Pearson School of Culinary Arts (PSCA) is gearing up for the upcoming Vocational Olympics, which will be held in May 2018.
On Friday, November 10, PSCA held a cooking competition where 8 students created an entrée, main course and dessert. Holding culinary competitions is part of the culture not only at PSCA, but across the food industry, according to Program Coordinator Nancy Gagnon, Every year the school holds a competition for their students. Competing against their classmates gives students the opportunity to push themselves and to put into practice what they learned in the program. Participating in the contest, whether as an Olympian or a volunteer, gives students a sense of belonging and pride.
Every second year, Compétences Québec hosts the Vocational Olympics where vocational students from across Québec have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in their chosen program. With this being an Olympics year, the competition was more stressful than usual. Eight students participated in the competition. One month before the competition, students were given the list of ingredients they would be using. Over the course of four hours, students prepared their dishes for judging. The atmosphere in the kitchen was quiet. The students worked diligently on their creations. When the bell rang, students stopped working and the volunteers took the dishes for judging. Dishes were judged not only for taste, but also for presentation.
The competition was a true team effort with teachers, students, and administrators lending a hand to ensure that everything went smoothly. Their help included assisting the student Olympians, preparing meals for judges and attendees, and providing whatever support was needed throughout the day.
The dining room judges were Executive Chef at Hotel Sofitel, Golden Square Mile, Heidi Bronstein, Food Stylist, Olivier Perret, and Robin Long, Chef Instructor PSCA. Students were also judged in the kitchen. The kitchen judges were Seth Gabrielse, owner of Automne Boulangerie, Nancy Gagnon, Program Coordinator PSCA, Michel Ross and Sam Pinard, Chef Instructors PSCA.
After judging all the dishes, three students won medals: Dan Domingo won gold, Alexander Kittson, silver, and Ru Zhang, Bronze. Two students, Dan and Alexander, will represent PSCA in the Regional competition to be held in the New Year. They, along with their coaches, Nicolas Robineau-Roberge, Michel Ross and Sam Pinard, are busy preparing for the next level of competition.
Congratulations to all who participated in this wonderful event. We will be following Dan and Alexander in the provincial competition.