The Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College hosted Decadence this past weekend to great success and large crowds celebrating Icewine, chocolate and the culinary talent being cultivated in Niagara. The event saw hundreds of Niagara residents take to Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus with activities for families and foodies alike throughout the weekend long event.
This weekend celebration is based around the National Student Pastry competition, which sees schools from across North America compete in a 14-hour event that culminates in an intense judging process. Competitors prepare numerous desserts, elaborate chocolate structures and are guided by the required inclusion of Icewine in each element of the competitive display. Decadence 2013 saw Johnson and Wales University’s team take the title of Grand Champion and the award for most innovative use of chocolate. The Niagara College CFWI team took second place overall and won the innovative use of Icewine with an impressive and intricate display of chocolate showpieces and desserts. Judging this prestigious competition was Canada’s Culinary Olympic Team Coach Chef Richard Braunauer, World Chocolate Master Joseph Montinaro, Executive Sous Chef at the Fallsview Casino Chef Pradeep Dharmawardane, two-time Escoffier Chef of the Year Chef John Cirillo and Executive Chef of The Inn at Bay Fortune Domenic Serio.
New to the 2013 event was the Battle of Ontario, a culinary competition that saw savoury plates by four Ontario colleges: Humber College, Fanshawe College, Fleming College and Canadore College. The competition is a people’s choice style judging which resulted in Humber College reigning supreme. In attendance at the event as special guest judges were Food Network celebrity Chef Anna Olson, Top Chef Canada’s Carl Heinrich, Chef Richard Braunauer, Canada’s Godfather of the Grill Chef Ted Reader, and winemaker Sue-Ann Staff. The Battle of Ontario was hosted at the sold out Decadence Gala event which also featured a reception and dessert prepared by students of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.