Niagara College student wins national silver in Baking


Sophie Maille who graduates from Niagara College’s Baking and Pastry Arts program on June 16 wins a silver medal representing Ontario at the Skills Canada National Competition. She is pictured with her competition chocolate showpiece (below).

Niagara College’s Baking and Pastry Arts student Sophie Maille has proved she is one of the best young bakers in the country.

The 21-year-old student who will graduate from her program on June 16 has won a silver medal in the Postsecondary Baking category at the Skills Canada National Competition held May 27-30 in Saskatoon. She qualified for the competition last month earning the right to represent Ontario after winning a gold medal at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition.

At Skills Canada National Competition – the only national multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country – Maille competed against provincial gold medal winners from across the province.

“The Canadian Food and Wine Institute has prided itself in its baking and pastry development for years and the accomplishment of Sophie is an example of that training” said Craig Youdale dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “We are all so proud of how she represented her province and we know she will go on to do amazing things in our industry.”

Maille is from Elliot Lake and came to Niagara College after graduating from Canadore College’s Culinary Administration program in 2014 to pursue her interests in baking and the chocolate field.

“I baked my heart out and it showed in my finished products” she said noting that she was tasked with creating a chocolate showpiece 10 dipped truffles 10 moulded truffles six French pastries of her choice and another six using sugar paste two identical marzipan insects and two identical marzipan animals and a mouse cake using a selection of mystery box ingredients. “I feel very proud and honoured to have represented Niagara College and Ontario for this national win. This competition has conditioned me to work in my environment organized and detailed.”

Maille was grateful for the skills she learned at Niagara College as well as coaching from chef professors  Ruth Bleijerveld and Philippe Corbiere.

“The skills I have learned through this entire experience will stay with me forever” she said. “Thank you so much Niagara College for making a small town girl’s dream come true.”

The icing on the cake for this soon-to-be graduate is that she has already begun to put the skills she learned in the classroom to work. She has been hired as a full-time apprentice pastry cook at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Maille was one of two Niagara College students to compete in the Skills Canada National Competition this year. Culinary Management student Ramel Fortes (Toronto/Thorold) also competed in culinary after winning a gold medal at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition.

The Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) was held May 28-29 2015 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. The event tests the best and brightest students from across the country who will be measured against exacting industry standards in the skilled trades. The event provides competitors with an opportunity to further develop their skills through hands-on competition with their peers and the distinction of being named the nation’s best in their chosen field. The competition brings together representatives from industry government and educators along with more than 5000 visiting students who will take part in interactive Try-a-Trade® and Technology activities. For information visit:

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 Part-Time Studies 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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