NC culinary student savours success with national silver medal

Nineteen-year-old Rebekka Schmitt a first-year Culinary Management Student at Niagara College wins a silver medal at Skills Canada National Competition in Toronto.

A first-year culinary student from Niagara College has proven she is among the top young bakers in Canada.

Nineteen-year-old Rebekka Schmitt who is in her first year of Niagara College’s Culinary Management program won a silver medal in the postsecondary Baking at the Skills Canada National Competition which featured eight competitors from across the country. Held in Toronto June 4 to 7 it is the only national Olympic-style multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country. The event draws about 500 young people from across Canada each year to compete in more than 40 trade and technology categories.

Niagara College qualified to compete at the Skills Canada National Competition following its podium sweep at the Skills Canada’s Ontario Technological Skills Competition last month capturing gold silver and bronze medals in the postsecondary Baking category. Schmitt won silver at that competition.

“This is truly an amazing accomplishment considering that Rebekka is only a first-year student and is enrolled in our culinary rather than baking program” said dean of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute Craig Youdale. “When you consider the hundreds of colleges and apprentices competing across Canada this is truly a testament to our team.”

Youdale noted that Niagara College has been among the top three in Canada for Baking the past three out of four years including a gold medal win at Skills Canada National Competition in 2013 by Megan Proper – who was also a culinary student at the time.

“The results show the level of excellence that our students strive for and give Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute a continued level of excellence in the culinary community” said Youdale.

Schmitt of St. Ann’s Ontario is also the youngest member of Junior Culinary Team Canada. Comprised of students and recent graduates of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute the team won the right to represent Canada at international competitions and compete in the World Culinary Olympics in 2016.

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute located on Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus is the college’s centre for food wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark the college’s teaching restaurant as well as the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery. It is also home to Junior Culinary Team Canada to represent our nation at the 2016 World Culinary Olympics.

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


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