Selkirk College, Attn: Merri Schwartz
820 Tenth Street, Nelson BC, V1L 3C7, Canada
Born in Galena Bay, Merri Schwartz credits her childhood with awakening her interest in baking. Raised by back-to the land hippies, she didn’t buy her first bag of refined sugar until the age of 19, but learned, in a kitchen filled with carob, honey, and whole wheat flour, that everything could, and should, be homemade.
A whirlwind pastry career later, Merri has been lucky enough to serve as pastry chef at some of BC’s best establishments, including Marzano, Baldface, East Van Roasters, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, The Granville Island Hotel, and Cocoa West Organic Chocolatier, as well as training at the Valrhona Chocolate Institute, outside of Lyon, France. Merri was named 2012’s Emerging Culinary Artist at the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards.
The same passion for food and agriculture led Merri to found Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture in 2005. This Vancouver-based charitable organization pairs chef volunteers with elementary school classrooms, where the chefs help the students plant, grow and cook their own vegetables. For more information about Growing Chefs! visit growingchefs.ca.