Volume – Cooking for a Community is a cookbook that celebrates the beloved recipes and community atmosphere that have profoundly shaped the experience at Pioneer Camp Manitoba.
On Sharon Steward’s family’s grain farm in southern Manitoba, cooking and baking from scratch was an essential part of everyday life. The Culinary Arts program at Red River College was a natural first step. During her college program, she worked under Chef Takashi Murakami at the St. Charles Country Club and Chef Tim Appleton at the University of Manitoba’s University Club. After attaining her Cook’s Red Seal, Sharon earned a sommelier diploma through the International Sommelier Guild, under the guidance of sommeliers Gary Hewitt and Patrick Oakes. Sharon stepped away from the “back of house” for a few years to work in “front of house” management at Catch Restaurant in Calgary, including training other businesses to build beverage programs paired with food menus. She also spent a few years as a sales associate for a leading Italian wine importer.
Sharon returned to professional cooking in 2012 as head chef at InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Manitoba, a seasonal outdoor camp on an island in Shoal Lake. At Pioneer, she leads a team of young people and many volunteers in a kitchen that doubles as a classroom, preparing delicious food for up to 200 people daily. In camp’s off-season, Sharon works on other camp projects and occasionally teaches culinary and baking classes in the Continuing Education Department at Red River College. Many of her classes focus on empowering home cooks to feel comfortable in their own kitchens, use knives safely and well, and understand that practice can make perfect, even for those who have never made a pie successfully before!
With the release of her first cookbook, Sharon celebrates a very full and well-rounded career in foodservice. She lives in rural Manitoba with her husband Neil and three boys, Nikolai, Zachary and Samuel.