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Posts Tagged ‘hands-on learning

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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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

 

 

Mini Burger Love at the Early Learning Centre

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At Holland College’s Early Learning Centre, educators design activities based on the children’s interests. Lately, the youngsters have been all abuzz about the annual PEI Burger Love campaign that seems to gridlock Island restaurants for the month of April.

Some of the children have heard their parents and siblings talking about the campaign, while others have shared burgers with their parents (a good thing, because some of the 84 burgers on offer this year probably weigh more than some of the children!). It’s pretty safe to say that PEI Burger Love has become, for some families, an annual tradition.

Together, the children and educators organized a Holland College Early Learning Centre Burger Love Day. Educators asked children to suggest ingredients for the HCELC Burger, so it was a concoction constructed by a committee of tiny food critics!

The children went for a balance of healthy toppings such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, pickle, and cheese, and added a few unusual toppings such as potato chips, gummy worms, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles.

They were thrilled with the result and enjoyed the burger they created…which wasn’t that different from a few that are being offered in the real PEI Burger Love campaign. Want a side order of smiley fries with that?

Holland College Paramedicine students participate in one of a kind applied research project

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There’s an 11-vehicle pile-up on the old runway. A body is sprawled across the ground next to a crushed motorcycle as a wisp of smoke spirals upward. A cable snakes away from a downed power pole. People with injuries ranging from broken bones to head wounds sit in the twisted wreckage or wander around as though dazed. Propane tanks are scattered on the ground. The smell of diesel fuel hangs in the air.

The only sound is the buzz of a UAV, or drone, as it hovers over the scene.

A voice cuts through the buzzing, coming from a built-in speaker onboard the UAV.

“If you can walk, please wave your hand.”

Two of the injured wave their hands.

“Move toward the grass,” the voice instructs them. The two men move away from the wreckage onto the grass that fringes the runway.

“If you are conscious, but can’t get out of your car, please wave,” the voice continues. A few more of the injured signal that they have heard and can respond to the request.

The UAV turns and flies toward a tent some metres away, softly landing on a concrete pad as a paramedicine student accompanied by a preceptor and an adjudicator walks confidently toward the wreckage.

This is a simulation of a mass casualty incident held on an unused runway at Slemon Park, part of a unique applied research project.

Dr. Trevor Jain, medical director of the Holland College paramedicine programs, program director for the new Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine program at UPEI, and chief researcher for the project, explains why it is unique.

“There is anecdotal information about people using UAVs during mass casualty incidents and natural disasters to see what’s going on, but there hasn’t been any research done on the efficacy of using UAV technology as an assessment tool. This is the first applied research in this field in the world,” he says.

The project, which is being led by Holland College’s applied research department, includes UPEI, the Canadian Armed Forces, Island EMS, industry partner Skymetro and some 70 people.

Students from both first and second year Primary Care Paramedicine program were given three tasks. First, to assess the scene to identify potential hazards, second, to triage the injured, and third, to allocate resources. Half of the students performed these tasks the usual way, by walking around the scene; the other half assessed the scene using information collected by the UAV piloted by a trained technician. In the case of the triage exercise, the students using the information from the UAV would then proceed to the site to finish triaging and to allocate resources. These exercises were conducted in daylight and at night to gather as much data as possible.

By using UAVs to do the initial site assessment, first responders are not exposed to hazardous materials, unstable structures such as overturned cars, potentially explosive materials, or armed assailants. The purpose of the research is to determine whether first responders using UAV technology could accurately assess situations remotely in the same amount of time or less than they do by walking through a site.

When the research is complete, first responders will be able to determine whether the addition of a UAV and trained technician to their mass casualty incident team would be beneficial for their team, and for the injured.

Familiar faces at East Coast Music Week

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Deserie Murphy captures footage of the stage being set up in the ballroom of the Delta for the ECMAs.

 Kayla Woodside
Journalism student/Communications intern

As East Coast Music Week leaps into action with busy artists, staff and volunteers a few recognizable faces will be helping to create an explosively successful week at the Delta in Charlottetown.

Holland College students are helping with ECMW as part of their class projects.

First year Marketing and Advertising Management student Bhreagh Gentile is working with the ECMW social media team. She and classmates will be tweeting live at the shows and taking photos.

“We’re tweeting the artists coming up, if our venues are at capacity, just sort of the goings on and taking crowd photos, photos of the performers and just genuinely capturing the whole essence of East Coast Music Week,” Gentile said.

The class will be sending their information out to the public through the ECMW accounts.

“We’re really providing instant coverage of things that are happening around town,” said Michelle MacNeil, who is also in the Marketing and Advertising Management program.

MacNeil is from Cape Breton and said she’s always excited to see what the artists from her area are doing.

Journalism students will also be at the venues capturing video, photos, and organizing interviews to share personal stories with the Island.

Deserie Murphy is working on the broadcast side of journalism and said she’s excited to be a part of the project.

“For today, it’s the first day of ECMW and I’ve just been working on getting footage of the set up and all the stages and seeing how everything is being put up,” she said.

Murphy was scouting out the rooms at the Delta Prince Edward, one of the many venues for ECMW events, to see where she wants to take her piece for the project and what angle she wants to tell her story from.

“We’re just working right now on the groundwork for the rest of ECMW so it should be a great show. A lot of video is being taken, a lot of b-roll and that’s just today – we’re just getting started,” she said.