NC’s Junior Culinary Team Canada wins gold medal at World Culinary Championship

Junior Culinary Team Canada is proving that they have the recipe for success on the world stage.

On Nov. 26 2014 the team – comprised of current students and recent graduates from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute – learned it had achieved a gold medal for the competition’s hot program at the Expogast Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup 2014.

The Culinary World Cup was held in Luxembourg from Nov. 22-26. There the team competed against the top junior culinary teams in the world representing 14 other countries in two categories: a cold program and a hot program.   

Media Releases of the team’s gold medal for the hot program was announced just days after the team received a silver medal for its performance in the competition’s cold program.

“We stood up against the rest of the world and came out shining” said team manager Craig Youdale dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute who noted the high level of intensity and professionalism from other teams at the competition. “We have almost every aspect of our culinary division represented here in Luxembourg – students from the apprenticeship system our one- and two-year programs and even our Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program. This achievement is a real testament to the training they receive at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.”

Youdale said he was proud of the team and was excited about the impact the results will have on the team members in the future particularly on a confidence level.  “Now that they’ve been able to step up and see what they can do they will carry that forward” he said. “This will be on their resume for the rest of their lives and resonate with them for their whole career.”

“This is a very exciting day for Niagara College and an extraordinary day for our students. We’re all very proud” said college president Dan Patterson who applauded the efforts of the team the leadership of CFWI dean Craig Youdale and the mentorship provided by chef professor coaches including Avi Hollo and Olaf Mertens.

“When we talk about an unparalleled student experience at Niagara College this was manifested in many ways at this world culinary championship” said Patterson. “The results speak to the incredible quality of our students and the learning experiences that they have received at Niagara College and it puts our Canadian Food and Wine Institute on the world stage.”

This is the first international competition for Junior Culinary Team Canada. The team gained its title in a victory over culinary teams from Humber and Holland Colleges at The Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and Cooks (CCFCC) Junior Culinary Team Selection Competition in October 2013. In addition to representing Canada at international competitions for three years it won the distinction of representing Canada at the 2016 World Culinary Olympics in Germany.

Members of Junior Culinary Team Canada include captain Iain Dawson (Coldwater/St. Catharines); lead members Daniella Germond (St. Catharines) David Ross (Peterborough) and Megan Proper (Burford); alternate lead member Rebekka Schmitt (Silverdale); and support team members Katrina Young (Hamilton) Scott McInerney (Peterborough/St. Catharines) Trevor Littlejohn (Paisley) Ben Lillico (Waterloo) and Jeremy Gilligan (St. Catharines).

Overall team rankings at Expogast will be announced on Nov. 27. The team is scheduled to return to Canada on Friday Nov. 28.

For information and team updates visit A guest book is also featured on the website where the public can write messages of support for the team.

A video of the team’s reaction to the gold medal may be viewed here.

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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