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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 travelled in a different direction, she never forgot her first love of food. After struggling with a life long 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 with 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 German 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 travelled as the Executive Chef of the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner as she sailed extensively serving many famous celebrities, politicians and serveral nation leaders. Nick’s meals have even been enjoyed by kings and queens ove 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 Lamplilghter Inn, Best Western where today he stil producing the high quality dishes he is know for. Since arriving in London he also taught Culinary Arts for the students hoping to acquire their Culinary qualifacations at Fanshawe College.

Kim McCarvell

Kim McCarvell

Kim was introduced to the Adaptive Cooking Class a few years ago, and has enthusiastically worked alongside Chef Nick and Chef Mike to prepare and present weekly healthy and versatile recipes to an eager group of cooking class participants.

Kim has been creating fine gourmet sweet and savoury creations since 1990, and continually challenges herself to produce fine "edible masterpieces". She was trained in cooking techniques from the young age of 4 years old by her meticulous and detailed Italian Grandmother, as well as through international training in Canada and in Europe.

With an educational background in Visual Arts, creativity, fine detail and impeccable presentation come naturally to Kim. She likes to command the senses with the blending of intricate flavours and textures that rival the extraordinary presentation of her culinary art.

When she isn’t busy with the activities of her four children and family life, Kim enjoys private dinner catering and special culinary events where she can take her time to really treat her guests to something extraordinary.

Mike Thorogood

Mike has been formally trained in the restaurant business since 1989, at the age of 15. It was a typical story of washing dishes and cutting lettuce for a greasy spoon, and then soon found that he had a love for the culinary arts.

Upon graduating college, he had worked and gained even more experience working at some local restaurants for about four years. After that, he began a long tenure as Chef at Forest City National Golf Club for about eleven years.

He began working at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn in December of 2013 as the Executive Sous Chef, and was soon after introduced to the Adaptive Cooking Class. Mike said that he "was thrilled and honoured to be a part of this amazing and meaningful program. Not only has it expanded my role in the community, but it also gives many of the great people I have met an unbelievable experience, as well as expanding their knowledge of cooking and nutrition. It has had a lasting effect on them, and on those around them."

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

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