Junior Culinary Team Canada savours international success with two medals at Culinary Olympics

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As the Culinary Olympics 2016 concluded in Erfurt, Germany, Junior Culinary Team Canada came out shining with gold and silver medals.

Comprised of culinary graduates from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, the team was among 20 junior national culinary teams from around the world to compete at the IKA / Culinary Olympics from October 22 to 25.

At the event’s closing ceremony on October 26, the team was awarded a gold medal for its score at the event’s inaugural edible buffet competition on October 22. They were also granted a silver medal for its score in the hot program / three course luncheon competition on October 24. Medals were granted based on scores achieved at each competition – gold for 90 or higher, silver for 80 or higher, bronze for 70 or higher, and diploma for under 70.

Final scores for each competition and overall rankings were also announced at the ceremony. At the edible buffet, the team scored fourth highest in the world, achieving a final score of 92.39, behind only Norway (95.8), Sweden (95.65), and Switzerland (93.25). It was the first time that competition was ever held at the Culinary Olympics (replacing the former cold plate competition where food was displayed but not eaten). The team also achieved a high score of 85.17 in the hot program competition.

With final results of a total of 177.56 points from both competitions, Junior Culinary Team Canada left the Culinary Olympics in sixth place overall behind Sweden (first place) Switzerland, (second place), and Norway (third place) – who achieved gold, silver and bronze as the top three junior national teams overall, respectively – and just behind Austria and Denmark.

“I was absolutely thrilled with the team’s performance. They gave their best in the kitchen this week,” said team manager Craig Youdale, dean of NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “It was the best buffet I’ve ever seen them do, and it was probably the best hot run I’ve ever seen them do.”

Youdale applauded the work, dedication from the team members and the sacrifices that they have made to be a part of the team. “They put their lives on hold for three years. They took everything in their lives and put it aside because they wanted to do this,” he said. “No money. No pay. Out of sheer pride for their country. I think that’s pretty cool.”

“We didn’t win, but we all won. We came here to really cook our hearts out. We did our best and we put everything on the table,” said team captain Ben Lillico, who plans to stay in the competition loop following the Culinary Olympics. “I’m proud of each and every person on this team.”

Lillico said that after the relationships the team has built, the team has become a ‘family.’ “It’s not really about the medal. It’s about the journey,” Lillico said.

Junior Culinary Team Canada stands two medals strong at Culinary Olympics

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Robbie Aggarwal, Daniella Germond, and Ben Lillico prepare a salmon and lobster dish for the Hot Program competition on October 24. Their dish included a maple spiced brûlé of salmon with mustard sauce; compressed marinated lobster with pear foam; and tender greens, grapefruit caviar and kale sauce.

Junior Culinary Team Canada is stirring up excitement in Germany with its second medal at the Culinary Olympics.

Comprised of recent graduates from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, the team is currently representing Canada at the IKA/ Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany.

Adding to a gold medal the team achieved at its first competition on October 22 – the edible buffet program – the team has now gained a silver at its second and final competition on October 24 – the hot  program. Silver was the highest level awarded to the any of the five teams who competed in the hot program competition on October 24.

“The team is still in the game to finish among the top three in the world,” said team manager Craig Youdale, dean of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “This is not over and we are in the running to finish on the podium at the Culinary Olympics, which is our ultimate goal.”

Youdale noted that while the colour of the medals have been announced, teams do not know yet know their actual scores.  For each competition, teams are awarded gold for a score of 90 or higher, silver for 80 or higher, and bronze for 70 or higher. While a gold, silver, bronze achievement is announced following the competitions, teams will not become aware of their overall score and ranking until the closing ceremony on October 26. Each team will be given a score out of 100 that will be averaged to provide an overall ranking in the world.

As of October 24, Junior Culinary Team Canada was among only five out of the 20 junior national culinary teams competing at the event to achieve a gold medal for a score of over 90 – joining Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.

Teams from other countries will continue to compete in the two Culinary Olympic competitions on October 25. Final scores and awards will be presented with overall world rankings at the closing ceremony on October 26.

Junior Culinary Team is among 20 junior national teams – among 2,000 chefs from more than 50 countries around the world – competing at the 24th IKA / Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany from October 22 to 25.  The International Culinary Art Exhibition is the largest international professional competition for chefs, cooks and pastry chefs, held once every four years. Visit the IKA website at http://www.olympiade-der-koeche.com/en.html

For information about the team’s daily progress in Germany, visit ncjrculinaryteamcanada.ca


Cheer on Team Canada

Follow the team’s progress on twitter at @ncjrculinary, on facebook at @jrculinary, Instagram @jrculinarycanada, and on their website ncjrculinaryteamcanada.ca
Send text and video messages of encouragement to Junior Culinary Team Canada via social media using the hashtag #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory.

Gold! Team wins medal in Edible Buffet competition

Junior Culinary Team Canada wins gold in first competition at Culinary Olympics

Niagara College’s Junior Culinary Team Canada is proving that it has the recipe for success, after winning a gold medal in its first of two competitions at the Culinary Olympics.

The team from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute competed in its first competition at the IKA /Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany on October 22: the Edible Buffet competition. During the rigorous five-hour marathon, teams must prepare a buffet consisting of finger food and terrines that are presented on a platter and two action stations – one for a main course and one for dessert. Teams are judged on factors including cleanliness, demeanour and efficiency, in addition to taste of food they prepare.

While each team begins the competition with a perfect score of 100, judges deduct points for any infractions. Gold medal standing is awarded to teams that achieve scores of 90 or higher at the competition, while teams that score 80 or higher are awarded silver and those with 70 or higher receive bronze.

The team received its results on October 23, as they were busy preparing for their second competition on October 24: a hot three-course luncheon competition for 60 people (6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. German time; midnight to 8:30 a.m. EST).

“This is a great accomplishment and a testament to the hard work they have put in over the years,” said team manager, and dean of the College’s CFWI, Craig Youdale. “Our College should be super excited about their accomplishment, and it was special to see the NC button take on a global challenge and come out shining like gold.”

Youdale noted that this first medal achieved was only the first step for the team. “We step in the kitchen tomorrow with a chance for a second gold medal and the opportunity to become one of the top three teams on the planet,” said Youdale.

“We had a very strong performance yesterday and we are extremely pleased with the result,” said team captain Ben Lillico. “This could not be possible without the hard work, dedication and passion put in by each team member.”

Lillico also noted that while the team celebrated their achievement, they were focused on preparing for their next challenge. “We are excited because we now go into our program tomorrow on a high note,” he said.

The team’s final score and overall ranking will be announced at the IKA / Culinary Olympics closing ceremony on October 26.

Germany Day 6: Team stays cool as competition heats up

The team sets up the presentation table on the mezzanine where they will present the Edible Buffet.

The team sets up the presentation table on the mezzanine where they will present the Edible Buffet.

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Ben Lillico, David Ross and Robbie Aggarwal are busy in the kitchen as spectators look on.

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Team Member Daniella Germond gets to work in the Culinary Olympics kitchen.

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Megan Proper works in the bubble kitchen preparing components for her dessert featured in the Edible Buffet.

“Bring it on.”

Those were the words of Junior Culinary Team Canada Team Canada manager Craig Youdale on the team’s first competition day at the Culinary Olympics, despite last-minute challenges hurled the team’s way.

On October 21, the night before the Edible Buffet Competition, controversy erupted at a manager’s meeting. Culinary Olympics officials surprised team managers with mandatory changes to their programs. They were told that must use event sponsor plates, instead of the plates they had planned to use. They were also informed that dessert must be served a la carte action style, instead of the plated presentation they had planned.

Despite the added heat on competition day October 22, Youdale and his team remained cool, taking the changes in stride. Youdale knows that when the unexpected happens, training kicks in. He has prepared his team so they are well equipped to take the heat in the competition kitchen.

In fact, the program changes to the Edible Buffet competition are one of many challenges his team has had to deal with on their road to the Culinary Olympics.

All of the team’s equipment, pre-shipped in 12 tote boxes scheduled to arrive in Germany before the team’s flight touched down, were held up by German Customs. After three sleepless nights, the totes were released – just days before the opening ceremony.

The team’s custom-ordered chef jackets arrived with the wrong buttons – plastic instead of the cloth buttons regulated by the Culinary Olympics. Last-minute sewing of proper cloth buttons was done just in time to the team’s flight to Germany, thanks to help from chef professor Catherine O’Donnell.

“Anything that you think no way can happen, it happens. And the team that is prepared for it, is the one that’s successful,” said Youdale.

On October 22, Junior Culinary Team Canada was among the first teams to compete in the inaugural Edible Buffet Competition at the Culinary Olympics. Traditionally, a ‘cold’ competition was held, where the food was glazed for presentation and not consumed. The team had originally prepared for the cold competition when they first assembled as a team three years ago, and has since adapted to the new program which is being held for the first time ever at the Culinary Olympics this year.

The edible buffet consists of finger food and terrines that are presented on a platter and two action stations – one for the main course and one for dessert. During the rigorous five-hour marathon, teams will be judged on factors including cleanliness, demeanour and efficiency, in addition to taste of the food they prepare.

While each team begins the competition with a perfect score of 100, judges deduct points for any infractions. Teams with scores of 90 or higher are awarded a gold medal, while teams with 80 or higher gain a silver medal, and those with 70 or higher receive a bronze.

Members of the five-person junior team remained confident as entered into the first day of the biggest competition of their lives.

Megan Proper was focused on dealing with changes to the dessert program, ensuring that everything was delivered upstairs at the right time, the right temperature and the right texture, with the added challenge of delivering the temperature sensitive dessert a la carte style.

“I just want to make sure everything is tempered properly and that I pull it out of the freezer at the right time,” she said. “I just have to play with it and make sure that it doesn’t seep, it doesn’t bleed. Other than that though, I think I should be fine.”

Daniella Germond was excited to go into the Edible Buffet competition. “It’s going to be fun,” she said.

She felt positive about being able to handle any unexpected challenges. “We have done a lot of offsite caterings and practices and we’re used to showing up and not knowing what’s going on,” she said. “Craig said something the other day, ‘Don’t worry about the problem; worry about the solution.’”

Robbie Aggarwal also said he had confidence in himself and his teammates.

“I know what to do, no one else can do my job better than me, and that’s all I’m thinking about,” he said. “Just getting in there, starting the clock, getting my knife on my board and staying in there head down. Four hard hours. Then move. One hour up top.”

The Edible Buffet competition was live streamed. View the videos on the Culinary Team Canada Juniors Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/jrculinary/

Results from the Edible Buffet Competition are expected on October 23.

Key dates

Competition Day 2 (three-course luncheon) on Oct. 24
Closing ceremonies: Oct. 26.

Germany Day 5: Team Canada takes the world stage at Culinary Olympics opening ceremony

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Junior Culinary Team Canada is in the spotlight along with the Canadian national team at the opening ceremony of the IKA Culinary Olympics on October 21 in Erfurt, Germany.

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The team strikes a patriotic pose on opening ceremony day.

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Team captain Ben Lillico waves flags with teammates Scott McInerney and Carly Bergshoeff.

Excitement was in the air on October 21 as Junior Culinary Team Canada filed into the Messe Erfurt for the IKA Culinary Olympics opening ceremony.

Smartly outfitted in their crisp white uniforms, the team waved Canadian flags as they proudly walked into the large hall, alongside the national culinary team Canada, to the tune of Guns N Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.”

The proud moment was years in the making for the junior national team who won the right to represent Canada at this prestigious international event in October 2013 and have invested tens of thousands of hours preparing for the world competition ever since.

The team, comprised of culinary graduates from Niagara College, were among teams from more than 50 countries – and more than 2,000 chefs from around the world – who will compete at the 24th IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany from October 22 to 25.

Their entrance was live streamed via Periscope TV.

Known as the IKA/Culinary Olympics the International Culinary Art Exhibition is the largest international professional competition for chefs, cooks and pastry chefs.
Opening Ceremonies comes one day before the team competes in its first Culinary Olympics competition on October 22 for their edible buffet program (1 p.m. to 10 p.m. German time, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST). Their second and final competition – their three-course luncheon program – will take place on Monday, October 24 (6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. German time, midnight to 8:30 a.m. EST).


Follow the team’s progress:

Twitter at @ncjrculinary
Facebook at @jrculinary
Instagram @jrculinarycanada
Website ncjrculinaryteamcanada.ca

Send text and video messages of encouragement to Junior Culinary Team Canada via social media using the hashtag #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory.

View recent updates from Junior Culinary Team Canada in Germany:
Germany Day 4: Success made to measure
Germany Day 3: Recipe for success is in the bag
Germany Day 2: ‘We are here to win’
Germany Day 1: Team Canada is in the HAUS!

View IKA Culinary Olympics press release here:
http://www.olympiade-der-koeche.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Press_Information_IKA_2016.pdf

Germany Day 4: Success made to measure

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The team is hard at work scaling at Stranzl kitchens on October 20, in preparation for their first competition day.

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Carly Bergshoeff carefully portions butter.

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Robbie Aggarwal prepares chanterelle mushrooms.

Junior Culinary Team Canada is turning up the heat.

For the first time since they arrived in Germany, the team spent October 20 busy in the practice kitchen, preparing for the Culinary Olympics.

Amounts of vegetables, cups of flour, even grams of salt were measured, as the team dedicated the day to scaling – the task of working out the ingredients they will be using on their competition days, to the extent that the rules permit.

Chef professor and team coach Olaf Mertens said the team was 100% focused on preparing for their first competition day on Saturday, October 22.

“Saturday is the first round of the world’s first premiere of this competition. We are among six countries that will be setting the bar,” he said. “And we will set the bar.”

The process of preparing the ingredients for a competition takes the entire team four to five hours to complete, said team manager Craig Youdale. While all team members can jump in for the “busy work” such as peeling potatoes or apples, each team member is assigned to a very specific role and completes precise tasks pertaining to the role they must perform on competition day.

“They have done this now so many times that they have a bit of a routine down,” Youdale said.

“This is our first day hitting the ground running with some scaling. We finalized all of our product yesterday and we are finishing up gathering all of our ingredients,” said team captain Ben Lillico. “We are really excited to respect that product today and fold it into our program as we scale.”

The team will prepare an edible  buffet for 12 at Saturday’s competition when they will work in two different kitchens. They will have four hours to cook and produce all the products they will make – the terrines, sides sauce, garnishes, finger foods, desserts – before they transfer to the second kitchen.

Apart from a quick walk-through, Lillico noted that they won’t see the Culinary Olympics competition kitchen until they compete for the first time on Saturday, but he remains confident.

“We’ve practiced so many times in so many different environments that it’s second nature at this point,” he said.


Key dates

Opening ceremonies: October 21.

Competition Day 1 (edible buffet): Oct. 22

Competition Day 2 (three-course luncheon) on Oct. 24

Closing ceremonies: Oct. 26.

 

Cheer on Team Canada

Follow the team’s progress on twitter at @ncjrculinary, on facebook at @jrculinary, Instagram @jrculinarycanada, and on their website ncjrculinaryteamcanada.ca

Send text and video messages of encouragement to Junior Culinary Team Canada via social media using the hashtag #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory.

Germany Day 3: Recipe for success is in the bag

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Coach Avi Hollo, team captain Ben Lillico, coach Olaf Mertens and team member Megan Proper shop in the frozen food section.

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Members of Junior Culinary Team Canada stock up on ingredients they will need for their Culinary Olympics recipes at the Metro in Erfurt, Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They may have the recipe for success, but first they have to secure the ingredients.

Grocery shopping became a team sport for members of Junior Culinary Team Canada on October 19.

With their first Culinary Olympics competition just days away, the team travelled to Erfurt where they set out on their shopping mission at a Metro store. Each item they will need was hand-picked with care. After all, each will be used to prepare food for the world’s top culinary judges at the largest most elite international professional culinary competition for chefs, cooks and pastry chefs.

“We basically went for a full run for all of our needs for both of our programs, with the exception of what I’ll say are specialty proteins and super unique items – you know, things like dry goods and dairy,” said team manager Craig Youdale.

Youdale noted that the shopping wasn’t only for competition purposes but to feed the team during their stay in Germany. “We have to cook our own lunch and dinner over the next few days,” he said.

Not all items required by the team however, are available off the shelf. Team captain Ben Lillico and coach Olaf Mertens travelled to Marburg – two-and-a-half hour drive away – to pick up specially-ordered items that are not typically available in grocery stores, including baby veg and micro greens.

“The idea is to get everything we need so we don’t ever have to leave the kitchen and we become completely self-sufficient, and not waste any energy or time,” Youdale said.

Team member Megan Proper, whose role focuses on pasty development, picked up the same dairy and frozen products that she previously had the opportunity to test out in Marburg – except for eggs. “We got different eggs but they should be fine,” she said.

Once the carts were loaded, items were checked out and the day’s shopping was completed, the team dropped off their ingredients at Stranzl kitchens, their practice kitchen in Marburg. This will allow them to begin scaling – the process of preparing the ingredients for their recipes in advance to the extent that the competition rules will allow – and prepping all of their ingredients and equipment on October 20.

With the team’s first competition merely days away, Proper noted she is looking forward to the next step ahead.

“There is a lot to do and I just want to get on it,” she said. “I just want everything to be there.”

 

Germany Day 2: ‘We are here to win’

 

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Team members taste local ingredients at Stranzl kitchens on October 18.

Team gets pep talk at Stranzl Kitchen

“We can do what we like and what we think is cool and interesting – or we can go to win … We are here to win.”

Those were the words that members of Junior Culinary Team Canada heard from their team manager, Canadian Food and Wine Institute dean Craig Youdale three-and-a-half years ago when they first assembled as a team; and those were the words they heard on October 18, just days before representing Canada at the Culinary Olympics.

The pep talk came on the team’s second day in Germany. Youdale told the team that they already possess all the ingredients they need for success. He assured them that all the work they have put in, all the skills they have acquired and the experience they have gained over the past few years has been to prepare them for the challenge they are now about to face: the Culinary Olympics.

“You’re not going to achieve anything you haven’t already done. You don’t have to go faster. You don’t have to do anything different. Everything you are going to do over the next seven days you have done ad nauseam,” he said. “These next seven days, you will learn why we have gone through what we have gone through in the last three-and-a-half years.”

Team captain Ben Lillico said the team responded positively to the pep talk. “He kind of gave our focus for the week and making sure we were on task and taking to heart the seriousness that we need from each team member … we have done this thousands of times in different scenarios, locations, packing and unpacking, and planning, and logistics,” he said. “This is the last hurrah of planning and executing it.”

In addition to hearing from their manager, the team heard from chef professor and coach Olaf Mertens who spoke about logistics, ingredients and planning. They tasted local ingredients in preparation for scaling and shopping which will occur during the next few days.

All of this took place at Stranzl catering kitchens, where the team will be practicing during their stay in Germany. The large industrial kitchen supplier and caterer is located just outside the city centre of Weimar, where the team’s hotel is located.

At Stranzl, the team was greeted warmly by the owner Helmut Stranzl and by a culinary team from P.E.I. who is also in Germany to compete as professionals in the regional division. The junior culinary team will also be using the kitchens at Stranzl alongside Hong Kong’s national team, expected to arrive on October 19.

Team captain Lillico reflected on the team’s second day in Germany. “We are working on just getting settled in still, making sure we are all well rested and drinking lots of fluids,” he said. “At the catering kitchen, we are working out of tasting and testing some of the products we are working with, seeing what sort of substitutions that we need to make due to the products that are available here.”

As he looks forward to the days ahead, Lillico has a bright outlook.

“I’m extremely confident on what we as a team can produce. Each person has done every piece correctly, we’ve all seen each piece made to 100% percent of how we want it to be,” he said. “Now all we need to do is cook good food and have a lot of fun doing it.”

 https://youtu.be/yLvs-prta6U


Key dates

Opening ceremonies: October 21.

Competition Day 1 (edible buffet): Oct. 22

Competition Day 2 (three-course luncheon) on Oct. 24

Closing ceremonies: Oct. 26.

 

Cheer on Team Canada

Follow the team’s progress on twitter at @ncjrculinary, on facebook at @jrculinary, Instagram @jrculinarycanada, and on their website ncjrculinaryteamcanada.ca

Send text and video messages of encouragement to Junior Culinary Team Canada via social media using the hashtag #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory

Germany Day 1: Team Canada is in the HAUS!

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Members of Junior Culinary Team Canada arrive at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany on October 17 and prepare to board the coach taking them on their quest for gold.

After more than three years of preparation and a long overnight flight, members of Junior Culinary Team Canada arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on the morning of October 17 ready to go for the gold.

The team’s arrival is just days away from the opening ceremonies of the Culinary Olympics on October 21 where they will compete for culinary supremacy against the top teams in the world. The team travelled to Marburg where they dined at the Restaurant Bückingsgarten before moving to their next stop in Weimar where they checked into their hotel.

While it was a travel day for most team members who were grappling with jet lag and the six-hour time change, two others were busy adjusting to other European differences needed in their recipe for success.

Megan Proper and Dani Germond – who got a head start by arriving in Germany a few days earlier with chef professor Olaf Mertens – spent the day on a special mission: to assess ingredients they will be using as part of their Culinary Olympics competition meals.

Proper was busy working with eggs, creams and butters, trying them out in different recipes to “make sure they work,” she said. “The fat is a lot different here in Europe. The flours are different as well,” she said. “North American whole wheat flour usually has fibres in it, but the whole wheat flour here looks like normal flour almost but is brown and has a no fibres in it.”

Germond had the added task of testing the salmon en croute. Her task proved more challenging due to the fact that totes containing the team’s equipment had not yet arrived.

“I didn’t have the proper mold that would be in our totes. I made it quite large and it was funny to see it large like that; usually it’s so delicate,” she said. “But the test worked and we are happy with how the pastry is working.”


Key dates

Opening ceremonies: October 21.

Competition Day 1 (edible buffet): Oct. 22

Competition Day 2 (three-course luncheon) on Oct. 24

Closing ceremonies: Oct. 26.

 Cheer on Team Canada

Follow the team’s progress on twitter at @ncjrculinary, on facebook at @jrculinary, Instagram @jrculinarycanada.

Send text and video messages of encouragement to Junior Culinary Team Canada via social media using the hashtag #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory.

Go Team Canada! Niagara College cheers its team at Culinary Olympic send-off rally

School spirit and national pride were in full force at Niagara College October 7, as the college community cheered for Junior Culinary Team Canada.

A send-off rally was held in honour of the junior national team before members travel to Germany to face the heat in the world’s most competitive kitchen – the Culinary Olympics.

For members of the team, comprised of recent culinary graduates from the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, the Culinary Olympics will mark the culmination of their reign as Junior Culinary Team Canada and their biggest challenge to date since winning the title in October 2013, when many were still students at the College.

Niagara College president Dan Patterson praised the hard work and commitment of the team members and coaches. “This team is the first from Niagara College to represent the nation as Junior Culinary Team Canada and their successes to date, as well as their support for the college and the community, have already made us proud,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “Their skills are a testament to the dedication of our staff and faculty who have prepared them to compete among the world’s best.”

“The team is coming to the end of a three-and-a-half-year journey that has seen them travel the world and represent not only our college but our region, province and country,” said Craig Youdale, team manager and dean of the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “These young Canadians will take the NC logo as well as the Canadian flag on the world stage in a few short days, and I could not be more excited or proud of their journey.”

“What a testament to the skill, dedication, passion, and talent we have here in Niagara that our local Niagara College team of quality young chefs are representing Canada on the international stage,” said Niagara Centre Member of Parliament, Vance Badawey. “To all of the competitors representing Canada, know that your community and your country support you and wish you every success.”

“Those of us in Niagara are particularly proud of this highly skilled and motivated team from Niagara College that will be representing all of Canada at the prestigious Culinary Olympics,” said St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, who also addressed the crowd at the event.

Team captain Ben Lillico said the team is focused, determined and very strong as they head to the Culinary Olympics. “Words cannot describe how hard our team has worked to get to where we are today. We would not be where we are today without the blood, sweat and tears put in by each and every team member,” said Lillico. “We are extremely proud of how we have progressed and the opportunities that have arisen on our journey thus far.”

Team members will depart for Germany on Oct. 13 and Oct. 16. Opening ceremonies for the Culinary Olympics will be held on October 21. Junior Culinary Team Canada will compete in an Edible Buffet Competition on Oct. 22 and a three-course luncheon competition on Oct. 24 before the closing ceremonies are held on October 26.

Known formally as the IKA Culinary Olympics, the event is the world’s largest international professional competition for chefs, held once every four years in Erfurt, Germany. Visit the IKA website at http://www.olympiade-der-koeche.com/en.html

 

Cheer on Team Canada

Follow the team’s progress on twitter at @ncjrculinary, on facebook at @jrculinary, Instagram @jrculinarycanada, and on their website ncjrculinaryteamcanada.ca

Send text and video messages of encouragement to Junior Culinary Team Canada via social media using the hashtag #NCtasteforgold, #NCjrCulinaryTeamCA or #myncstory.

 

About Junior Culinary Team Canada

In October 2013, a team of culinary students and recent graduates from the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute won the title of Junior Culinary Team Canada in a victory over other culinary teams at The Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and Cooks (CFCC) Junior Culinary Team Selection Competition. The distinction came with the right to represent Canada at international culinary competitions for three years, including the IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in October 2016.

In November 2014, the team won a gold and silver medal and ranked fifth overall at the Expogast Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. In August 2015, the team captured a gold and silver medal and the overall championship title at the American Culinary Classic in Orlando, Florida.

Junior Culinary Team Canada members include captain Ben Lillico, Carly Bergshoeff, Daniella Germond, David Ross, Jeremy Gilligan, Megan Proper, Robbie Aggarwal, Scott McInerney, and Trevor Littlejohn.

The team’s coaches include CFWI chef professors Avi Hollo and Olaf Mertens; with chefs Scott Baechler, Dan LeBlanc, Catherine O’Donnell and Osvaldo Avila providing mentorship for the team. Visit www.jrculinaryteamcanada.ca

 

About Niagara College

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit NiagaraCollege.ca.

 

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell

Media Advisor, Niagara College

Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330

Cell: 905 933-6259

susan.mcconnell@niagaracollege.ca