Transitioning to a fresh career: How Prince Francis found his place in the kitchen

Category: Student Profiles

Growing up, Prince Francis would often find himself replicating the delicious Caribbean dishes his mother prepared. So, it was no surprise when he found himself switching from an education in HVAC to one that included cuisine.

Prince, a Durham College (DC) Culinary Management student is also one of the 2023 DoorDash #Blackfoodenergy culinary scholarship recipients, an opportunity exclusively available at DC.

We caught up with Prince to ask him about his experience at DC and what life is like after receiving the $20,000 scholarship.

What inspired you to apply to the Culinary Management program at Durham College?

My mother instilled a love for cooking in me and when she saw I was at a crossroads, really deciding what I want to do with my life, she told me everything she had heard about the Culinary Management program at DC and I haven’t looked back.

What does it mean to you to have been awarded the DoorDash #Blackfoodenergy scholarship?

It means a lot to me. Not having to worry about student debt is one major part, but also the experiences and connections so far because of the scholarship have really made this culinary journey way more fun than I imagined. It also means a lot to me that DC employees saw my potential and I really appreciate how much they support me and involve me in as much as possible.

What’s your favourite part of your program?

I like the environment of my program. There’s an understanding that we are all here to learn and get better. The chefs are constantly giving tips and tricks as well as offering opportunities for extra curriculars. The environment helps me de-stress and find comfort.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about taking Culinary Management at DC?

That there are plenty of opportunities here, people who care about your success, and people who make you feel seen (not just someone lost in the sea of students). I would also mention the accomplished chefs who that we have as professors and the students who have gone on to see success.

What do you like best about DC?

Honestly, I like the people at DC, from my classmates to the faculty and chefs. Everyone I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with has been really nice and supportive. Everyone wants you to be your best, and in an environment like that I feel like it’s impossible to fail. It really allows me to be comfortable, and you can ask anyone in my classes, I’m always smiling and laughing.

If you could summarize your experience so far in one word – what would it be?

I would say it’s interesting. I’m never bored and there’s something that piques my curiosity every class. The fact that sometimes we change the recipe on the spot, figuring out the most efficient way to do things, hearing the different opinions of the chefs, the skills and thought processes that they are teaching are things that will help us even beyond the culinary realm.

What are you looking forward to doing while studying at DC?

The two things I am most looking forward to in my program besides the cooking are my placement and all the future culinary theory classes. I’m really excited for my placement because it will give me a chance to see how a catering business is run and will introduce me to new flavours. I’m also very excited for my culinary theory classes because I find it really interesting and cool to hear the science and reasoning behind cooking as well as the experiences and opinions of seasoned chefs.

What is your dream career?

My dream career is to own and run my own catering business that serves elevated Caribbean dishes based on my mother’s recipes that I grew up on and serve a unique dessert each month. I’d also really like to curate a social media account where I can show some simple inexpensive recipes, talk about my life and what cooking did for me, and of course promote my business.


Discover DC’s field-to-fork philosophy and find your perfect program inside the Faculty of Hospitality and Horticultural Science.