EDMONTON – NAIT Bakes: A Canadian Masters Workshop was possibly the
only gathering of its kind in Canada: a hands-on professional
development workshop designed specifically for journeyman bakers.
| Some of the bread that was made during NAIT Bakes.
EDMONTON – NAIT Bakes: A Canadian Masters Workshop was possibly the only gathering of its kind in Canada: a hands-on professional development workshop designed specifically for journeyman bakers.
Held May 4-7, the event was the brainchild of Alan Dumonceaux, chairman of the baking program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
“We want to provide those in the Canadian baking industry the opportunity for further professional development once they become a journeyman baker,” Dumonceaux says. “They can receive this in Canada with our postgraduate training opportunities here at NAIT.”
“NAIT Bakes was excellent,” said Austin Hohn of Puratos in Calgary. “It’s great that NAIT can bring in such high-profile bakers like Didier Rosada and Peter Reinhart, masters in their craft, to share their passion and enthusiasm for bread with bakers of all levels.”
Twenty-eight participants from British Columbia to Ontario took part in the four-day conference. Participants were split into two groups. Two days were spent with Didier Rosada, a certified French master baker who is known as one of the world’s ”best bread guys,” then the two remaining days were spent with Peter Reinhart, acclaimed baker, teacher and author.
Rosada’s workshop was titled “Artisan Breads at their Best” and Reinhart’s focused on “Whole Grain Breads and Whole Grain Flours.”
|Peter Reinhart (in the foreground) of Johnson and Wales University was one of the master bakers at NAIT Bakes: A Canadian Masters Workshop. The workshop participant watching Reinhart is Lasse Warje, an instructor at Vancouver Community College.|
“In Peter’s class, the combinations with the whole wheat flours, soakers and seeds gave me new respect for these ingredients and a better knowledge of using them. In Didier’s class, there too was a lot to learn. The feel of the dough, the length of time for mixing and the patience for the ingredients to do what they do,” said Ruth Bleijerveld of Niagara College.
“All in all, it was a great learning experience. The people I met, the time away to learn and a new appreciation for bread will be lasting.”
NAIT Bakes will become an annual event. Next year, chef Ciril Hitz is already confirmed. His workshop will be on Viennoiserie pastries and artistic design. Hitz is a master baker whose creative ideas and techniques have revolutionized showpieces in the baking and pastry industry.
The inaugural event in the NAIT Bakes postgraduate training series was with Jeffrey Hamelman of King Arthur Flour in Vermont. The NAIT baking program has also hosted the first Bread Bakers Guild of America training session to be held outside the United States – a program called Women of the Guild on Tour, featuring guest instructors Tracey Muzzolini of Christie’s Mayfair Bakery (a former member of Baking Team Canada) and Karen Bornarth of the French Culinary Institute in New York City.
“With our third training opportunity completed, we are looking forward to planning next year’s session with Ciril Hitz,” Dumonceaux said.
Rayne Kuntz is the media relations coordinator at NAIT. For more information about the NAIT baking program, visit www.nait.ca/program_home_13921.htm.
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