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Fleming College Announces Mai Dong, Owner and Chef of Rare Restaurant, as 2023 Alumna of Distinction Recipient


Peterborough, ON (June 7, 2023) – Fleming College is proud to announce Mai Dong, Owner and Chef of Rare Culinary Arts Studio in Peterborough, as the recipient of the 2023 Alumna of Distinction award. This award recognizes outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions in their professional field and communities.

Mai Dong graduated from Fleming College’s Culinary Management program in 2022. In just one year since graduating, Mai has built a thriving career in the restaurant industry, with her flagship restaurant Rare in Peterborough earning critical acclaim and rave reviews from food lovers.

Rare Culinary Arts Studio was established by Tyler Scott, who graduated from Fleming College’s Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship, Culinary program in 2011 and was recognized as the Alumnus of Distinction in 2022. He was honoured with the award at Mai’s Convocation Ceremony in June 2022 and his acceptance speech inspired 22-year-old Mai, who sat excitedly listening to Tyler’s story.

She went home and researched Rare and the legacy of providing hyper-local food and quality service to the Peterborough community.
Shortly after hearing Tyler speak, Mai reached out and visited Rare saying, “The moment I walked into the restaurant, I fell in love with the space and I knew in my heart that this is what I was looking for.”

She took over the restaurant on her 23rd birthday, along with her business partner Chef Andrew Lewin.

Mai’s passion for food and dedication to quality has earned her a reputation as a leading chef in the region. She has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including winning a gold medal at the Skills Ontario Competition and a silver medal at the Skills Canada National Competition in 2022.

In addition to her contributions to the culinary arts, Mai is also a passionate community advocate. She has organized charity events and donated her time and resources to support local causes, including the YWCA Crossroads Shelter and Kawartha Food Share.

“Mai Dong is an inspiring alumna who has made a significant impact in her industry and community in a short period of time,” said Maureen Adamson, President of Fleming College. “Her dedication to her craft and commitment to giving back are a testament to the values of Fleming College. We are proud to recognize her with the Alumna of Distinction award.”

Mai will be honoured at the 2023 Convocation ceremony, where she will deliver the keynote address to the graduating class. The ceremony will take place on June 9, 2023, at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Sarah Deeth
Communications Officer
705-749-5530 ext. 1161

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