Skip to main content

Our Northern Lights: Trudy Garbitt

On , In College News

Our Northern Lights is an initiative that illuminates our people, their stories, and celebrates their achievements. We hope that their journey will inspire others to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world.

Trudy Garbitt, an alum of the Professional Cook Training program at NLC has recently earned her Red Seal Cook designation. She was teaching preschool when her boss suggested she apply for the program.

“I started out as a waitress and then I started cooking in the kitchen because I was curious; I wanted to be in there. I ended up being a cook for a couple of the restaurants in town, and then I came out here [to Saulteau First Nations] and I became a preschool teacher for nine years. Plus, I was cooking for the kids, their lunch and snacks. Then my boss at the time – she knew I really loved cooking – said they have the cooking class, I was like. ‘Wow. Really?’ So I started the class.”

She has since completed Professional Cook Levels 1 and 2 at NLC and works as a caterer for Saulteau First Nations where she makes the meals for events and private gatherings.

Cooking isn’t new to Trudy. She has been cooking since she was small, spending time in the kitchen with her grandma, her aunties, and her dad. Now a grandmother herself, she still had plenty to learn in the program, like how to incorporate wine, liquors, and seasonings to upgrade meats like chicken. Trudy also knows the importance of food and nutrition and wanted to take her education a step further.

“I also took my health and nutrition through Thompson Rivers University, and I would like to incorporate that with my cooking. I want to give people my knowledge that I’ve learned about food… I wanted to find more out about food and what it does to your body. It plays a broad role in your health.”

I wanted to find more out about food and what it does to your body. It plays a broad role in your health.

Trudy incorporates food from her own garden as well as farmer’s markeproduce when available. She’s also an avid hunter and is working on getting a moose for Pemmican Days coming up on July 11. Trudy was chosen as the cook for the feast on registration day and has been asked to prepare enough for about 400 people. She’s planning on making some moose roasts and stew, as well as some pork dishes.

When she’s not cooking, parenting, or hunting, Trudy is an artist in her own right. She has a book full of sketches and art and continues to sketch and paint in her free time.

To learn more about Trudy, see below.

Why did you choose your program?

I love to cook for people and also have a passion for food. I have always wanted to take this course and finally made the decision to become a certified chef so I could buy myself a food truck.

What was the best part of your program?

The best part of the program would have to be learning new and innovative ways on how to cook so much food in so many ways and techniques.

What was your favourite space to study?

I loved to study in the Gathering Space and in my dorm room.

What would you tell another student if they were thinking of taking the Professional Cooking program?

I would tell them that the program is very enjoyable, and the Chefs are very helpful in helping you obtain your training while making it memorable.

What are you doing now?

Enjoying being at home, working out and preparing for a big catering gig for my community before I go on my trip across Canada to Newfoundland. When I return I will be catering and I plan to enjoy being with my spouse, kids and two grandsons for the rest of the summer.