Monday, September 27, 2010

Quest Volunteer Spotlight - Steven

In 1994, Steven arrived in BC. His cross country journey started in Sarnia, Ontario, a thriving community of 150 thousand. He came to BC to work in the Cruise Ship industry, but when it came time to set sail he had already committed to work in the city. With a career in food services, some of his past positions include International Trainer for The Rainforest Café and line cook for The Keg, as well as five star resorts in Jasper and Banff.

When asked about the differences between home and the Lower Mainland, Steven said that he had never seen street life like we have here. Working downtown has been “a really big eye opener.” He describes some of the hardest and grittiest parts of what the Downtown East Side has to offer.

As a Cordon Blue School graduate and a Red Seal Chef, Steven has attained one of the highest honors achievable in the cooking industry. Why does he choose to volunteer at Quest? Steven has osteoporosis in his back and cannot put in the physically intense 12 hour shifts that are required as a Chef. Steven heard about Quest via word of mouth.

Steven inquired about a volunteer position, started volunteering right away, and has been a solid member of this organization for over a year. Steven likes to help out people who are in most need. “Everyone thinks that people in the DTES are ungrateful, but they’re not.”

At the Hastings location he has taken on a leadership role, organizing and directing other volunteers. He volunteers his time five days a week. Steven’s past career has helped with Quest’s efforts to rescue food. “As a chef, nothing gets thrown away in my kitchen. It’s all useable.” His focus is on using what is on hand. If a fresh item is getting past its prime, there are ways to use it still. “People can make so much from so little.”

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