Bakers Journal

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Editor’s Letter: June 2017

So Much Winning


May 23, 2017
By Brian Hartz

Kimberley City Bakery in Kimberley, B.C., is the winner of this year’s Jake the Baker Award. Thanks to our generous sponsors Ardent Mills and Reiser, Kimberley City Bakery owners Eric and Michelle Forbes won an all-expenses-paid trip to Bakery Congress 2017 in Vancouver, where they were able to accept the award and enjoy a cake made for them by Pikanik Bakery in nearby Surrey, B.C. – last year’s winner of the Jake the Baker Award. Ottawa’s Bread By Us, meanwhile, is our Jake the Baker Award runner-up this year.

You’ll be able to read more about both Kimberley City Bakery and Bread By Us in next month’s Bakers Journal, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank and highlight the other bakeries who entered the competition for the Jake the Baker Award. This is the third year we’ve been handing out this accolade, and it seems the judging process has only become more and more difficult. That’s a very good problem to have!

One of the most inspiring entries this year came from Veronique Ayling, owner/operator of V’s Cupcakes in Ottawa. Ayling served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 16 years prior to being diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. That was in 2012, and a couple of years later, she was out of the military, her career derailed by the often mysterious and debilitating illness. Undeterred, Ayling opened V’s Cupcakes – and it’s been nothing but a success. In June 2016, she was asked to provide dessert for the North American Leaders’ Summit – a gathering that included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. president Barack Obama. Learn more about V’s Cupcakes and Ayling’s story by visiting www.vcupcakes.ca.

Christophe Chocolate in Vancouver’s Burnaby Heights neighbourhood is another entrant worth mentioning (really, all of them are, but I have only so much space to work with here). Owner/operator Christophe Bonzon has quickly grown the business from two to nearly 20 employees without sacrificing creativity and innovation in the kitchen. Inspired by Swiss culture, he has introduced a puff pastry stick known as a flute, and his recent travels in Mexico gave rise to the “Tom Collins,” a gin-infused ganache with a lime gelee finished in a brilliant blue chocolate shell, as well as “Pear Bergamot,” a dome-shaped bon bon filled with a pear and bergamot dark chocolate ganache. To further illustrate his commitment to innovation and constant improvement, Bonzon is sending his head chocolatier to train in Montreal.

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Those are just two examples. I could go on … and on … and on. Suffice to say, the judging process was not something I would wish upon an enemy.

I’d also like to point out that simply by being nominated for the Jake the Baker Award contest, nearly 20 Canadian bakeries are now on our radar. We were very impressed by all of you who entered, so don’t be surprised if you receive a call or email in the coming months asking if you’re interested in being featured in an upcoming issue of Bakers Journal.

Until then, happy reading and happy baking!