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.