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Canadian culinary students show flair with pears


May 20, 2010
By Bakers Journal

Competition winner Stephanie Duong of George Brown College in Toronto. May 20, 2010, VANCOUVER – After competing in local competitions across Canada, five top culinary students represented their region in a final competition to prove who is beyond compare when it comes to pears.

Competition winner Stephanie Duong of George Brown College in Toronto.
Competition winner Stephanie Duong of George Brown College in Toronto.

May 20, 2010, VANCOUVER – After
competing in local competitions across Canada, five top culinary
students represented their region in a final competition to prove who
is beyond compare when it comes to pears.

Pear Bureau Northwest’s third annual Pear Excellence recipe competition, open only to Canadian culinary students, named a National Grand Prize winner in early May following a heated competition that took place at the Culinaria Restaurant at The Art Institute of Vancouver.

Stephanie Duong of George Brown College in Toronto was crowned the National Grand Prize winner, with her “Spiced Pear Buckwheat Pancakes with Pear Caramel Sauce and Mascarpone Cream” recipe earning top honours from the judges.

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“I wanted to create a pear recipe that could be served both as an entrée at breakfast or as a dessert at dinner,” said Duong.

The competition judges praised Duong for her recipe’s outstanding usage of pears in both the pancake batter and the caramel sauce.

“The pear flavor really comes through in this recipe,” said contest judge Karen Barnaby, cookbook author and executive chef of The Fish House in Stanley Park.

With a $5,000 cash prize at stake, each student prepared their pear recipe and presented it for evaluation and comment by a panel of esteemed judges that included Barnaby as well as Chuck Currie, executive chef, White Spot; Boban Kovacevich, corporate chef, Executive Hotel & Conference Center; and Greg Holmes, president, B.C. Produce Marketing Association. The judges tasted each recipe and provided students with their feedback before selecting a single Grand Prize winner.

The winning recipe will have the distinguishing honor of being featured on the menu at The Art Institute of Vancouver’s Culinaria Restaurant (at the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir) from mid-May through mid-June.

The competition, with a deadline of March 31, 2010, encouraged students to submit a creative recipe that utilizes Anjou, Red Anjou, and/or Bosc varieties of USA Pears. Everything from appetizers to entrees, desserts and beverages were reviewed by regional judging panels, and a regional finalist was named from each the following participating regions: British Columbia (North West Territories), Ontario, Quebec, Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) and the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I).

The four finalists not named the Grand Prize winner each received a $1,500 cash prize.
The five finalists for 2010 were Kyle Mar, The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Vancouver, representing British Columbia; Cyril Roach, Nova Scotia Community College, representing the Maritimes; Stephanie Duong, George Brown College, representing Ontario; Adam Cenaiko, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, representing the Prairies region; and Norelle Donahue, LaSalle College, representing Quebec.

For more information on the competition and to view the regional winning recipes, visit www.usapears.org/excellence.aspx.