Nfld. & Labrador

New Canadians launching food truck with worldwide flair in St. John's

The association for newcomers to the province has unveiled its latest endeavour: the Global Eats food truck filled with staff from all over the world.

12 newcomers learn kitchen skills at Academy Canada to staff the truck

An international team will serve up worldwide cuisine in the Global Eats food truck. (CBC)

The Association for New Canadians' latest endeavour in St. John's has roots all over the world: Global Eats, a food truck filled with staff from around the globe.

"We're always looking for new ideas for training purposes," said Global Eats co-ordinator Gerard Neil.

"We are trying to incorporate people into the society, not just drop them here and then they scramble."

Mohammed Alfarah, left, and Wbalem Birhanee are two of the new cooks. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Twelve students were selected to take part in the program, which sees them spend 14 weeks in an Academy Canada kitchen.

As English is a second language to all of the cooks, they received training in food service as well as kitchen lingo.

"In the beginning it was very hard because we don't all speak enough English," said Wbalem Birhanee, an immigrant from Ethiopia who's been in St. John's for nearly two years. 

"Now it's very good."

12 staff trained this year, 12 more planned for next summer

The association had the trailer truck brought in from Ontario, and on Wednesday they wanted to show it off at an open house at the English as a Second Language school. 

"It's an exceptional idea but it's way outside of the comfort zone of the ANC," said Neil. "It's been a real challenge getting it here but I think we are going to have success with it."

On Wednesday, the Global Eats truck had a few samples of the food they will be serving this summer. (CBC)

It's a challenge that has been embraced by cook Mohammed Alfarah from Syria. He's been living in St. John's for nearly four years and currently works in a bakery. 

"I was studying in the program at Academy Canada for almost three months," he said with a smile. 

"Now, it opens next week."

Gerard Neil heads up the program, which will help transition new Canadians into a new line of work. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Global Eats will offer a diverse staff and menu as the dozen trainees earn valuable skills to help them get work in the food service industry. 

"The people that we are helping are coming for backgrounds that are far worse and different than we've ever understood," Neil said.

"They are always smiling, always willing to work. They want to try and build a new life and they are exceptional people to be around."

While the locations aren't determined at this time, the mobile food truck will spend its summer throughout the greater St. John's area.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador