Member, Junior Culinary Team Canada
If I could go back in time five years and see my future, I would never have imagined being where I am now.
Overlooking Canada from our flight back home, l can finally reflect on my last two weeks.
I took my first cooking class in high school, where I started to realize where I thought my life might take me – a world of flavours, skills and lifelong dreams. As I continued my culinary career into college, I began to learn that my true potential would be in pastry.
I am now part of the Junior Culinary Olympic team that is returning from our first international competition in Luxembourg. To date, it’s been an emotional, physical, and most fun and rewarding experience – to say the least.
The things my team and I have seen and experienced are life-changing. We visited bakeries almost 100 years old. We learned where a teammate’s family grew up and its history. We grew new professional relationships with Germany army team. And, of course, we competed on a world-level standard.
None of this would even be possible without the incredible education and guidance from Niagara College and its staff. As I’ve developed my pastry skills over the last five years, nothing compares to how my team has helped me grow during the last year and a half.
We are like a family. We love each other, have each other’s back, and we most certainly do argue. I think what we have all learned during the last two weeks is that it’s not about who is right at the end of an argument, but what needs to be done to get the job done right. That’s just what we did, not as individuals but as a team.
We are all flying home with gold and silver medals, and spectacular memories.
We learned that it’s not just about us. It’s about everyone working together to get the job done.
We shared a hotel with the German military team in Luxembourg, and we ate dinner together almost every night exchanging tips and tricks. When we ate our final dinner together last night, I sat at the table looking at both teams. I finally understood what my coaches and manager have been telling us all along.
We didn’t come to Luxembourg just to bring a medal home. They gave us these experiences to help us develop as mature aspiring chefs.
To my team, coaches, family and everyone I met along the way, thank you.