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Adaptive Cooking Province of Ontario
Who We Are  
Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan

Brenda has had an interest in food and nutrition from an early age. Although her working path traveled in a different direction, she never forgot her first love of food. After struggling with a lifelong illness, Brenda’s disability led her to retire early and she became an active community volunteer.

Over the last 20 years she has become more aware of the poor eating habits and lack of knowledge many of her friends and colleagues had with food. In her typical unrelenting drive she approached potential funders to create the first “Adaptive Cooking Class for persons with disabilities” in London Ontario.

Brenda used her marketing and sales experience to actively promote interest and support from the business and professional communities to contribute to the program. Fortunately, they didn’t let her down! Business entrepreneurs, skilled professionals and caring community members have stepped up in this wonderfully exciting new opportunity to share their skills, time, and caring for people dealing with disabilities.

Brenda feels “no one should be excluded from participating in the able-bodied world because we all have a challenge to overcome of some type.”  
No one has left our program feeling inadequate in the kitchen and our dream is to share the same success with any one interested in participating.

Nick Gucanin

He was born in Croatia and raised in Germany. In 1983, after receiving his credentials as an Executive Chef in Germany, he started a whirlwind ride of experiences and opportunities in his career providing nutrition and glorious meals to everyone from common fold to royalty.

Nick traveled as the Executive Chef of the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner as she sailed extensively serving many famous celebrities, politicians and several national leaders. Nick’s meals have even been enjoyed by kings and queens over the years.

In 1991 he immigrated to Alberta, Canada as the Executive Chef of the Fairmont Hotel in Banff, then later the Fairmont Hotel in Calgary. Then in 2000, he moved east to London, Ontario to accept the position of Executive Chef at the Lamplighter Inn Best Western where today he still produces the high quality dishes he is known for. Since arriving in London, he also taught Culinary Arts for the students hoping to acquire their Culinary qualifications at Fanshawe College.

Kim McCarvell

Joyce Bennett

Joyce Bennett is a Trustee with the Thames Valley District School board. She was first elected to the Board in November 1988. Elected as Chair of the Thames Valley District School Board in 2002, and re-elected as Chair in 2003 and again in 2012 and 2013. Joyce serves on several Board Committees, including the Special Education Advisory Committee, the Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils Committee, the Chairs' Committee, the Policy Working Committee, Mental Health and Wellness, Equity and Inclusive Education, and the Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee.

Within the community, Joyce has had extensive involvement with numerous groups and committees over the years, including Craigwood Youth Services, London Parent Safety Patrol, Traffic Safety Education on the City of London Safety and Crime Prevention Committee, the Adaptive Cooking Program, and the Community Safety Councils of Ontario.

Joyce is the recipient of the Dr. Harry Paiken Award of Merit from the Ontario Public School Board's Association. She is also a life member of the Thames Valley Council of Home and School Associations.

In June 2010 Joyce was selected as the recipient of the Steve Cordes Community Star Award recognizing her "exceptional long-term commitment to youth in London and area."

Jason Miller

Chef Jason Miller was born in London Ontario, and has spent the last 22 years working in his home town. Chef Miller is currently the Executive Chef at Digital Extremes Video Gaming studio located in the Downtown core, where he leads a kitchen team in the preparation of unique and healthy lunches for the 260 staff on a daily basis. Chef Miller has been working with Digital Extremes since 2013.

Prior to working at Digital Extremes, Chef Miller held the position of Executive Sous Chef at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn from 2009-2013. It was here that Chef Miller first became involved in volunteer work with the Adaptive Cooking Program back in 2011. Chef Miller has recently come back to help with the Adaptive Cooking program by assisting in designing and delivering the cooking classes.

Chef Miller has experience working in many different style operations, from high end golf courses, to fine dining restaurants, and large banqueting operations. He has experience working with multi-ethnic cuisine, vegan, and vegetarian menus.

With the support of the following businesses/organizations Lamplighter Inn Club House Foods

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