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Humber culinary students take the cake at Kraft Heinz Iron Chef competition

In December 2019, 32 talented students demonstrated their skills by competing for the title of ‘Iron Chef’ in the annual Kraft Heinz Iron Chef competition at Humber. This year’s competitors represented the breadth of Humber’s program offerings, including Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Management and Culinary Skills.

Student teams were tasked with preparing a Canadian-themed, three-course meal for a panel of tasting judges. Mandatory ingredients included brussel sprouts, parsnips, duck, maple syrup and cold brew coffee, in addition to Kraft Heinz’s Kraft peanut butter and Philadelphia cream cheese. In true Iron Chef fashion, a secret ingredient – Canadian kettle corn – was revealed on the day of the event.

Humber kitchen judges included instructors Matt Fulton, Greg Howe and George Taluri, and were joined by tasting judges Chuck Nervick, senior vice president of Media Edge Communications and the Canadian Restaurant & Bar Show; John Morris, executive chef at the CN Tower; and Anthon Jensen, development chef at Boston Pizza. These tasting specialists were familiar with the showcased ingredients and how they could best be highlighted within a full-course meal.

This event, held just before the Christmas holidays, is an extracurricular opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience of the pressures they might face in the industry. “Students do everything on their own, including creating their own recipes and their own menus,” says Shonah Chalmers, program coordinator for Humber’s Culinary Management programs. “It’s a chance for them to be innovative and gain experience that will help them make an impact in their jobs from day one.”

The winning menu, prepared by Team Empress Etanas, featured a maple-cured and smoked Atlantic salmon salad, sous vide duck breast and a chili chocolate peanut butter brownie. Cash prizes, courtesy of Kraft Heinz, were provided to the top three student teams.

Thank you to Kraft Heinz for sponsoring this competition and transforming the learning experience for Humber students, and congratulations to Dacyion Reid, Lori Gardner, Laurie Crawford and Thelma Simpson on winning the 2019 Kraft Heinz Iron Chef competition!

Iron Chef Finalists:

#1 Empress Etanas: Dacyion Reid, Lori Gardner, Laurie Crawford, Thelma Simpson

#2 Spice Girls: Loretta McQuarrie, Alex Michelin, Hailey Gyles, Shyanna Johnston

#3 Ravioli Boys: Stjepan Balen, Joel Latiff, Matthew Chiappetta, Jacob Brant.