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A man of many talents, Larry Bergeron continues to help and inspire others

 

In this issue, I would like to introduce you to my good friend Larry Bergeron, a man I am honoured to know and whose career has long inspired me.

Born and raised in Shawinigan, Quebec, Larry credits his father, an accomplished French chef, with instilling a love of food in his son. Larry, however, didn’t take the traditional culinary path, instead he joined the military as a cook. He travelled the world and cooked for and served many VIPs. It was during this time that Larry found himself in Halifax, NS where he met his own VIP—his future wife, Shirley. They have now been married 44 years. Larry says his wife likes to tell him he is a “Maritime Wannabe” and had to marry one (just like his Dad did many years earlier) to become one.

After 25 years, Larry retired from the military in 1999, and started working for the Nova Scotia Community College (Akerley Campus, Dartmouth) the same week. Larry created a new program within the NSCC, teaching Boulanger and Baking Arts. At the time it was the only program of its kind in Canada; drawing on the inspiration that he received from his father and his passion for boulanger, (breadmaking) which Larry says was based on the international interpretations of the craft, and his world travels. It led him to study breads that represented culture, religion and flavours of the world. Larry was held in tremendous regard in the culinary community for the innovative, amazing program that he created.

Larry speaks fondly of his time in the military, despite the fact that his family moved 11 times in 25 years; he says they met many wonderful people and had many memorable experiences. A particular highlight was living in Germany for five years. He’s been a guest writer for the Daily News, co-host of Live at Five’s “Let’s Get Cooking” for 10 years, in association with NSCC as their guest chef, cooked for the Queen Mother and two Governors General of Canada, and for the late Honourable Robert Stanfield during an official visit to the Middle East. He was also a flight steward for VIPs in the Canadian Armed Forces. He taught in Vietnam and the West Indies. And last, but not least, Larry is very proud to have received the Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia National Award of Excellence (2006) for teaching students with learning disabilities in the Boulanger program.

Larry retired from the NSCC January 1, 2018 and as you have already likely deduced, he is not one for simply sitting around; he now has time to focus on a few of his other passions from his home in Mahone Bay. He plays classical guitar and paints, a hobby he started while away on commissions. Initially he did sketches, then landscapes in watercolours; he migrated to painting wildlife in oil and now expresses his love of horses through his art.

One of Larry’s most impressive roles is as Vice President of Veterans UN-NATO (Military) an organization that works with veterans who suffer with PTSD.

Larry and his wife own and operate a small equestrian barn, which they use to assist members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces through relationship-building with horses. They have two horses, both 22 years old: Tino (Sergeant Major) is a Clydesdale, and Max (Captain) is a Quarter horse. Tino coincidentally, has a history of working with women and children subjected to abuse, which made him the perfect horse for his present role.

Larry still bakes and cooks but only for family, friends and his own entertainment… only. “No more big buffets for me!” he says.

Naan Flat Bread

Larry's BBQ Lamb Kebobs (Shashlik)

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