Team Wine from left:Lisa Indris, Luke MacKinnon, Hunter Kangas, Conor Vandommele, and Christian Hand.
After an intense battle between a team of wine and beer students from the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Team Wine seeped into victory on March 23, reclaiming its title and bragging rights to the Caps, Corks and Forks trophy.
It was the second Caps, Corks and Forks event and second narrow victory for Team Wine since the CFWI launched its new signature event in February 2012.
Guests were served an amuse bouche followed by five courses prepared by NC’s champion culinary students led by chef professor Tony deLuca. Each was paired with both a wine and a beer selected students from the college’s wine and beer programs. Guests voted on their favourite pairings after each course to determine the winner.
At the end of the night, Team Wine and Team Beer tied 3:3; however, the wine team uncorked victory with the greatest number of votes overall.
CFWI dean Jon Ogryzlo noted how similar the results were to the previous Caps, Corks and Forks event.
“It’s amazing because it was a really different group of guests but they tied again in the final round, just like the first time, and I loved the drama of it all,” he said. “There’s nothing better than seeing a really dedicated group of students that are all so engaged and involved in the event and I thought it was a great success.”
CFWI chair Craig Youdale, who emceed the event, applauded the students on their efforts.
“This is all about the students; they’re the ones who made it cool and interesting and they were the ones in centre stage talking about where they’re from, what they’re doing, and what they’ve learned,” he said.
He also cheered Team Beer for making great strides.
“Let’s face it, we’re in the middle of wine country, but they sold their story explaining that it’s not just about wings and pizza,” he said. “They showed that you can have this amazing food pairing experience with beeer that not everyone knows about.”
Students from Team Wine were excited about their win.
“I loved the experience of pairing wine with food, and our competition was fierce,” said Christian Hand.
Jennifer Willhelm, head of Team Wine, said she was proud of her team’s performance.
“They were so passionate about each course they took on and really represented themselves well,” she said. “I’m happy Team Wine can extend their bragging rights until the next event in November.”
Jon Downing, head of Team Beer noted how close his team came to victory once again.
“The team did an amazing job and all their beers were perfect pairings,” he said.
Downing also complimented the culinary team who he said was “unbelievable.”
“I felt like throwing a fork in the bucket every time we voted for wine or beer – the food was amazing.”
The mood was still festive among members of Team Beer at the end of the evening.
“Congrats to the wine team who did a great job. We feel good that it was a tiebreaker and I think we educated a lot of people here tonight that, besides wine, beer does go well with a lot on the table,” said student Jack Krouse.
“Plus, we know what the wine students are going to drink when they come out with us tonight,” he added with a chuckle. “Beer.”
Congrats to all students who made Caps, Corks and Forks Round Two a success, including Team Beer (Johnny Briggs, Sean Campsall, Jack Krouse, Jennifer Nadwodny and Kellye Roberston); Team Wine (Christian Hand, Lisa Indris, Hunter Kangas, Luke MacKinnon and Conor Vandommele) and the culinary team (Charles Bauman, Brandon Randell, Joey Park, Billy Kim, TJ Pitman, Andrew Halliday, Scott Dupouis, Victoria Stroh, Rebecca Scott and Chelsey des Roches).
Team Beer: Sean Campsall, Jack Krouse, Jennifer Nadwodny, Kellye Robertson and Johnny Briggs