News & Events
Fanshawe Team Wins Eight Medals at Canadian Culinary Federation Competition
The food was cold but the talent was hot as Fanshawe's Culinary team won eight gold and silver medals at the Canadian Culinary Federation's (CCFCC) cold food salon in Toronto on March 7, 2011.
Fanshawe's Culinary team at the Canadian Culinary Federation Food Salon.
Left-right, back row: Grace Stevenson, Kevyn Swift, Nazia Khan, Steven Cadick, Julio Osorio, Zach Zimmer, Allan Ashley, Hailey Ashton, Mitchell Brown, Terry Tew, Anthony Thagard, Hannah Mels, Johan Akeung, Ayla Fernandes.
Front row: Chef Roland Hofner, team captain Chris Juniper, Josh Brunskill, Mark McNeil, Wesley Bach, Chef Scott Baechler.
The three-day event, a culinary contest sponsored by the Escoffier Society and sanctioned by CCFCC, pits top chefs and culinary apprentices in competitions to showcase their culinary artistry for top prize. Challenges include cold plates, bread, pastry, chocolate work and buffet platters. The cold food salon has been held every year at the Direct energy centre in Toronto, as part of the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association (CRFA) show.
With three silver medals, four golds, plus one grand gold (best in category), the Fanshawe team not only took home more medals than any other college in Canada, they also won highest standings.
Team coach Chef Scott Baechler, commented, "This exercise pushes our students to new levels of extreme, in competing [against] their own personal fatigue and raising the bar in their every move."
The second-year students in Baechler's advanced food preparation course spent 38 sleepless hours developing their menu creations during the event. Each student prepared four or five plates per entry in the competition, cooking and preserving their food in less than half the regular amount of time: one plate per day is considered normal in the industry.
Medal winners were: Hailey Ashton (silver); Zach Zimmer (silver); Terry Tew (silver); Mark McNeil (pastry - gold); Josh Brunskill (gold); Chris Juniper (team captain - gold); and Wesley Bach (gold and grand gold).
“Fanshawe College had a very good showing at the event,” said Escoffier Society President Michael Jensen, CCC, Executive Chef for Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre in Toronto. “These competitions are the food industry equivalent of haute-couture fashion – they’re about presenting food as art, but they also require an element of practicality. From what I saw, Fanshawe College participants demonstrated food that looked colourful and creatively artistic, but also flavourful and very cleanly and carefully presented.”
Jensen also noted that cold salons are as much about competition as they are about setting trends in the food industry, from which chefs take inspiration for future menus.
"These kinds of competitions contribute to the industry by building strong chefs and cooks who continue to carry with them the concepts and discipline they learn here," said Toronto Culinary Salon Chair Robert Roberge, CCC, Executive Chef for Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Oakville. "Whether on the international stage in culinary competitions on the world circuit, or in their own workplaces here at home, the participants demonstrate their success in practical ways, which in turn contributes to the success of the industry as a whole."
Chef Baechler, himself a CCFCC winner and Certified Chef de Cuisine, agreed.
"Leadership, communication, camaraderie... these are things they get out of the competition that matter much more than the medals they come back with," he said. “"I'm really proud of these guys"
Chef Baechler also thanked Fanshawe's School of Tourism and Hospitality for much assistance: "I would like to personally thank Jeannine Cookson [Chair of the School of Tourism and Hospitality] for her support in this year's competition, and Chef Roland Hofner for coaching our pastry student. Many thanks go out to The School of Tourism & Hospitality for help with equipment, food sourcing, kitchen maintenance and cleaning."
Fanshawe's Culinary Management program incorporates traditional culinary skills training with a range of unique courses like mixology, professional dining etiquette, wine tasting, and dinner party planning. Students also get a taste of real life working experience at Saffron's, the College's fine dining restaurant, during this two-year program, which includes three semesters of baking, six courses in practical kitchen skills development, and a five-week externship placement.
The School of Tourism and Hospitality at Fanshawe College prepares students for exciting careers at a variety of resorts, restaurants, hotels, golf courses and other recreational clubs, government agencies, airlines and destination management companies.
Fanshawe College Team ResultsTotal medal count:
- 3 silver medals
- 4 gold medals
- 1 Grand Gold (best of all entries in Novice category)
- Hailey Ashton – Silver
- Zach Zimmer – Silver
- Terry Tew – Silver
- Mark McNeil – Gold (Pastry)
- Josh Brunskil – Gold
- Chris Juniper (Team Captain) – Gold
- Wesley Bach – Gold and Grand Gold