Photo: visitors attend a chocolate seminar at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Decadence 2011.
Sweethearts may rule on Valentine’s Day, but for those with a sweet tooth, the real celebration begins Feb. 17.
That date ushers in a weekend of Decadence at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. The second annual celebration of chocolate and icewine to be held at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus features a national student pastry competition (Feb. 17-Feb 19) and a day of chocolate- and icewine-inspired public events on Feb. 18, including family activities, and seminars and demonstrations, topped off with an evening gala event.
Dean of the CFWI Jon Ogryzlo noted that Decadence is a great way for the CFWI to not only showcase the skills of culinary students from across Canada through its national pastry competition – as well as NC’s wine and beer students – but for the public to visit the CFWI, learn more about chocolate and icewine while savouring them in the process.
“I am really looking forward to sampling a remarkable array of culinary delights all incorporating chocolate and icewine prepared by our students, and chef professors,” he said. “Niagara College is the perfect place to host this national competition as we highlight Niagara’s great wines and cuisine to the rest of Canada, and the world.”
At Canada’s only North American student team pastry competition, the CFWI will turn up the heat on its team of culinary students as they battle teams from Holland College, Humber College and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to become the top pastry school on the continent. Teams will produce an array of pastry products featuring chocolate and icewine to be judged by high-profile judges including John-Carlo Felicella, Pradeep Dharmawardane and Judson W. Simpson. The competition begins Feb. 17, and continues Feb. 18.
On Feb 18, the CFWI will open its doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests can enjoy numerous free-of-charge activities including ice carving demonstrations, a birds of prey showcase, arts and crafts, and entertainment. In addition, CFWI students will host a barbecue and the college’s Niagara Waters Spa will be offering $5 mini-manis (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Chocolate Kids’ Camps will be held during the day ($10).
The CFWI’s new Niagara Chocolate Theatre will run five hourly presentations featuring chocolate experts and world-class chefs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (start times) including author and Food Network host Anna Olson, the college’s chef professor Philippe Corbiere and more. Tickets are $5 per session or $20 for all five. No registration required.
Visitors can also register to attend seminars to sample wines and custom-designed beers paired with chocolate and other delectables at various seminars. Topics include: The Art of Blending Icewine with Head Winemaker Terrance Van Rooyan; Decadent Chocolate Pairing with Inniskillin Icewine; Decadent Chocolate Pairing with Jackson Triggs; Beer and Chocolate with the CFWI’s Brewmaster Jon Downing and sommelier Jennifer Wilhelm. Seminars are $25 each. To register for seminars call 905-641-2252 ext 4629 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet Dreams: A Night of Chocolate and Icewine on Feb. 18 is a ticketed event where guests will gather for an evening of food and world-class wines in full Decadence style. Guests will sample food expertly prepared by chef professors and students of the CFWI while sipping icewine and wines from the college’s award-winning Teaching Winery, as well as other wineries including Inniskillin and Jackson Triggs. The college’s Brewmaster students are also preparing chocolate and icewine beer for the occasion.
The weekend will wrap up with a brunch on Feb. 19 when pastry competition winners will be announced and receive their awards, including the grand prize – a professional table top induction burner from Garland Canada with a seven-piece stainless steel cookware set from Le Creuset (valued at $2,000 each). Brunch reservations may be made at Benchmark for $30 a person. Call 905-641-2252 ext. 4619.
For more information about Decadence 2012 visit NiagaraCollege.ca/content/Decadence.
Did you attend Decadence 2011? Are you looking forward to Decadence 2012? If so, InsideNC would like to hear from you. Let us know what you enjoyed about Decadence, what you are looking forward to this year, or what you love about chocolate and icewine by emailing email@example.com. Include your name, and your position at NC.