A Movable Feast

Adapting to a new way of dining
Thanksgiving Dinner was a triumph of taste, presentation and, above all, a triumph of organization! Students enjoyed a full, traditional Canadian Thanksgiving feast with roast turkey and all the trimmings, followed by pumpkin tarts for dessert. The most significant bonus about this meal was that all students got to eat it in Marion Hall!

Dustin Setso, Executive Chef at Shawnigan, says his culinary team has embraced the word, “adapt” this year in so many challenging circumstances. From getting hot meals (and alternatives for diet sensitivities) ready for transport to 11 Houses around campus, to re-visioning a dining hall experience that could capture the family dining experience, Mr. Setso’s staff have had to be nimble and adaptable, always keeping food and staff safety in mind.

“The transportation team has been remarkable and also incredibly adaptable,” says Mr. Setso. “They appear at the loading dock in the dark and in the pouring rain ready to move our product, mostly in vehicles not specifically built to move food, around the ring road, up hills, over gravel, and speed bumps.”

Through it all, Mr. Setso says he is proud of his team in the kitchen and particularly grateful for the leadership and dedication of his Food Service Manager, Tracey O’Brien. “Tracey has been fantastic. She has worked long hours and never bats an eye when abrupt changes have had to be made. She never complains and just takes everything in stride.”

Another great adaptation in the Kitchen is the instillation of two new Rational ovens which control the temperature of food, keeping it at its best while waiting to be delivered to Houses or served in the dining hall. “These ovens give us extra time to prepare and control our product, guaranteeing the best meals possible for our students, wherever they might be enjoying them – in Houses or in Marion Hall!”

In these challenging times, food remains at the top of most minds at Shawnigan, and although we all look forward to a day of eating as a whole community in Marion Hall, we are so grateful to the people who never let us go hungry.

On Thankgiving Day, and every day, we are thankful for our marvelous culinary staff!

Shawnigan Lake School is adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines released by the BC Ministries of Health and Education, including those regarding learning cohorts, physical distancing and mask-wearing when appropriate.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent boarding school for Grades 8-12 on Canada's West Coast. Our diverse and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.