Team Bake Canada - Yay or Nay?
For the first time ever at Bakery Showcase, Team Bake Canada will be
strutting its stuff, demonstrating some of its unique products, talking
about what it was like to train for the Louis Lesaffre Cup, and, more
recently, what it was like to do demos at Europain in Paris. What do you think about Team Bake Canada? How do you think a team such as this can benefit the baking industry in Canada, both here at home and on the international baking scene? Is the team just wasting its time?
For the first time ever at Bakery Showcase, Team Bake Canada will be strutting its stuff, demonstrating some of its unique products, talking about what it was like to train for the Louis Lesaffre Cup, and, more recently, what it was like to do demos at Europain in Paris.
More than support in the form of rah-rah-rah!, way to go guys, pat-on-the-back, the team needs financial support. It needs money. It’s not cheap to train for competitions like Louis Lesaffre and Le Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. It requires time and money.
Team USA, working with a reported budget of almost $150,000 (all of which is supplied by industry sponsors) first entered the Coupe du Monde in 1994. In 1996, it upset the French team with a first-place win in the Baguette and Specialty Breads category. Team USA followed that up three years later in 1999 with an even bigger upset: it took the title, and did the same thing in 2005, coming second in the 2002 event. These wins have done much for the baking industry in the USA, not the least of which has been boosting the image of the industry with frequent media appearances and making the baking world look a lot more interesting to the young people who will be its future.
Canada’s baking industry could garner the same kind of attention as the U.S one, could attract the same excitement as those booths at the CRFA show with the celebrity chefs, could generate the same excitement as a dexterous pizza spinner. Our bakers aren’t any less talented or skilled or gifted. They just haven’t been able to round up the right support.
What do you think about Team Bake Canada? How do you think a team such
as this can benefit the baking industry in Canada, both here at home
and on the international baking scene? Is the team just wasting its
|Team Bake Canada|
Written by Heather Savela on 2008-05-22 14:53:03
I think having a Team Canada is great for us. It showcases our industry. Baking is not a simple thing that you can learn overnight. It takes years of working experience to become competent and good and to learn what works and what doesn't. It takes time to develop formulas and test them in your area.
There is such diversity in baked goods and so many different ethnic favorites that a competition can highlight these and the rest of the world can borrow the ideas and expand or change the products in their neighbourhood. I think the whole concept is wonderful.
I personally would have loved to be on the team but when I read the criteria, one must be under the age of 50. I am 53. So I wish the younger people all the best.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
|Go Team Canada!|
Written by Carol Husband on 2008-05-22 14:53:34
Baker's Journal e-mail arrived this morning, and your enthusiasm prompted me to respond to your query about Team Bake Canada. There was enthusiasm there!
I am a farm woman, but there are a few points I'd like to make to you that might not be a typical farm woman response, I'll wager, followed by a few suggestions.
1. Team Bake Canada serves to make the chain of players involved, actually feel involved, be part of success (or heaven forbid, lumpy-loaved disasters, lol). As a farmer, I see the importance of bread-making varieties to grow. They are not just as easy to find as they used to be. It also serves to make flour manufacturers fluff their feathers out. And so on. So, says the long-winded windbag, "Team Bake Canada sparks pride in growing grain, manufacturing flour, and finished products..and eating, yup, eating."
2. It serves as an impetus for farmers to grow other interesting grains (for example einchorn, etc.) for bakers to use and showcase. In other words, Team Bake Canada promotes variety/varietal choices.
There are two things I'd like to suggest:
1. The involvement of a farmer. We have personally had great success with press and media coming to our farm (Canadian Living, Japanese publications, BBC, General Motors, etc.) and it is always about food. Food products. What we grow. Well, who doesn't like to eat? We grow for taste. Involving farmers by linking Team Bake Canada with farmers, with the suppliers, is often missed, but one that is tried and true. Consumers really relate to farmers. So will judges. Audit trail from farm to mouth accomplishes where the industry is heading, right?
2. The other thing is this: farm women know how to bake bread and bread products. You couldn't drive twenty miles to town for a loaf of bread when the kids had nothing for sandwich-making. So farm women know how to make bread, Trust me. And buns. Trust me. And specialty breads. If the chefs are looking for unique bread and bread products to win with, check out farm women with forty years experience. They are a baker's trust fund.
Okay, that's my morning rant. I hope you accept it in the light in which it was written...an appreciation of Team Bake Canada and what they are trying to do, a pat on the back to you for asking opinions, and a thumbs up to all of you in the baking industry for reaching out to learn...only those who reach out realize they cannot know everything, and that their knowledge base can be enhanced simply by asking.
|One for the team|
Written by Evelyn McManus on 2008-05-22 14:28:20
I would like to say,”Go team bake Canada.” I think it is high time that Canadian bakers and pastry chefs have a forum to showcase their talents. Our bakers and pastry chefs are among the most gifted and talented in the world and it is high time that they let their light shine, and take their place beside the other Canadian culinary olympians. Canada produces the finest wheat and grains in the world, and what better choice than to have professionally trained Canadian bakers and pastry chefs to show the world what Canada has to offer and what Canadians can do with our products. I think that a national Canadian baking team could catapult the baking industry into the forefront and have people understand that bread does not have to be underrated and totally commercialized. It could bring about a new understanding of the different commodities that are available to Canadians, which would assist in generating an interest in artisan baking and jumpstart the industry. With the onset of higher prices of the bread making commodities it would be beneficial for people to realize what a great commodity is available to them and what interesting options can be explored with these products.