Forward Food at Queen’s University

Forward Food at Queen’s University

Over reading week, 19 of our chefs here at Queen’s University took part in a two-day plant-based culinary training called Forward Food. I joined in on the fun as well! Check out our smiling faces ↓

This event, led by Executive Chef, Wanda White through the Humane Society International was the first to take place in Ontario and the second in Canada. However, this program is not new! Chef Wanda, who opened the first vegan dining hall in North America at the University of North Texas, has provided this training over 100 times in the United States.

The chefs at Queen’s prepared multiple dishes with a variety of plant proteins, grains, vegetables and spices. There was so much flavour! In fact, this was a common comment among the chefs. They were impressed with how easy it was to make tasty plant-based foods without making a ton of changes to a typical recipe. During the round table discussion on the second day of training, one chef commented “there is more than one way to cook a potato”.  Our Executive Chef, Colin Johnson, was proud that his team embraced this new challenge and noted it as a great team building exercise.

Here’s a couple of recipes our fabulous team created:


Although these new recipes are void of any animal-based products, they are intended for more than the vegan population here at Queen’s University. In fact, we could all benefit from including more plant-based foods into our lifestyle – hence “Meatless Mondays” at Leonard Hall! In addition to the environmental benefits, plant proteins are packed with fibre, protein and nutrients and are naturally low in saturated fat (the type of fat we want to limit). Basically, they are great for our health! When going meatless, be sure to incorporate a plant protein source. Protein is essential for our muscles and red blood cells.

This training came at just the right time with the Queen’s Vegan Pledge right around the corner! Currently, we offer a vegan and vegetarian dish everyday for lunch and dinner at each of our dining halls on campus. However, with this Forward Food training, our chefs will be able to shake things up a bit. Hospitality Services is supporting those taking the vegan pledge by increasing our signage on vegan friendly foods. Look for these symbols in retail and dining halls:

Also check out Hospitality Services webpage for an extensive list of vegan options already offered on campus:

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