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Judith Aronovitch By MYRON LOVE For most Camp B’nai Brith campers, after 12 years as campers, they go on to serve as councilors – that is, for those who want to continue to enjoy the camp experience.

That was not the case, however, for Judith Aronovitch. The next step for the daughter of Don and Bev Aronovitch was to join the kitchen staff.
“I wanted to be with my friends,” Aronovitch recalls. “But I didn’t realize at the beginning what I was getting into. I started with doing dishes and performing light kitchen duties and discovered a whole new world. I did it for a few summers, eventually becoming head cook.”
For Aronovitch, that was the beginning of a career in the restaurant business.
As with most young people, Aronovitch who is currently the sous-chef at the newly-opened Ripe Bistro on the corner of Corydon and Lilac - was at first unsure of what she wanted to do after high school (despite her experience in the BB Camp kitchen). “I tried phys-ed in university,” she says. I’m an athlete at heart and have always enjoyed playing basketball and soccer in particular. But phys-ed didn’t feel right.”
So she quit university and applied to the Fusion Grill Academy. Chef Terry Geretta became her mentor.
“He (Geretta) took me under his wing,” Aronovitch says. “He had opened Miso Restaurant (which was Ripe Bistro’s predecessor on the corner). I was exposed cold kitchen work. I learned how to prepare salads and appetizers. I learned garde manger. I learned how to be a professional.”
Aronovitch’s first stop in her new career was Stella’s Cafe where she worked for five years. “I fell in love with the environment,” she says. “I like working as part of a team and I enjoy the fast pace.”
She then moved to British Columbia for a winter, working at a Boston Pizza outlet in the mountains. She followed up that experience with a series of short term positions over the next two years. While she continued to learn the business and grow, she began experiencing some frustration.
“I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to make this my career,” she says, “but I found that I can only move up so far without some formal education and a diploma.”
So four years ago, she enrolled in Red River College’s Culinary Arts program. For her work experience, she worked for the first term at Miso Restaurant and, for the second year, went to the Elkhorn Resort at Clear Lake.
Aronovitch graduated just about two years ago and, initially, went back to Elkhorn. Last fall, she went to work at Trevisi Restaurant.
“I knew that Tom Pitt, my instructor at Red River, was planning on opening Ripe Bistro,” she notes.
Pitt acquired the former Miso Restaurant as of June 1 and opened for business under the new name and theme on August 1.
Aronovitch describes her new workplace as intended to be a neighbourhood bistro featuring comfort food and casual dining. “We have a mix of different cultures on staff and we all have input into the menu,” she says.
She notes that the staff smokes all meats themselves, grows their own herbs and makes everything from scratch. “We bring in fresh salmon whole and prepare it ourselves,” she reports. “We also make our own corned beef.
“We try not to waste anything. For example, from the salmon, we used leftover parts to make salmon cakes and the bones to make fish stock.”
She adds that Ripe Bistro features a large variety of cheeses and several tempting desserts.
She notes that the restaurant also features live jazz on Thursday evenings.
Aronovitch says that she would love to open her own restaurant one day but, for now, Ripe Bistro is a good fit for her.

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