Niagara College’s culinary dean receives top award

Craig Youdale, dean of the Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute, is recipient of the gold medal in education from the Ontario Hostelry Institute.

The OHI recognizes excellence in the food services and hospitality industry in Ontario.

Youdale, whose Niagara in a Glass column appears in this newspaper every other Monday, said he is honoured and excited to receive the award.

“It is a privilege to be honoured by my peers and be in the company of leaders in our culinary industry,” Youdale said in a media release.

Youdale, who has been working at the college for eight years, said his success is due to the support from the school. He said the college has supported his innovative ideas throughout the past eight years and continues to do so.

“It has allowed me to really expand what I’m doing,” Youdale said.

Youdale also credits his success to the people he works with. He said that group has grown over the years and there are some “highly unique” individuals working with him to develop a diverse and unique set of programs.

He said Niagara College has the only wine program in the college sector. Youdale has also developed the college’s brewery program as well as culinary innovation and food technology program.

Youdale said he is looking forward to the addition of the artisan distillery program, positioning Niagara College to boast the first learning environment for all three classes of alcohol production.