Spotlight on: Howard Selig, PDt
General Manager, Valley Flaxflour Ltd.
Howard Selig, Chef, Registered Dietitian, Certified Foodservice Manager and Co-owner of Valley Flaxflour Ltd, was recently inducted into the Canadian Culinary Federation Honour Society at their annual Induction Dinner at the Chateau Montebello in Quebec. One of six Nova Scotian Chefs to be inducted into this prestigious society since it was established in 2010, Chef Selig was recognized for his foresight, dedication and contributions made to the Federation and lifetime passion and service to the culinary profession.
Chef Selig received his Inter-provincial Red Seal as a Journeyman Cook in 1984 and was immediately accepted into the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks, now the Canadian Culinary Federation. Since beginning his career in cooking, Chef Selig has volunteered hundreds of hours to the profession as a member of the Nova Scotia Association of Chefs and Cooks, the Canadian Federation and through a variety of community based initiatives, including the school enrichment program, Town of Middleton Breakfast series, community cooking programs, and the Middleton & District Lions Club events.
In 1990, Chef Selig left professional cooking to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. He graduated from Acadia University with his BSc Nutrition with Honours in 1995, completed his Dietetic Internship at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (QEII) in 1996 and became a Registered Dietitian. In 1998, Selig, with his wife Wendy Rodda, established Valley Flaxflour Ltd, a company committed to the production of nutritious ‘food with benefits’. Chef Selig applies both his cooking skills and professional nutrition knowledge to the development of gluten free ingredients which are nutritious, versatile, easy to prepare and delicious.
Chef Selig believes that selecting a variety of nutritious foods, understanding basic food preparation techniques and following safe food handling practices are essential to the enjoyment of the foods we provide to help ourselves and others live a healthy, active life.
What first sparked your interest in nutrition?
I grew up on a small farm milking a cow, collecting eggs, eating vegetables fresh from the garden. Later on, as a chef working in Nova Scotia restaurants, I enjoyed cooking delicious, fresh wholesome foods. When I changed career, I was naturally drawn to nutrition. Living a healthy lifestyle, including outdoor activity and good food, has always been important to me.
Is your current position something you’ve always imagined yourself doing, or far from it?
While I have always had an entrepreneurial inclination, promoting the amazing benefits of flax and owning a mill was never in my work-to-retirement plan. Twenty years in I am still amazed by the journey that took me from a small study at the first care home I worked in to my position as owner/General Manager of Valley Flaxflour.
What is the best adventure you’ve been on?
Life is the best adventure of all. Every day is a new wonder. I am certainly privileged to be here.
What is your favourite food?
My favourite foods are the ones that provide the nourishment I need to help keep my brain, body and spirit healthy and active. I love mackerel, salmon, fresh fruit and vegetables, wild rice, dark beer and bourbon.