Carmela Mayoralgo’s dream of opening her own restaurant is somewhat more tangible since she was selected to receive a culinary arts scholarship, the first of its kind from the Westland Foundation and Carbone restaurants.
"Ever since I was young I’ve seen my parents cook a lot, especially my dad," said Mayoralgo, whose father is a cook in a nursing home. "My passions grew from that."
The Red River College student said the bursary, worth $1,000, will cover the cost of supplies such as a knife kit, shoes, and uniform, and will help her pay off her outstanding student loan.
Mayoralgo, 19, has been taking cooking classes since Grade 8.
"I like how you get really creative from it," she said.
Although she couldn’t choose her favourite dish to prepare, Mayoralgo said what she appreciates about cooking is the freedom to experiment with cuisine from various cultures.
After graduation, she plans to pursue a red seal certification, and eventually open a restaurant, one that possibly focuses on her own culture: Filipino.
Mayoralgo will officially receive the scholarship on Wed., Nov. 6 at a public awards ceremony at Carbone on 680 St. Anne’s Rd., one of the restaurant’s three locations in Winnipeg.
It’s the first time Carbone has partnered with the Westland Foundation to provide funding to culinary arts students. The business has committed to providing $9,000 over three years for this particular scholarship.
"We always look for unique opportunities to give back to the community," said Benjamin Nasberg, Carbone’s chief executive officer. "This one hits home just due to the fact that we’re in the restaurant business."
Nasberg said he believes culinary arts education should be available to anyone who has a passion for it, one of the reasons why Carbone is contributing to the scholarship fund.
The Westland Foundation was founded in 1993 by John Prystanski, a lawyer and former city councillor for Point Douglas. The non-profit provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to inner-Winnipeg youth.
Since 2009, Westland has awarded upwards of 1,000 scholarships worth more than $553,500. For the 2019-2020 school year, the foundation expects to award over 240 scholarships, totalling at least $92,000.
Community Journalist - The Times
Sydney Hildebrandt is the community journalist for The Times. Email her at email@example.com