Pictured with the Grand Champion trophy are (left to right): Decadence judge Chef Pradeep Dharmawardane, Canadian Food and Wine Institute Culinary students and Decadence competition Grand Champions, Megan Proper and Brittany Calsavara, and Decadence judge Chef Judson W. Simpson, CCC.
Decadence 2012 was sweeter than ever for Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. While the CFWI enjoyed record turnout for its second-annual Decadence event – a weekend celebration of chocolate and icewine -the success of its culinary students was the icing on the cake.
The CFWI team was the overall winner of Decadence 2012′s national student pastry competition held at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus from Feb. 17-19.
Dean of the CFWI Jon Ogryzlo said he was very proud of Niagara College’s culinary students Brittany Calsavara and Marliese McGee, who worked tirelessly over the past six months with their coach and mentor chef professor Philippe Corbiere to win the very challenging competition, as well as all those who participated in this year’s event.
“All the teams from across this country did an amazing job as they created incredible pastries, cakes, and showpiece sculptures from chocolate and icewine,” he said.
Student skills were put to the test by high-profile judges including John-Carlo Felicella, Pradeep Dharmawardane and Judson W. Simpson. Winners included Niagara College (Grand Champion and gold medal); Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Best Le Creuset Dessert, Best Icewine Dessert, gold medal and bronze medal); Humber College (Best Chocolate Dessert and silver medal); and Holland Collage (bronze medal).
While students turned up the heat in the kitchen, the CFWI opened its doors to visitors for a day of chocolate- and icewine-inspired festivities on Feb. 18 including a variety of seminars, demonstration, and family-oriented activities. Ogryzlo was pleased with the incredible community support Decadence received in its second year, which drew more attendees than ever.
“The Canadian Food and Wine Institute is focused on bringing together the best culinary people in the world to experience Niagara and one of our key natural resources: icewine,” he said. “We are looking forward to continuing our winning streak next year when the pastry competition will host teams from around the world.”
Brittany Calsavara, second-year Baker Apprentice student said participating in the competition was an incredible learning experience, giving her an opportunity to challenge her creativity and enhance her skills.
“It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to compete against talented students from across Canada,” she said. “One of the greatest rewards for me was the recognition that the judges appreciated my work … They provided me with great suggestions to learn even more techniques.”
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