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Have Knives – Will Travel: CIC grad jumps into international culinary competition at last minute

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Sean Burton full length

Preparing for an international culinary competition takes weeks, if not months. Developing and perfecting recipes and timing, ensuring that the kitchen is safe and organized, figuring out contingency plans in the event of last-minute hitches — it all takes time, if a chef wants to maximize their chance of winning.

Or not.

Chef Sean Burton, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of Canada’s Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts programs, stepped into the breach and hopped on a plane to Saint Pierre et Miquelon, an overseas collectivity of France located just off the western end of Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula, with only three days’ notice, to represent the CIC and P.E.I. in a two-day culinary competition – and brought back a silver medal.

Sean was team captain for the CIC in the World Culinary Olympics’ Regional Competition in 2016, which won double gold and placed fourth in the world. He said the Concours Culinaire competition in Saint Pierre et Miquelon was unlike any other. Most of the events he has participated in have been black box competitions in which each team or competitor is provided with a pantry of items, but don’t know what key ingredients they will have to work with until only a few hours before they are expected to present their dishes.

“This competition was based on classical cuisine, so there were very specific dishes that we had to prepare, like souffles. I’ve never done a competition like that before. You need to distinguish your interpretation of the dishes from those of your competitors, you have to re-imagine them,” he said.

The opportunity to compete in the Concours Culinaire came about when the chef who had been preparing for the event had to cancel. Austin Clement, program manager for The Culinary Institute of Canada’s culinary and hospitality programs immediately thought of sending Sean instead.

“Austin asked me if I would be interested in going to France represent P.E.I. in the Concours Culinaire, but I thought he was joking,” Sean recalled.

“By the time we were able to confirm that I was going, we were three days out.”

Chef Austin said he had absolute confidence that Sean was up to the task.

“Sean took on the challenge with just three days’ notice, a case of sharp knives, and his proven ability. After two days of intense competition and the elimination of top competitors from the region, he found himself once again representing PEI and the CIC to the very end. We are proud of his amazing finish. Sean showed the world that our craft is alive and well, and in good hands,” he said.

Unflappable, highly organized, and quietly confident, Sean relished the chance to compete so far outside of his comfort zone.

“It was a whirlwind of excitement and competition that I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to share with my fellow competitors in Saint Pierre Miquelon. I would do it again in a heartbeat!”

After the competition, Sean returned to Charlottetown and his duties as a lab technician for the CIC; but not for long! He is now in China for two months teaching Food Theory and Production to International Hospitality Management students enrolled in the Holland College Educational Joint Venture program.

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CPKN develops training portal in anticipation of cannabis legislation

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Sandy and JKN crew

CPKN president Sandy Sweet looks over the development of the training modules with Evan Jackson and Chris MacEachern (left). Both Jackson and MacEachern are Holland College graduates. Photo: Sidney Reid.

The Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN) is developing a training portal for use by front-line law enforcement officers across the country.

CPKN, which is based in Charlottetown, was created in 2004 through a partnership between Holland College and the Canadian police Community.

The training portal features three courses related to the incoming Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, which will lay out the regulations regarding legal use of cannabis in Canada.

Sandy Sweet, president of CPKN, said the portal will provide police services with a cost-effective way to deliver training to their personnel by using the resources online, eliminating the expenses related to traveling to receive training and allowing officers to take the training at times convenient to them.

Screen shot.PNG“The three courses will provide law enforcement officers with the information that they will need when Bill C-45 is enacted,” Sweet said, noting that the federal government has not yet confirmed when the bill will come into effect. It is expected in late summer or early fall.

“We are preparing as much information in advance of the roll-out of the legislation as possible, but we know that we will need to tweak the courses depending on any alterations that may be made to the Act before it comes into force.”

CPKN will customize the training according to the laws in each jurisdiction and will consult with each province and territory in advance of the legislation to ensure that all law enforcement professionals will receive information applicable to their particular area.

CPKN is also consulting with the RCMP and Canadian Association of Police Chiefs to ensure that all of the training available to law enforcement officers is consistent and accurate regardless of which organization is delivering it.

In addition to the courses, the CPKN portal will provide case studies as they develop following implementation of the Act, an Ask an Expert section, and other resources related to Bill C-45.

“The implementation of Bill C-45 is one of the most significant legislative changes in Canada and is bound to create concern on the front lines about how to enforce the new laws. Our goal is to provide the information law enforcement professionals need in a timely and cost-effective manner,” Sweet said.

For more information about CPKN visit http://www.cpkn.ca.

Holland College student wins Atlantic Journalism Award

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Alison Jenkins copyBy Wayne Young
Alison Jenkins, a student in the Journalism program at Holland College, has earned an Atlantic Journalism Award for her outstanding work in class and in three Maritime newsrooms.

The Brookvale, P.E.I., resident graduates May 18 but she has already been hired by Brunswick News to work as a summer intern at The Telegraph-Journal newspaper in Saint John. She completed a four-week practicum at that newspaper in March.

In her first year, Jenkins interned at CBC Charlottetown and last fall, she was one of two students in her class to take part in day internships at The Guardian in Charlottetown.

The Journalism program instructors are Rick MacLean, Wayne Young, and Lindsay Carroll. MacLean said it was obvious from very early on that Alison’s maturity would serve her well in this program.

“She was determined to learn as much as she possibly could, working tremendously hard to learn how to tell a story and how to use video to do that.

“As expected, when she went to her second-year, four-week internship she so impressed her supervisors at the Telegraph Journal they asked her to accept a summer spot immediately after.”

The student winners will be presented with awards in their home provinces in May.

The AJA’s gala dinner and awards show will take place on April 28 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel in Halifax, N.S.

 

 

 

Culinary Youth Team Canada brings home gold and silver from Nations Cup

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Culinary Youth Team Canada members Isabelle Chevarie and Tracy Wildrick participated in three days of intense competition at the 2017 Nations Cup in Grand Rapids Michigan recently, and were rewarded with four gold, including a Best of Show award for their appetizer, and three silver medals for their efforts.

Isabelle is no stranger to competition, she was part of the team Holland College’s Culinary Institute of Canada (CIC) sent to Erfurt, Germany last fall; but for Tracy Wildrick, the Nations Cup was an eye-opener.

I realized that it doesn’t matter how amazing a cook you are, it’s the team and instructors that win these kinds of things, not an individual,” he said.

The young chefs trained under the watchful eye of Chef Instructor Hans Anderegg for weeks in Team Canada’s new training kitchen in the Tourism and Culinary Centre on the Charlottetown waterfront to prepare for this high profile black box competition, but there are some circumstances for which you can never be prepared – like when you’re handed a bucket of live trout.

“We had a hard time getting them out of the bucket,” Isabelle laughed, “the first one slipped out of my hands and under a table.”

All’s well that ends well, though, and the trout ended up pan seared and served with a potato pavé that featured a layer of blue potatoes, earning the team a gold medal.

The students competed against teams from the U.S.A., Barbados, Mexico, Italy, and Scotland. Chef Hans said that culinary competitions such as the Nation’s Cup bear little resemblance to the cut-throat approach so familiar to fans of reality TV cooking shows. Isabelle agreed.

“There’s a lot of pressure, but there’s a lot of camaraderie, too,” she explained. “We may not speak the same language, but we still manage to communicate through food.”

Students from CIC will represent the country at international competitions as National Culinary Youth Team Canada. The CIC was awarded the honour following their exceptional performance at the 2016 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt. Rather than representing the country and competing against other junior chefs, they competed against experienced professional chefs as Regional Team PEI, bringing home two gold medals and placing fourth overall out of 57 teams. In 2012, the team brought home a gold and silver medal as Regional Team PEI.

As the team adds members, practices will ramp up. Right now, they are practicing about 14 hours a week, but by the time January rolls around, they’ll be in the kitchens at least 40 hours a week, sometimes more. Over the next couple of years, they will represent Canada in several competitions all over the world, leading up to the ultimate competition, the Culinary Olympics, in Stuttgart, Germany in February of 2020.

Team Canada Results
Fish/ Shellfish: Gold
Game: Gold
Appetizer: Gold (Best of Show)
National Dish: Gold
Pasta: Silver
Poultry: Silver
Dessert: Silver

Overall Results
Team USA             6 Gold 1 Silver Winner 2017 Nations Cup
Team Canada       4 Gold 3 Silver
Team Barbados   4 Gold 3 Silver
Team Mexico       3 Gold 4 Silver
Team Italy            2 Gold 3 Silver 2 Bronze
Team Scotland    2 Gold 2 Silver 3 Bronze

 

 

Destiny and the monks

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DestinyBestDestiny Best has always been interested in singing in different languages. As a child in the Toronto Children’s Chorus she sang in approximately 15 languages, and as a student in Holland College’s Music Performance program, she sang in Italian, performing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot during the opening gala of the Florence Simmons Performance Hall.

But this time, she’s taken on not only a different language but an entirely different musical style – singing Buddhist sacred music in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Mandarin for an EP in collaboration with the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS).

Destiny met some of the monks this past May, during an open house at the GEBIS centre, located in Little Sands, Prince Edward Island. After discussing her interest in music with the monastery’s executive secretary, Geoffrey Yang, he proposed an interesting project: to record more than 800 songs of praise composed by the group’s leader, Master Zhen-Ru.

Destiny is provided with a recording of the songs, along with a Romanization of the lyrics, and instrumental tracks recorded by members of the Dream Lotus Symphony Orchestra. So far, Destiny has recorded four of the songs, which you can hear on the EP Do It With All Your Heart, along with a Mandarin version of Brahms’ Lullaby:  https://destinybest.bandcamp.com/album/do-it-with-all-your-heart.

Plans are in the works to develop a video of one of the songs.

 

Written by Sara Underwood

May 1, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Want to keep in touch with Holland College? There’s an app for that!

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app-iconBy Trish Johnston
The Office of Alumni Relations recently launched Holland College’s first mobile app. The app was designed to keep more than 35,000 alumni connected to the college and to each other.

The app, which was developed by students from the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program, provides alumni with regular updates from the college and connections to other alumni through social media. Accessing Benchmark, the Holland College Foundation magazine, staying current on the Hurricanes Athletics news, and even making a gift to the school, are now easier than ever. Alumni can also register through the app for an electronic version of their alumni card – a card that every graduate should have as the benefits continue to grow.

BJ MacLean, Learning Manager for the CIS program, headed the project in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations.

 

staff-and-students

(Left – Right) CIS instructor B.J. MacLean discussing the app with CIS students Kyle Newcombe and Chris Signouin.

“There was a lot of learning involved, but it provided a great opportunity for us to explore this specific technology and go through the software development lifecycle,” said MacLean.

Second-year CIS students Kyle Newcombe and Chris Signouin took on the project under the guidance of MacLean.

“The technology that we used allowed us to develop the app quickly. That said, it was new to us, so we had to do a lot of research, and it didn’t always go smoothly,” said Newcombe. This project has taught me a lot of things, but mainly how important communication is,” said MacLean, noting that Kyle and Chris were highly self-motivated and were able to take on the project as a challenge.

“I was impressed with their ability to learn what was needed to successfully develop a product that met the Office of Alumni Relations’ needs. I am sure they will have ideas to improve and grow the app, which could lead to an enhancement release for students to work on next year,” said MacLean.

“Now that they’ve graduated, Kyle and Chris are moving ahead with their careers as developers, but there will be new students who will benefit from the challenge going forward.”

Sigouin added, “I hope that other students will take the opportunity to build on the app. It was a great experience to work as a team and create something that will benefit others. And, as a new alumnus myself, I appreciate having quicker access to information as well as the convenience of having the alumni card at my fingertips!”

Although developed primarily for alumni, the Office of Alumni Relations encourages anyone who would like to stay connected with Holland College to download the app which is available free of charge on both iOS (iPhone operating system) and Android platforms by searching “Holland College Alumni”

Holland College Educational Joint Venture in China: partners sharing knowledge and best practices

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More than 15 years ago, the college began developing a concept based on delivering training programs in China in partnership with local Chinese colleges. Chinese colleges recognized the need and value of implementing a hands-on training model that was very different from the traditional teaching model.

By January 2001, a formal agreement and key components of the Educational Joint Venture (EJV) had been reached with the six colleges. Formal agreements were signed in early February of 2001 as part of the Team Canada Trade Mission to China led by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

The EJV between Holland College and the Chinese partner colleges utilizes a “3+0 in-China” delivery model whereby Chinese students who complete their three years of study in China obtain dual diplomas from their participating Chinese college and Holland College. Individual Chinese students interested in studying overseas may choose to study at Holland College after one year or two years.

Senior Administration

The commitment of the college’s management team to supporting the EJV programs has been key to the success of the partnership. Administrators from Holland College and the Chinese partner colleges visit each other regularly to share best program management practices. Face to face meetings between senior management in Canada and China help to develop an understanding of business practices and cultures, and enhance friendships, thereby ensuring ongoing development and sustainability for the EJV programs.

Holland College Instructors and Teachers in China

As an essential element of the EJV programs, each year Holland College instructors travel to partner institutions in China to deliver core courses to the students. The EJV courses are delivered in English by the Holland College instructors, which gives the students the opportunity to improve both their general and industry-specific English skills. The instructors use competency-based methodologies to familiarize students with the hands-on, skills-based educational model used in Canada.

Reviewing the Programs

Holland College’s commitment to programming and teaching excellence in Canada and China is supported by ISO policies and procedures. A Holland College curriculum consultant team visits Chinese partner colleges every year to conduct program reviews. The review includes campus and learning environment tours, observance program delivery, and meeting with students, faculty, and administration. The annual reviews, along with ongoing communication, enable Holland College and the Chinese partners to learn from each other and address areas for program improvement and modification.

EJV Best Practices Forums

Since not all Chinese instructors have the opportunity to receive training at Holland College, the college provides teacher-training in China regularly. Since 2004, the college has hosted best practice symposiums on partner campuses in China. The symposia create networking opportunities for the EJV instructors and administrators, giving them the chance to exchange their management experiences and best teaching practices.

Canada-China EJV Scholarships

In 2009, Holland College established the Canada-China EJV Scholarship to award to students for outstanding academic performance and community-mindedness. Since its inception, more than 150 students in China have earned this award.

EJV English Competition

All EJV programs start with an English preparatory year to ready students to study in English. In 2010, Holland College and the Chinese partners held the inaugural EJV English Speaking Competitions. The competition encourages students to improve their English; enhances their competency and research skills; creates networking opportunities for Chinese instructors and students; and facilitates the exchange of best practices in English between institutions. Each Chinese college selects two EJV students to participate in the competition.

Plans for the Future

Currently, there are close to 1,520 students enrolled in the Accounting Technology, Automotive Technology, Business Administration Business Manager Profile, Computer Information Systems, Computer Networking Technology, Early Childhood Care and Education, Electromechanical Technology, Golf Club Management, International Hospitality Management, and Marketing and Advertising Management programs in Chengdu Technological University, Zhenjiang College, Hainan College of Vocation and Technique, Xuchang University, Anyang Normal University, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology Nanchang Campus, Shangrao Normal University, Guiyang Vocational and Technical College and Chongqing Zuxia Software Training Institution.

Holland College looks forward to expanding its program offerings with its EJV partners, and forging new relationships with other institutions in China in the coming years.  Plans are being developed to add programs such as Energy Systems Engineering Technology, Human Services, Graphic Design, Culinary Arts, and Construction Technology and Management to the EJV list of offerings.

FAST FACTS

Between 2001 and 2016:

  • 33 Holland College senior management staff and administrators visited China
  • 130 Chinese partner colleges’ senior management staff and administrators visited Holland College
  • 70 Holland College faculty taught in China, 25% are from industry
  • 95 Chinese instructors received instructional training at Holland College in Prince Edward Island
  • 300 Chinese faculty participated in the best practice symposiums held in China
  • 180 Chinese students received Canada-China Educational Joint Venture Scholarship from Holland College
  • In total, 5, 148 Chinese students have been enrolled in 10 different programs at 11 Chinese institutions since 2001
  • All of the students have employment by the time they graduate

Written by Sara Underwood

December 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm