VIU students perfect skills for competition

NANAIMO – VIU culinary students sharpen their cooking and baking skills to prepare for a variety of competitions over the next few months.

VIU’s culinary students Allegra Jimenez

VIU’s culinary students Allegra Jimenez

By Janina Stajic

With the support of Vancouver Island University’s dedicated culinary arts faculty, students are sharpening their cooking and baking skills to prepare for a variety of competitions over the next few months.

Brian Kremer, Adam Long, Shawn Saunders, Allegra Jimenez and Connor Berg are among the students who will be putting hundreds of collective overtime hours in to perfect recipes and dishes they hope will lead to medal success at the different competitions.

Chef Debbie Shore, culinary instructor, said not every culinary program encourages students to compete.

“Competitions aren’t part of the curriculum, but we feel it’s really important to create these opportunities for students,” she said. “It’s a great way for them to perfect the skills they’re learning in class such as team-building. Competitions also give students an opportunity to network with chefs from across Canada.”

One event all five students plan on entering is The Pear Excellence Culinary Student Competition.

To enter they must create and submit a one-of-a-kind recipe using pears. The winner from each region (VIU’s students compete in the B.C. region) will head to Ottawa to prepare their dish in hopes it captures the taste buds of the judges and nets them the $2,500 grand prize and the $300 bursary to the winning school.