North Island College (NIC) has welcomed another chef to its ranks to help with their Campbell River-offered tuition-free prep cook program.
“We are excited to welcome Chef Avi Sternberg to our team of excellent culinary instructors at NIC,” says NIC’s Dean of Trades and Technical Programs Cheryl O’Connell. “His knowledge and expertise will be of great value to students.”
But success didn’t always come easily for Sternberg.
He was the first western student to enrol at Osaka’s Tsuji Ecole Culinaire (a branch of the elite TSUJI Culinary Institute focusing on specialty cuisine) under a cultural study visa.
In his third year at UBC, Sternberg stopped for a meal at a sushi restaurant and became transfixed by a chef who moved, as Sternberg describes it, with the grace of a ballerina. He knew he wanted to learn the craft of Japanese culinary arts.
“I had an epiphany,” Sternberg says.
The epiphany led him to apply to the TSUJI Culinary Institute, with help from his Japanese girlfriend (now his wife). He was accepted to the school, on the condition he meet Japanese language proficiency standards.
Sternberg trained in Japan for four and a half years after earning his diploma, including a stint as an apprentice at Wa Yamamura, a three-star Michelin Kaiseki (traditional multi-course) restaurant.
His resumé includes tours of culinary duty at various BC restaurants, setting up his own catering business, consulting, teaching and earning his (Interprovincial) Red Seal and Chef de Cuisine.
Now, Sternberg brings his passion for culinary arts to NIC, combining regional knowledge, cooking techniques and local ingredients with his passion for sushi, traditional Vietnamese dishes, Jewish deli food, Ethiopian and French cuisine and more.