Bakers Journal

Second annual NAIT Bakes a success

June 27, 2011
By Frank Landry/NAIT

june27diderrosadanaitbakesbjJune 27, 2011, Edmonton – Twenty-four bakers from three provinces came together to learn from the masters at the second annual NAIT Bakes workshop.

June 27, 2011, Edmonton – Twenty-four bakers from three provinces came
together to learn from the masters at the second annual NAIT Bakes

Master Baker Ciril Hitz, a baking and pastry instructor at Johnson and Wales University, and renowned baker Didier Rosada, a certified French master baker and former head instructor for the San Francisco Baking Institute, were the featured instructors at this year’s NAIT Bakes, which ran June 7 to 10 at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

“Once you’ve attained your journeyman’s certificate, there are still further professional development opportunities available for you,” said Alan Dumonceaux, organizer of NAIT Bakes and chair of the school’s baking program. “We want to make those available for the Canadian baking industry.”

Dumonceaux said his goal is to seek out the best bakers in North America to lead the workshops, which students rotate through over the course of four days.

In this year’s All About Sourdoughs workshop, Rosada unraveled the mysteries of sourdough cultures. This was Rosada’s second time at NAIT Bakes. In 2010, he lead a session called Artisan Breads at their Best.

Hitz’s Laminating with Flair workshop taught Viennoiserie techniques for making delicate and flaky breakfast pastries.

Hitz says he looks forward to professional development workshops like NAIT Bakes not only for the opportunity to teach others, but to also learn new tricks himself.

When teaching outside of the U.S., he has to adapt to things like subtle differences in flour.

“For me, it’s a continuous challenge in regards to working with different ingredients you may not be used to,” Hitz said. “The flour may seem like the same white stuff you would get (south of the border) … but it’s very different than what we use on a regular basis back in the States.”

“You have to be flexible and adaptive to your environment, like an animal going to different parts of the world. You have to really adapt to it.”

Participants like Brigitte Balogh appreciate the chance to learn from the pros and brush up on key techniques.

“I just thought this would be a great opportunity to reacquaint myself with some of the processes that I don’t do often enough to be really skilled at,” said Balogh, who works at Feys & Hobbs Catered Arts Inc., in Victoria, B.C. “This has been really good for me – a really good refresher in all the finesse and technique that I might have forgotten from school.”

Balogh said the trip to Edmonton was well worth it, noting she learned plenty of new techniques.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity,” she said.

NAIT Bakes was hosted by NAIT’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts program.

Didier Rosada leads a sourdough workshop at the second annual
NAIT Bakes in Edmonton. (NAIT)


Ciril Hitz teaches participants to make breakfast pastries
during a workshop on laminating. (NAIT)

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