After competing in local competitions across Canada, five top culinary
students represented their region in a final competition to prove who is
beyond compare when it comes to pears.
The Pear Bureau Northwest's third annual "Pear Excellence" recipe
competition, which is open to Canadian culinary students only, named a
National Grand Prize winner May 11 following a heated competition that took
place at the Culinaria Restaurant at The Art Institute of Vancouver.
Stephanie Duong of George Brown College in Toronto was crowned the
National Grand Prize winner, with her spiced pear buckwheat pancakes with
pear caramel sauce and mascarpone cream recipe, which earned top honors
from the judges.
"I wanted to create a pear recipe that could be served both as an entrée at
breakfast or as a dessert at dinner," Ms. Duong said in a May 12 press
The competition judges praised Ms. Duong for her recipe's outstanding usage
of pears in both the pancake batter and the caramel sauce.
"The pear flavor really comes through in this recipe," contest judge Karen
Barnaby, a cookbook author and executive chef of The Fish House in
Vancouver's Stanley Park, said in the press release.
With a $5,000 cash prize at stake, each student prepared a pear recipe and
presented it for evaluation and comment by a panel of judges that, in
addition to Ms. Barnaby, was comprised of Chuck Currie, executive chef at
White Spot; Boban Kovacevich, corporate che at Executive Hotel & Conference
Center; and Greg Holmes, president of the BC Produce Marketing Association.
The judges tasted each recipe and provided students with their feedback
before selecting a single Grand Prize winner.
The winning recipe will have the honor of being featured on the menu at The
Art Institute of Vancouver's Culinaria Restaurant from mid-May through mid-
The competition encouraged students to submit a creative recipe that utilizes
Anjou, Red Anjou and/or Bosc varieties of U.S. pears. Everything from
appetizers to entrees to desserts to beverages were reviewed by regional
judging panels, and a regional finalist was named from each the following
participating regions: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Prairies and the
Maritimes. The four finalists not named the Grand Prize winner each received
a $1,500 cash prize.
The five finalists for 2010 were Kyle Mar of The International Culinary School
at The Art Institute of Vancouver, representing British Columbia; Cyril Roach
of Nova Scotia Community College, representing the Maritimes; Stephanie
Duong of George Brown College, representing Ontario; Adam Cenaiko of
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science & Technology, representing the
Prairies region; and Norelle Donahue of LaSalle College, representing Quebec.