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Junior Iron Chef competition and food & beverage show

By Megan Voss

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Culinary students Cally Post and Sarah Geen work on putting a handle made out of fondant on a cake shaped like a pot during the Junior Iron Chef Competition and Food & Beverage Show at Loyalist College on Feb. 18. The students spent a few hours carefully shaping the cake and fondant. Photo by Megan Voss

The competition was heated inside the kitchen at Loyalist College on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute and Ernestown Secondary School in Odessa were in a tight contest to be crowned champions at the 11th Annual Junior Iron Chef Competition.

Meanwhile, at a slightly slower but just as energetic pace, the cafeteria was bustling with activity from culinary students as well as local businesses for the Food and Beverage Show.

The cafeteria was filled with a variety of tables with small businesses and culinary students alike, proudly displaying their creations. Stores had baking and cooking utensils for sale, cheese, soap, wine tasting and other food to offer, while the culinary students served soup, lasagna, manned a make-your-own-cupcake table and worked on decorating a cake with fondant while under the stress of spectator critics.

Second-year culinary students Kerri Young and Kelli Cleave said the event is a big part of their program.

“We’ve had two semesters just devoted to this,” Young said, adding that it is worth 30 percent of their grade.

Along with their classmates, they planned and organized the entire show, Cleave said.

The laughter and smiles on their faces showed they were pleased with how it was all going, they were clearly having a good time.

“We enjoy interacting with people, and seeing everyone coming to an event we’ve been planning since September … we made it and everyone came!”

Local vendors said they had the same feeling about the event.

Although Tanya Finestone and Nora-Lyn Veevas from Closson Chase, a winery in Prince Edward County, had never been out to the show before, they said that they enjoyed the variety of food, and watching the students.

“It’s nice to support such a good event,” Veevas said. “I like to get involved in the community.”

Veevas and Finestone hoped that attending the show would result in more traffic at the winery.

First-time attendee Angie Crabtree said she also enjoyed herself at the show.

“It’s all great,” she said while savouring a bite of an Earl & Angelo’s crêpe. ”I like finding out about other restaurants that I didn’t know about – it’s very informative.”

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