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Volunteer Week – Miss Greater Vancouver 2015!

April 15, 2016

National Volunteer Week is coming to a close but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our volunteers each and every day of the year. We are happy to say that Growing Chefs! will be sharing regular volunteer profile blogs! It’s wonderful to get to know more about who they are beyond the classroom and share their inspiring reasons for being part of our family of volunteers.

For our final blog of NVW, we spoke with Growing Chefs! classroom volunteer and Miss Greater Vancouver 2015, Chiantelle Rey!


Photo Courtesy of Alanna Milaney Photography

Hello! My name is Chiantelle Rey, 23 years old and I have a passion for health and wellness. In July of 2015, I received the regional title of Miss Greater Vancouver 2015 at the Miss BC Pageant. Throughout my reign, I have been emphasizing the importance of holistic nutrition and self-care, as well as supporting local and national organizations, businesses and people that value health, wellness, eco-sustainability and community. I completed a B.A. in Psychology (and a background in the natural and applied sciences) and am currently working on my second diploma to become a registered/certified holistic nutritionist. I hope to further my studies with a Masters in Occupational Therapy.

Why did you decide to get involved with Growing Chefs?

Growing Chefs! has an amazing vision to create a world with healthy, sustainable food practices by educating children, families, and communities members about healthy eating and healthy food systems through workshops, programs and seminars. In everything that they do, whether it be the volunteer training to the classroom, it’s evident that the Growing Chefs! team embodies and puts into action their core values of sustainability, positive change, local focus, collaboration, better health, respect and inclusion, and trust. I genuinely don’t know how you can say no to that!

Why do you think a program like Growing Chefs! is important?

I believe that a program like Growing Chefs! is important because it gets children excited to growing, cooking, and eating good, healthy food, and exposing their palette to a variety of different vegetables. It provides a good foundation for them that they are able to utilize and pass on to the next generation. With our earth constantly changing, each lesson in this program empowers children to grow their own garden at home indoors whether or not they have one in their backyard.

What is your favourite vegetable?

This is a tough question… I would have to say for top 5 (in no specific order): beets, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, sweet potatoes/yams.

Chiantelle Rey - salad pictureWhat is your favourite meal to cook at home?

With spring already here, I have been absolutely loving and craving salads. It’s quick, easy, and anything, really, can be put into a salad. The mix I’ve been currently enjoying include: a spring mix of baby spinach, baby red and green romaine, butter lettuce, red and green chard, arugula, radicchio, homemade candied walnuts and pecans, alfalfa sprouts, cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, cucumbers, avocado, and hemp hearts with a chili lime balsamic reduction. It pairs really well with baked salmon or seared shrimp.

What is your earliest food memory?

Food brings people together. I believe the earliest food memory that I had was when my family and I moved to Canada and we’d sit around the table just sharing a meal and stories with one another. As to what meal it was, it was most likely rice with a popular Filipino dish.

If you garden at home please tell us a little about your garden.

After the first lesson of Growing Chefs! it inspired my family and I to create a garden in our backyard again. I’ll keep you all updated on how that goes! If children can do it in their classrooms, we can too! 🙂

Growing Chefs! is an amazing program not just for the children, but for everyone. Whether or not you have experience in growing your own garden, there’s always something new to learn. I am so excited for this year and for the years to come!

Chiantelle Rey - seeds

We want to thank Chiantelle for taking the time to tell us more about herself and her experience volunteering with us. We love that we have inspired her as she inspires the children in her classroom. Chiantelle is another great example that it’s not only trained chefs that join us, you just have to have a passion for food and a healthy community and be open to sharing that with children – they are our future and who is most worth investing in.

To learn more about how you can volunteer with Growing Chefs! please visit our website and get in touch!

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