Craig Youdale

Craig Youdale, Dean, Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Niagara College
Craig Youdale, Dean, Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Niagara College

Chef Craig hails from our Nation’s Capital, Ottawa, Ontario where he began his culinary journey. Upon completing his culinary school at Canadore College, in North Bay Ontario, his career path included The Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel and Claire De Lune Restaurant in Ottawa, then on to Executive Chef at the French Bistro, Tete a Tete, in Ottawa’s trendy West End.

A move to Calgary brought Executive status at one of Calgary’s top restaurants at the time, Entre Nous. As a leading influence in the Calgary’s food scene, Craig was recruited by a top culinary school in Canada, The Culinary Institute of Canada, where he ended up working for over 14 years as professor, program coordinator and wine consultant.

Craig’s time at Holland College and the Culinary Institute of Canada saw a role as a Professor for over 12 years, development of the wine training program, creation of the Applied Degree in Culinary Operations which he directed for two years and travelling across Canada to promote the culinary programs. He also managed to find time to complete his MBA from Guelph University in 2003 where he received the Dorothy Britton Award each of his two years for top academic achievement.

Chef Craig’s career has brought many awards and recognition which began as a student with a Gold Medal for the Blueberry Growers of Canada Recipe Contest in 1990 which led to national recognition as a teacher in a Gold Medal at the Canadian Chef Tournament in Quebec City. Leading many Atlantic Canada student culinary teams to Gold medals was to be recognized with a Premiers Award Nominee for Ontario College Graduates.

International experience has been a hallmark of Craig’s career with visits around the world promoting Canadian cuisine including Japan, Chile, Germany, France, Ireland, Scotland, USA and eventually China where he taught in the summer of 2007.

One of Craig’s crowning achievements has been his role as Team Manager for Culinary Youth Team Canada at three Olympics in 2004, 2008 and 2016. His leading of Canada’s national team has led to Olympic Gold medals in each year as well as World Grand Prix Championship in Glasgow, Scotland in 2007.

Craig left the college to pursue a dream of business as Corporate Chef for a multi-million dollar restaurant group in Prince Edward Island that saw him head up multiple restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes. The opportunity brought experience in a larger financial world including the expansion of a brewery in PEI.

Craig has now moved on to Niagara College where he resides as Dean of The Canadian Food and Wine Institute. This global leader in fermentation sciences and culinary innovation is leading Canada in training aspiring chefs, brewers, winemakers and food developers. The institute will be launching Canada’s first and only distilling school in the fall of 2017 and more development is on the horizon for the future under the leadership of Dean Youdale.

Back to Fall Lecture Series 2017