NAIT will have strong presence at Culinary Olympics
NAIT students and faculty members are gearing up for the 2012 International Culinary Exhibition which takes place Oct. 6-10 in Erfurt, Germany. The event - commonly known as the Culinary Olympics - is the world’s largest exhibition of culinary arts.
The four members of Culinary Team NAIT – all second-year Culinary Arts students - will go head-to-head with established chefs at the five-day event. NAIT instructor Clayton Folkers has also been selected to serve as the first ever Canadian pastry judge on the international judging panel.
“Our students have been vigourously training for the last six months,” said Vinod Varshney, coach and manager of Culinary Team NAIT. “I am extremely proud of the dedication team members have demonstrated as they prepare to compete against professional chefs from around the world.”
Culinary Team NAIT members include Ashley Broad, Francis Flores, Jayden Kresnyak and Phillip Robidoux. Broad and Flores are enrolled in competitions where they will each have to prepare “festive platters” for eight, as well as six individual appetizers. Kresnyak and Robidoux will each prepare four individual entrees, restaurant platters for two and three-course luncheon menus. The food, prepared hot and served cold, will be judged on a number of criteria, including innovation, composition, preparation and presentation.
Meanwhile, Folkers is also excited about heading to the Culinary Olympics as a judge. An instructor in NAIT’s baking program and an accomplished pastry chef, Folkers has participated in the Culinary Olympics both as a competitor and coach. This is the first time the NAIT alumnus (Commercial Cooking -1979, Alumni Award of Distinction - 2001) will sit on an international judging panel. The appointment came following a lengthy selection process, including approval by both the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks and the World Association of Cooks Societies.
“For me, going to the Culinary Olympics as a judge is closing the circle. I’ve gone in the past as both a competitor and coach. Now, I get to see things from another perspective,” said Folkers. “It’s fun to be involved in these sorts of competitions, but they are also great educational opportunities for everyone involved.”
Representatives of 45 countries are expected to compete at the 2012 Culinary Olympics, held every four years in Germany. This prestigious event dates back to 1900, and is the world’s largest culinary competition.
Photos to accompany this story have been uploaded to NAIT’s Flickr account: www.flickr.com/nait.
Please note: Members of Culinary Team NAIT as well as Clayton Folkers will be available for media interviews until Thursday, Sept. 27, and again upon their return from Germany.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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