These NC students don’t ‘quack’ under pressure

Two students from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute have earned a feather in their cap as Great Amazing Duck Race champions.

On Saturday, March 24, Bianca Aversa and Jonathan Williams who are both second-year culinary students, joined nine teams from other Ontario colleges for the Great Amazing Duck Race.

The competition, a spinoff of The Amazing Race presented by King Cole Ducks Limited, was designed to give the students a complete farm-to-fork experience. Students began their day with an egg hunt at King Cole Farm near Newmarket. They were brought to a main farm processing plant where they were judged on culinary cutting skills, then raced via subway to Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market where they shopped for recipe ingredients before running to their final destination: George Brown College.

At the college, students prepared their farm-to-table meal and presented it to a panel of judges including chef David Hawey, director of Culinary at Durham College; Laurie-Ann Fisher, chef and educator; Jamie Drummond, sommelier and director, Good Food Revolution; and Eron Novalaski, executive chef, Aria.

Aversa and Williams won with their Duck Broth Punch, Duck Egg Tortellini and Duck Bahn Mi appetizer, as well as their entrée of Hoisin Roasted Duck Breast with Pancake. As winners they each received $1,000.

“We believe competitions are a vital part of the student experience at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, giving students opportunities to learn as they prepare for the event as well as a chance to showcase their skills,” said Jon Ogryzlo, dean of the CFWI. “We are proud of our students who worked hard to prepare for the event under the guidance of chef-professor Olaf Mertens and demonstrated that, with the skills they gained at the CFWI, they are a cut above the rest.”

For more information about the event, visit

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