Q Where is Le Chef à L’école® located?
A We are based in Fergus and have Consultants located in Port Perry, Brantford and Trenton Ontario.
Q Is Le Chef à L’école a cooking program or a French program?
A Le Chef á L’école is a French program.  We use cooking as the hands-on activity to provide your students an opportunity to use French in a fun and practical way.  Each session includes the interactive preparation of a kid-friendly French recipe followed by a short story-board presentation on French Canadian culture. The session then wraps up with the students socializing while they enjoy their creations and listen to Acadian music.
Q How far will you travel to a school?
A We will travel up 45 minutes each way and have a minimum booking of 3 or 4 sessions in the same room on the same day. Travel to locations beyond 45 minutes travel is generally possible but depending on your location we may need to coordinate these bookings with other schools in the same area. If you can book at least 2 consecutive days it will provide more flexibility with dates.  A daily travel surcharge will apply to help cover the additional travel and accommodation costs to out-of-area schools or where travel on toll roads or through heavy traffic areas is required.
Q Do you only present to certain age groups or skill levels?
A We do sessions from Grade 1 through High School and have worked in both the Public and Catholic boards as well as in Private and Christian schools. Our presentations are adjusted to the skill levels of the audience. For the younger kids we substitute an age-appropriate activity in place of the Storyboard Presentation.
Q Why do multiple sessions need to be in the same room?  Why does it have to be on the main floor if we don’t have an elevator?
A We bring a LOT of equipment on two dollies so can’t negotiate stairs or curbs.  Packing/unpacking and setup between multiple sessions is usually not possible.  In cases where time does permit moving, a surcharge may apply for a second setup on the same day.
Q Why is there a limit of 30 students per session?  I have 35 in one of my classes can they all fit in one session?
A The 30 students per-session is a practical limit based on the recipe yield, pan sizes, oven capacity, sets of available tools, number of aprons, sets of instructions, breakdown of task assignments etc. Depending on the recipe we choose it may be possible to go over 30 by 1 or 2 but no single session should exceed 32 or 33 maximum.  For smaller groups you can combine classes provided the combined group does not exceed the session maximum.
Q What is your cancellation policy?
A We require a minimum notice of 6 weeks for cancellations to allow time to schedule another school on the date we reserved for you. Please check your dates & funding carefully before booking as cancellations can result in a lost day’s pay for one of our Chefs and can leave a school on our wait-list with insufficient time to organize their event on your date.
Q Are volunteers and permissions necessary?
A Volunteers are essential to the success of your sessions. Volunteers can be parents, other teachers, or EA’s. A draft Permission and Parent Volunteer Request Letter is included for you in the Booking Information Package we send you 4 to 6 weeks before your date. Generally permissions are not required for High School students but a least one volunteer (in addition to the teacher) is needed to do the baking while we are presenting the story.
Q Is this a cooking program and do the students prepare a full meal?
A Le Chef à L’école is a French program, not a cooking program. Cooking is the activity we use for students to utilize French in a fun and practical way. We carefully design each of our recipes to keep all the students involved and to be able to complete them in the time available. We also select ingredients that minimize the problems with food allergies and dietary restrictions so we cannot use any nuts, meat, meat by-products, fish etc. For these reasons, all of our recipes are French pastries; they’re simple, fun to do and use ingredients for which there are viable substitutes for allergy or religious dietary restrictions.
Q How do the sessions work?
A Each session includes the interactive preparation of a kid-friendly French recipe followed by a short story-board presentation on French Canadian culture. The session then wraps up with the students socializing while they enjoy their creations and listen to Acadian music.
Q Does the school need to have an oven available?
A Ideally one of the parent volunteers will take the recipes to the school oven for baking while we do the storyboard presentation. We do carry a portable oven that can be used in the classroom if needed.
Q We have a strict food allergy policy in our school or – I have a student with food allergies or – I have a student who is vegetarian: Do any of your recipes contain nuts, meat, dairy etc. ?
A All of the ingredients we use are fresh and none of them come from a bulk food store. There are no nuts in any of our recipes. In one of our recipes we use whipped cream and jam which is added optionally at serving time so can be avoided where that is of concern. There is no meat or meat by-products in any of our recipes but some contain eggs and butter. For students that need gluten free, we can substitute flour they bring from home. Please email us for current detailed information.
Q Do the students need to be familiar with the AIM gestures?
A No, only Chef Suzanne Warner uses gestures and only when requested.
Q How long is each session?
A Our sessions are 85 – 90 minutes each but can be done in as little as 75 minutes for High School students. It is possible to do a session in less than 85 minutes but it may mean eliminating the wrap-up socializing session and the students would need to take their food to the next class to eat it there. We will arrive about 45 minutes before your first session and need the Chef room a minimum of 30 minutes early for unpacking/setup and 25 minutes after the last session for final cleanup/packing.
Q If sessions take 90 minutes with 30 minutes before and 25 minutes after for setup and cleanup, how can you do 4 sessions in one day?
A Setup is done before the first session and cleanup after all sessions and we can adjust our timing as needed to fit 2 sessions in a morning and another 2 in the afternoon to accommodate all your students. Since cleanup is part of the activity, no time is required between sessions. It is often necessary to include recess and part of lunch to fit 4 sessions in a day. Please be sure to allow a short bio/lunch break for the Chef (10-15 minutes) mid-day.
Q Why must I book a minimum of 3 sessions?
A Our fixed costs for booking, shopping, travel, packing/unpacking, setup/cleanup, laundry etc. is quite high so we require a minimum 3 sessions or more (depending on location) in the same room on the same day. Each session can accommodate a maximum of 30 people. All of your classes will want to be part of the fun so why not book a session for all your classes!
Q Do the prices you show on your web site include tax.
A No, HST is added to our prices but it is our understanding that school boards get a Public Sector Rebate of 93% of the Ontario component and 68% of the Federal component of their HST payments.
Q When is payment due?
A We will send your Invoice and full Information Package approximately 4-6 weeks ahead of your sessions. Payment in full is due on the date of your sessions.
Q What is your policy on videoing and photographing your sessions?
A All of our materials are copyrighted so cannot be photocopied.  Photographs of the sessions are permitted but please do not take detailed photographs of the materials or presentation boards.  Short video clips during the cooking portion are ok but Videoing of the storyboard presentations is not permitted.
Q Why is your web site only in English?
A My Webmaster (AKA my husband) is an anglophone.