Emma Kilgannon wears her chef’s uniform while using a pastry bag to create small chocolate figures for a dessert.

Humber College graduate Emma Kilgannon is among the best in the world after winning bronze at the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.

Kilgannon, who graduated from Humber’s Baking and Pastry Arts Management program in April, finished third out of more than a dozen international competitors in the Pâtisserie and Confectionery division at WorldSkills, which ran October 10 to 15 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Switzerland’s Juliana Thöny finished first while Nandita Saxena of India came in second.

“I'm very happy with how I did,” said Kilgannon. “I knew I had done a good job but there were a lot of really amazing competitors, so I wasn’t expecting to get on the podium. When I heard my name called, I was so excited and really happy to be able to bring home a medal for Humber.”

The college held a reception earlier this month to honour Kilgannon’s achievements and to wish her well ahead of WorldSkills. She was also presented with a Humber flag signed by members of the Humber community.

Kilgannon said the support she’s received from the Humber community has been tremendous.  

“Receiving that flag with all the signatures made me so happy and blessed to know that Humber was behind me,” she said. “It’s felt like one big family since I started here and all the love and support I’ve received from everyone has been amazing.”

For the competition, Kilgannon had to create two entremets (a multi-layer cake dessert), a sugar stand, two marzipan figurines, 14 chocolate bonbons, and a chocolate presentation piece.  

Emma Kilgannon wears her chef’s uniform as she stands beside a table with the various desserts and items she created.

Kilgannon previously won gold in the Pâtisserie and Confectionery division at the Skills Canada National Competition in May, which she qualified for after finishing first in the Baking division at the 2022 Virtual Skills Ontario Competition.

Kenneth Ku, a professor with the Baking and Pastry Arts Management program who travelled with Kilgannon to the competition, was beyond proud of his former student’s performance.

“Emma demonstrated amazing skill and dedication leading up to the competition and she was a star on the world stage,” said Ku. “Watching a student grow and develop their skills is inspirational and I could not be prouder of Emma.”  

Kilgannon trained for WorldSkills since August with mentor Stefanie Francavilla, a former student at Humber, and spent upwards of 50 hours a week preparing for the global competition. A large amount of that was spent in Humber’s facilities.

Asked about what the future holds for her career, Kilgannon said she plans to start working in the industry to gain more experience.

You can find out more about WorldSkills by visiting the competition’s website.