Chefs’ Table Society sets up a Harry McWatters Scholarship Fund

Wine industry icon Harry McWatters.

The B.C.'s Chefs’ Table Society has created a new scholarship fund to honour the memory of Harry McWatters, the wine industry legend who passed away last summer.

The new scholarship will benefit students enrolled in a Wine or Tourism program at Okanagan College who want to pursue their wine studies overseas. The Chefs’ Table Society has agreed to provide the Okanagan College Foundation with an initial contribution of $2,000 per annum.

“Harry’s mentorship is rightly legendary,” says Jonathan Rouse, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business; and Director of Food, Wine and Tourism at Okanagan College said, in a press release.

“He always had his eye on emerging talent in the business, and vigorously mentored young people, through his roles as founder of the BC Wine Institute and his many ongoing industry affiliations.”

Rouse recalled an overseas trip that McWatters helped arrange and noted that years ago he and McWatters discussed the importance for students to experience different regions of the world with rich histories of food and wine.

"Harry arranged for me to visit Italy’s Castello Banfi, and of course, at the highest level,” he said.

Robert Belcham, president of Chefs’ Table said the fund is a call to action.

"We invite industry associations, wineries and private individuals to enhance our gift by donating online or contacting the Okanagan College Foundation and pledging their support,” Belcham said.

Harry with his children Darrien (L) and Christa Lee McWatters at their TIME Winery in Penticton..
Harry with his children Darrien (L) and Christa Lee McWatters at their TIME Winery in Penticton..

In a statement, Lisa Lalonde, Harry’s wife for many years, together with Harry’s children, Christa-Lee and Darrien McWatters said they are very grateful, and honoured, that the Chefs’ Table Society and Okanagan College have joined in this positive partnership to honour Harry and salute his legacy. 

To donate to the Harry McWatters Scholarship Fund, visit Okanagan.bc.ca/mcwatters or contact Anne Kirkpatrick at the Okanagan College Foundation 250-492-4305 ext. 3254 or akirkpatrick@okanagan.bc.ca.

The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia (CTS) is a province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals. CTS supports innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture our chefs, our producers and our local food industry. CTS promotes standards of excellence with the aim of enhancing the reputation of our regional cuisine. CTS will be presenting Cooks Camp — a convivium of the country’s top chefs and culinary speakers next September in Pemberton, B.C.


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