Pictured above: Ruth Bleijerveld (third from right) poses for a photo with her fellow competitors at the World Chocolate Masters Canadian Selection 2013 competition held in Toronto Jan. 20.
Ruth Bleijerveld, pastry chef at Benchmark Restaurant at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, competed against some of the finest pastry chefs in Canada at the World Chocolate Masters Canadian Selection 2013.
The competition as held at Humber College in Toronto on Jan. 20.
“The Cocoa Barry World Chocolate Masters is the premier pastry event in Canada and it a grueling test for any professional pastry chef to take part in and put themselves on both public and professional display,” said CFWI chair Craig Youdale.
Contestants were required to create one artistic chocolate showpiece, one moulded praline, one pastry and one chocolate dessert, as well as reinvent Tarte au Sucre – a classic Canadian recipe. The theme of the competition was The Architecture of Taste and contestants were challenged with creating a new architecture of taste, texture and experience with chocolate. The competitors demonstrated their chocolate skills in front of a packed auditorium of chefs, chocolate enthusiasts and spectators.
In nine hours, Bleijerveld created molded chocolates (pineapple ginger and coconut); Tarte au Sucre (maple walnut with cardamom ganache and maple mousse); a dessert of chai cake, orange fig marmalade in an orange chocolate mousse with a raspberry rose poached pear; and a cake (pistachio dacquoise with passion fruit white chocolate ganache, lime mousse with passion fruit gelee and a dark chocolate glaze); and a solid chocolate sculpture that was one- to two-meters high.
While she was not awarded any medals, Bleijerveld achieved second place for her molded chocolates and second with her Tarte au Sucre.
“All of her work was as good as any of the top professional chocolatiers at the competition and I hope she carries that confidence forward in her career,” said Youdale.
Youdale noted Bleijerveld’s remarkable progress in the industry in recent years.
“Only a few short years ago, Ruth was not even in this industry; and due to her passion, hard work and determination to see her step up to that level of competition is truly remarkable and should be inspiring to all our students she works with here at the College,” he said. “It should be noted that two short years ago she was an apprentice at our school and working hard to learn these skills. Now we see her able to show what she can do at this competition is a testament to both her own hard work and the commitment of all the chefs and support around her at The Canadian Food and Wine Institute.”
The experience proved to be a memorable one for Bleijerveld. She thanked all those who supported her, especially to all CFWI staff and students, Jon Ogryzlo, Craig Youdale, Sarah Scott, Peter Storm, Phillipe Corbiere, Peter Blakeman, Dan LeBlanc, Mark Picone, Keith Ellis, Rosa Fieremonte, Greg Stout, Sam Seaver, Bruce Worden, and Stacey Havran – to name a few.
“The experience was so worth the gold in my eyes and the support from the Niagara College staff, colleagues, friends and students past and present were, without a doubt, the best ever,” she said. “From sampling my dessert ideas in Benchmark, practicing through the Christmas break, coming out to ‘judge’ my progress and to the supporters who came out to see me compete in Toronto, I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people.”
The World Chocolate Masters is the world’s leading global culinary compeition solely dedicated to the art of chocolate. Finalists from each company are appointed through national selections, and the overall winner holds the prestigious title of World Chocolate Master.
For more info visit worldchocolatemasters.com/en/
Pictured above: Photos of Ruth Bleijerveld’s work at the World Chocolate Masters Canadian Selection 2013 competition.