Chef Spotlight: Tyler

Throughout our Thanksgiving campaign we have been sharing stories on our social accounts from our shelter chefs in each one of our cities.

This is Tyler’s story.

“I've been cooking professionally for 20 years - I started my career by volunteering at Chef Michael Smith's restaurant (Food Network), Chives Canadian Bistro, when I was sixteen years old and obtained a Culinary Arts Diploma when I was 20. My grandmother, in her last moments, told me that God gave me a gift and a passion for cooking. I have experience in fine dining restaurants, hotels, banquets (thousands served per day), bakeries and cafes. A "jack of all trades" Chef, I've been called.”

However, when I was accepted into a drug rehabilitation program at the Calgary Dream Centre, I was mentally, spiritually and physically broken. I swore to myself that I would never step foot in a kitchen again.

God had a different plan for me.

I noticed how clients would really look forward to eating, as they went through the hills and valleys in recovery, along with dealing with their demons and adapting to a new lifestyle. It was then God showed me how critical good food is for them - a hearty, good meal can literally turn someone's day from bad to good.

God showed me that I should return to the kitchen and cook for those who truly appreciate a meal: vulnerable clients. It was there that I fell in love with food again and discovered my true passion: cooking for those in need. They express so much gratitude and makes me feel so happy!

After a successful career at two drug rehabilitation centres in Calgary, I seen a job posting from TMS and was immediately drawn to it. I was interviewed by my leader, Kate, and was drawn to TMS/her vision of the importance of good food, cooked with love, and restoring dignity to those suffering from homelessness/addiction issues.

What drew me to The Seed was my extreme passion in cooking for the vulnerable and how TMS puts a big emphasis and importance on food for clients - that's extremely important to me. They deserve the same food that I would serve someone at a very expensive restaurant and that has been my mission.

This is not a 'job' to me - I absolutely love what I do and working for TMS has been nothing short of amazing. I literally work with the best team I've ever had the privilege of knowing and they've become my second family.

I work exclusively at The Neighborhood Centre and assist at Mosaic, when needed.”

Tyler works at the Strathcona Shelter and assists and Community Impact Centre Mosaic when needed. Thank you, Tyler for all the work you do in our shelters and for sharing your amazing story!