Brussels and Paris takes place in January 2020, then Skills Canada regional and provincial competitions in February and April. Hopefully we will have students competing in the national Skills Canada competition in June as well. Then before we know it, our convocation ceremonies will be here and we will send off the next round of students to their careers. 


What advice do you find yourself giving out most often to your students?

I often speak of ethics and the power to make changes in our industry. The way to a sustainable future in food lies with our new generations taking up an attitude of empowerment and their belief that everyone can influence positive change. If our students find innovative and positive ways to encourage customers to make ethical choices in restaurants and retail outlets, the market will change. Change is a long game in our industry – ethics, health and positive environmental choices will shape our future. 


Why is becoming a chef a rewarding career?

I would struggle to find another career that has as many different aspects and possibilities. There are no limits to the creativity, problem solving, self-employment opportunities, establishments, world travelling prospects and chances to explore new cuisines. One could easily spend several lifetimes learning about the global food industry and several more applying that knowledge! 

Tags: Culinary Arts | Our Alumni

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