Best of BC to Test Limits of Culinary Creativity

March 11, 2024
Best of BC Hospitality Class

Taking a bite out of the best British Columbia has to offer is at the core of a delectable evening at Selkirk College’s Tenth Street Campus in Nelson.

Showcasing the best province-wide ingredients through original dishes and outstanding service, students in the School of Hospitality & Tourism are presenting the Best of BC on March 22. The entire community is invited to take in an interactive local culinary experience that features an impressive list of food and beverage suppliers spanning the entire province. From Courtenay cheese and Creston wine to North Vancouver meat and Nelson beer, students will deliver bites and beverages that produce the wow-factor.

“Getting to bring our creativity out and show it on the plates is exciting for us,” says student chef Smit Pereira. “Guests will be blown away by both the look and taste of the food that we will have that night. It will be a real experience.”

A fantastic evening out, Best of BC replaces the annual spring tradition Top Chef Nelson where the community is able to pull back the curtain on the learning taking place with future leaders in the hospitality industry. Students putting together the event include those in the Postgraduate in Culinary Management Program, Postgraduate in Hospitality Management Program and the Professional Cook Training I Program.

The Best of BC will feature more than 20 food and beverage booths highlighting a myriad of top-notch farms, producers and suppliers. Guests will have the chance to wander the beautifully decorated room tasting bites, sipping beverages and enjoying the company of friends. 

“This helps students learn about the local products we have in British Columbia where sustainability is an important element of their practices,” says industry veteran chef and culinary program instructor Thomas Render. “When students graduate from these programs, they will be in leadership roles and having an event like this will prepare them with a better understanding.”

Serving Up Educational Excellence

Pereira grew up in the Indian coastal village of Vasai, just outside of Mumbai. The 24-year-old graduated from post-secondary with a degree in hospitality just when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early-2020. To make ends meet, he started a cloud kitchen with his brothers where they prepared food in a backyard kitchen and then delivered it to customers.

Best of BC Culinary Class
Selkirk College student Smit Pereira (holding poster) and his peers in the Postgraduate in Culinary Management Program are busy preparing eye-popping and mouth-watering dishes in the kitchen on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus. The results of their hard work will be part of the Best of BC culinary experience that takes place on March 22.

Pereira made the decision to pursue an international education while working as a continental chef in a café at Yash Raj Studios. Though he was enjoying preparing meals for Bollywood actors and crew, a desire to dig deeper into his culinary ambitions led him to Selkirk College. 

Arriving to Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus in April 2023, Pereira is a member of the two-year Postgraduate in Culinary Management Program cohort that has an abundance of experience from across the world. With a variety of learning experiences already under their chef hats, Pereria and his classmates are excited to show Best of BC guests their newfound skills and abilities.

“The studies here are excellent, we have the best instructors,” says Pereria, who has been working as a line cook at Nelson’s Cantina Del Centro since arriving. “Though I had some training in India, we didn’t go into the same level of detail in the kitchen. I am learning so much and getting to participate in this event will give me a deeper understanding of how to do it right.”

A Don’t-Miss Event

Career-ready education is the foundation of programs in the School of Hospitality & Tourism and events like Best of BC help students push their limits. With weeks of planning going into one special night, guests will be treated to a quality evening of food, drink and service. 

“There is a lot that goes into creating a dish,” says Render. “You need to collaborate with your peers on the idea, you need to organize the ingredients and then you have to execute on the night of the event. It’s a challenging environment, but these students are ready for it.”

There are two types of tickets available for Best of BC: $75 general admission that includes access to all food booths and non-alcoholic beverages; and $100 all-access that includes food and alcohol tasting options. Tickets can be purchased online and further information can be provided by emailing @email  

Learn more about the School of Hospitality & Tourism.

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 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.