Over the last few months, we’ve had the pleasure of challenging George Brown and Humber College’s top culinary students in live cook-off competitions. As part of an ongoing partnership which has been in place for nearly a decade, Nestlé Professional, Humber College and George Brown challenged students to design a creative and tasty recipe using at least one of Nestlé Professional Minor's Bases and Flavour Concentrates.
At Humber College, three students from the culinary, nutrition and baking programs competed on Friday, April 13th in a live cook-off where they demonstrated their culinary chops creating Bold Sandwiches in front of a crowd of other students. George Brown had five of their top culinary students come together in a similar competition on Wednesday, April 4th, but they were challenged with creating Global Street Food recipes.
The top culinary students who participated in this year’s on-campus competitions created statement dishes, bold in both taste and presentation. At Humber College, Gloria Carvajal landed in 1st Place with her Tandori-Mex Chicken Sandwich. At George Brown, the 1st Place prize and People’s Choice award went to An Hoang, who created Chicken Karaage Banh Xeo.
See below for the list of winners and their recipe items:
- 1st Place – Gloria Carvajal, Tandoori-Mex Chicken Sandwich
- 2nd Place – Samantha Simms, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Bourbon Ancho Chile Maple Syrup & Dill Pickle Slaw
- 3rd Place – Mihali Patel, Feisty Felafel Pita Sandwich
Judges: Chef Rick Secko from Nestle Professional, Tony Fernandes, Executive Chef of the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel and guest judge Kartikey Bhargava from Restaurants Canada.
George Brown College
- 1st Place & People’s Choice – An Hoang, Chicken Karaage Banh Xeo
- 2nd Place – Urmil G. Rathod, Bread Pakora
- 3rd Place – Youngyup Chang, Spicy Chipotle Octopus with Gimgaru Couscous and Baby salad
- 4th Place – Rene Corpuz, Kimchi & Garlic Sukiyaki Beef Taco with Chipotle Mayo on Ancho Pepper Tortillas
- 5th Place – Carl Daniel D’clasz, Khow Suey
Judges: Chef Scot Woods, Chef Filomena and Professor Patrick Lucht from George Brown College, Chef Rick Secko from Nestle Professional, and guest judge Doug Burn from Food in Canada.
Both events drew in high energy audiences. A mixture of teachers and students watched and cheered for the talented competitors. At the Humber College live cook-off, onlookers got up close and personal with the competing students, gathering around their tables and cheering them on as they raced against the clock to prep their dishes for the judges! Following the competition, judges at both competitions raved about the quality of the recipes created. Competitors also expressed excitement and gratitude about the opportunity to participate in the live cook-off and showcase their culinary chops.
Our competitions from the past year have generated interest with food and beverage trade publications from across Canada. Articles featured in Foodservice and Hospitality and Western Restaurant News showcased the competitions, young competitors and Nestlé’s commitment to cultivating young culinary talent in Canada.
For the first time ever, the competitions introduced students to YOCUTA, Nestlé Professional’s Young Culinary Talents (YOCUTA) initiative. YOCUTA aims to support the development of the next generation of culinary talent in Canada, by building skills, experience, and community within the industry. Look for more news about this initiative later this year.