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Students stir up medals

Vancouver Island University culinary arts students Tyson VanCadsand left, Mem Xavier, Elycia Ross, Brandon Robinson and Liam Broderick were big winners at the 16th annual B.C. Chefs Hot Competition Live at the Vancouver Convention Centre. - Photo contributed
Vancouver Island University culinary arts students Tyson VanCadsand left, Mem Xavier, Elycia Ross, Brandon Robinson and Liam Broderick were big winners at the 16th annual B.C. Chefs Hot Competition Live at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
— image credit: Photo contributed

Vancouver Island University culinary arts students have done it again.

Competing at the 16th annual B.C. Chefs Hot Competition Live at the Vancouver convention centre in January, they won several medals, including grand gold, grand silver and grand bronze.

The two-day event, part of the B.C. Foodservice Expo, included competitors from all levels of cooking in professional, team, apprentice, post-secondary and high school categories.

“We’re extremely proud of our students,” said Debbie Shore, program chairwoman for Vancouver Island University’s Culinary Arts Institute.

Student cooks practised for three weeks under the watchful eyes of their instructors, including David Wong, the latest world-class chef to join VIU’s teaching team.

Representing Canada, Wong placed ninth in the world at the prestigious Bocuse D’Or competition in Lyon, France in 2008.

“To learn from a world-renowned chef and benefit from his knowledge and experience is awesome,” said student chef Mem Xavier. “Our team’s overall performance proves that we are taught by some of the best chefs in Canada.”

All contestants in the post-secondary category of the competition were required to maintain a ‘Heart Check’ criteria of no more than 15 grams of fat and 960 milligrams of sodium in their dishes. The mandatory ingredient was scallops.

Grand gold and $500 was won by Elycia Ross for her surf and turf dish of seared scallop and flat iron steak with corn puree, asparagus and teardrop tomatoes.

Xavier, who won grand silver and $300, prepared seared scallops on beet root carpacio, served with shitake mushrooms infused with kumquat citrus, white and green asparagus.

Liam Broderick was awarded grand bronze while bronze medals went to Brandon Robinson and Tyson VanCadsand.

Ross also won first place and a $1,500 cheque for her mango chicken barbecue rice recipe at the Culinary Student Recipe Competition at George Brown College in Toronto.

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