The Friendly Chef Adventures Inc (operating as Fanjoy) receives $100,000 from Central Counties Tourism through FedDev Ontario to create a fully accessible culinary studio destination

Hillsburgh, ON  | January 12, 2023

The tourism sector is vital to the economy and jobs in the Headwaters region. The Friendly Chef Adventures, operating as Fanjoy, was a well-known tourist destination in Hillsburgh prior to COVID with a country marketplace, culinary classes, seasonal Farm-to-Table dinners, and live music throughout the year. 

The Friendly Chef Adventures Inc. received a non-repayable contribution of $100,000 from Central Counties Tourism to transform the former café into a culinary centre, designed to support tourism growth at the heart of the Hillsburgh downtown core. The project will include a fully accessible, destination culinary studio to attract youth, families and adults to the Headwaters region. This is part of the Government of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).  

Central Counties Tourism received $8.65 million from FedDev Ontario to help local tourism organizations and businesses safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic, and prepare for future growth.  

This investment will help The Friendly Chef Adventures adapt and recover to attract new visitors and drive economic growth in Ontario’s Headwaters region.


“Our government is happy to invest $78 million through the Tourism Relief Fund to help communities across southern Ontario rejuvenate local tourist attractions. With this funding, southern Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organizations and Indigenous Tourism Ontario are providing hundreds of local businesses and organizations with the support they need to create jobs, attract more visitors, and grow local economies, now and into the future.”

  • The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“With the help of the Tourism Relief Fund, we will transform our location in Hillsburgh to become a fully accessible, destination culinary studio, offering highly interactive, experiential cooking classes that will bring youth, families, and adults to Headwaters and celebrate farm-to-table philosophies featuring our longstanding collaborations with local farmers.”

  • Pam Fanjoy, The Friendly Chef Adventures, operating as Fanjoy

“The visitor economy creates thriving, vibrant communities across Ontario. Visitors bring new money into a community and for many businesses in York, Durham and Headwaters, these additional revenues can mean the difference between staying solvent and having to shutter their doors forever. Central Counties Tourism applauds the Government of Canada for recognizing the importance of growing our collective capacity to welcome and entertain visitors. Its investment in tourism is helping municipalities and individual businesses build compelling destinations that will attract visitors and residents alike. The economic impact from the Tourism Relief Fund will be felt for years.” 

  • Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director, Central Counties Tourism 

Quick facts

  • The Friendly Chef Adventures, operating as Fanjoy, was founded by Pam Fanjoy, a registered Clinical Social Worker and therapist with more than 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families, award-winning chef, and Chopped Canada Champion.
  • Central Counties Tourism is the provincially-funded not-for-profit dedicated to developing, supporting and promoting tourism in Durham Region, York Region and the Headwaters Tourism Region. Since their inception, they have assisted dozens of municipalities through destination development and hundreds of tourism related businesses grow their capacity, strengthening the visitor economy in the region. 
  • The Government of Canada’s $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario.

Associated Links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Saskia Brussaard
The Friendly Chef Adventures Inc. operating as Fanjoy

Chuck Thibeault
Executive Director
Central Counties Tourism

About The Friendly Chef Adventures Inc., operating as Fanjoy

The Friendly Chef Adventures, operating as Fanjoy, is a social enterprise dedicated to improving the physical, emotional and mental health of youth, families, and our community. Fanjoy’s innovative Junior Chef Culinary Programs teach youth, in a deliciously approachable way in any kitchen, to heal trauma responses, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and increase creative problem-solving that heals body, mind and soul.

About Central Counties Tourism (CCT)

Central Counties Tourism (CCT) was established as a regional tourism organization in 2010 under a framework developed by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mandate is to identify sustainable best product and practices that will build a stronger and more competitive tourism industry within the York, Durham, and Headwaters regions. CCT is funded by the Ontario Government and managed as a not- for-profit organization by a voluntary tourism industry board. CCT’s mission is to increase tourism in the region by promoting and developing unique and competitive tourism products that attract high yield visitors from outside the Central Counties region. 

About FedDev Ontario

For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.