Long Lake #58 First Nation
Acting Camp Cook/Kitchen Helper
What do you do?
I’m a Kitchen Helper at Esker Camp which involves baking, making lunches, doing dishes and restocking, and keeping the kitchen clean. Our Head Cook, Norma, is away right now so I’m Acting Head Cook as well, which means I’m charge of all the meals and the grocery orders. I have a helper who does the Kitchen Helper duties, but next rotation I’ll have to do it all on my own! Trial by fire. But, this is proving to be good work experience.
What does your typical day look like?
I’m in the kitchen by 8:30am—8am if we have drillers at camp. I do the breakfast dishes and clean up, then start my baking and make lunch for the day.
Typically, I restock, go for my break at 3pm and I’m back in the kitchen by 5pm to make sandwiches for the field workers, do the dishes, clean up and stock anything that needs it. I’m done between 8 or 8:30pm, then I shower and relax until bedtime.
Right now, my days are a little different. As Acting Cook, I rise at 4:30am to start on breakfast. After cleaning up breakfast, I go to the 7:30am toolbox meeting, then back to the kitchen to prep for supper. My helper Tina is in by then doing the baking and prepping lunch. I usually have everything done by lunch, then I do any paperwork or computer work before I take a break and start supper. By the time I have everything in the steam tables, and people are rolling in, it’s quitting time for me. Tina stays to clean up. I shower and relax…then rinse and repeat!
You worked for Noront before, what made you decide to come back?
I feel comfortable at Esker. It’s a friendly and fun atmosphere, with lots of laughs! And, being in the kitchen is what I enjoy. I want to further my career as a chef and will take any work or education opportunity to do so. I’m thankful to Noront for giving me these opportunities and for recruiting me back so quickly.
What do you like best about your job?
I love watching people enjoy the food I prepare. Good food means happy campers and, in that sense, I am a direct source of good vibes! I also enjoy two weeks on and two weeks off. Two weeks at home is plenty of time to unwind, relax, and get ready for the next round.
Which RoFATA program did you do?
I started with Mining Readiness and we chose where we wanted to go from there. I picked the Remote Camp Cook course and the rest is history!
What is something you always bring to work with you?
I always bring my Bluetooth speaker. You have to have tunes going in the kitchen! If you’ve ever watched the Footloose scene with Kevin Bacon in the old factory, you have an idea of what goes on in the kitchen when I’m alone. But, thanks to boardwalks and steel-toe boots, no one’s caught me yet!
Do you like being Acting Camp Cook?
Yes, it’s a great opportunity to develop new skills and experience. I look forward to adding all the skills required to run a kitchen to my repertoire.