Malcolm Jolley reports on a culinary effort to support youth mental health…

Here’s a story about friendship when COVID-19 has made seeing friends a challenge, and a story about mental health when COVID-19 is straining all of ours. My friend Braden Bennett at Langdon Hall reached out to me to tell me about a unique event organized by five friends who happen to be some of the region’s top chefs in support of a mental health fundraising initiative dear to the heart of their other good friend, the Cheese Boutique’s Afrim Pristine, Canada’s only ‘Cheese Master’. The chefs are Langdon Hall’s Jason Bangerter, Victor Barry (Piano, Piano), Craig Harding (La Palma), Jonathan Goodyear (Magna) and Cory Vitiello (Flock). Their plan is to celebrate Pristine’s birthday by cooking a dinner together at someone’s home, with all the proceeds going to the mental health centre at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Here’s how Bangerter described it:

We want to honour a special guy on his special day! A bunch of us got together and decided to throw an epic Private Dining event which we will auction off in support of a cause very near and dear to Afrim’s heart, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and mental health care. Your support will help build a Transitional Aged Youth Unit for at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who need specialized care for mental illness.

The chef friends are selling the event via a charity auction that began on Sunday, July 26th, and ends on August 4th. The opening bid was $10,000.

To see the bids or make one visit

To make a donation to the St. Joseph’s youth mental health initiative visit