After taking silver at the Skills Canada B.C. competition in April, Leesy Ferguson, a Vancouver Island University hairdressing student, is looking to do better at nationals in Winnipeg. (VIU photo)

University students looking to excel at Skills Canada nationals

A pair of VIU students are hoping to shine at the Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg

A pair of Vancouver Island University students are hoping to shine at the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg.

Amanda Rizzo (culinary management diploma) and Leesy Ferguson (hairdressing) took gold and silver respectively at Skills Canada’s provincials in Abbotsford in April and will compete nationally today (June 1) and Friday.

Rizzo took top gold thanks in part to her salmon dish and while she won’t know exactly what main dish she will have to prepare until Friday, it will again be fish.

“It’s a mystery fish and then we also get a mystery vegetable, but I’m doing a striped pasta cannelloni with a mushroom filling and then a seared fish, whatever I get, and then turned vegetables and then a beet reduction sauce,” said Rizzo on Wednesday. “You also have to make a bread pudding dessert, so I’m doing bread pudding three ways and then I’m going to have a Grand Marnier ice cream and a chocolate garnish.”

Ferguson will have to do numerous competitions and also have to think on the fly, including on Thursday when she has to do a men’s cut and colour.

“They show you a photo the day of and you have to work with what they show you and when you get the mannequin [head] it’s basically completly bleached out and it looks like a Jesus … You have to transform it into the look that they want and you get to pick the colour, but it has to be something that complements it,” Ferguson said.

Both said they are excited to be at the event.

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