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Humber Pastry Cup Crowns New Champion

Competitors had to create a dessert on a stick, a donut and a gravity cake

By: Chris Clay

Students in the Baking and Pastry Arts Management program showed off their creativity and skills and left more than a few people in the audience drooling over their creations, as they competed in the Humber Pastry Cup.

The second annual event, which was sponsored by Kraft and Upper Crust, had 10 students creating a dessert on a stick, a donut on an easel and a gravity cake. They had to incorporate one of three Kraft Heinz products – peanut butter, hazelnut spread or Philadelphia cream cheese – in the first two categories and could pick from those ingredients and a variety of others such as Kraft Dinner, marshmallows, mustard, ketchup, Kool-Aid and more for the latter.

Carnival was the theme of this year’s competition.

Kenneth Ku, a professor in the Baking and Pastry Arts Management program, said the Humber Pastry Cup is a great opportunity for students to embrace their creative side and come up with some showstopping desserts.

He noted that it can be a springboard to other opportunities and pointed to graduate Emma Kilgannon, who competed in the Pastry Cup last year but didn’t win. Ku said, even though she wasn’t victorious, she left the competition full of confidence and went on to have a very successful run at Skills competitions culminating in a bronze medal at WorldSkills.

“What I really enjoy about this competition is how it motivates the students to think outside the box,” said Josie Bancheri, a professor with the program and event co-host with Susan Joseph. “They’re having fun getting to be creative with their flavours and decorations.”

Roula Kadimi finished first while Zenia Parbhoo came in second and Silisa Persaud finished third.

A smiling Kadimi held the Humber Pastry Cup trophy over her head in victory after being announced the winner before turning to hug her fellow competitors. Kadimi’s gravity cake was designed to look like a barbecued steak served with Caesar salad and corn on the cob. It clearly caught the attention of the judges.

“It’s a little bit overwhelming but I’m so proud of everything I’ve done,” said Kadimi about the win. “I’ve gained experience, made new friends and learned a lot from being a part of this.”

Adding some additional fun to the competition is that it was filmed as a reality television-style baking program complete with background music and a studio audience. It was a collaboration between Humber's Baking and Pastry Arts Management program and the Broadcast Television/Videography (BRTV) program.

The television show and live stream were produced by BRTV students for the remote production class. BRTV students worked with their Baking and Pastry Arts Management peers for weeks ahead of the competition, preparing contestant profiles and production elements. It’s the second consecutive year they have collaborated on the production.

Judges included Dufflet Rosenberg from Dufflet Pastries, Thomas Heitz from Kraft Heinz and Shawn O’Shaughnessy from Upper Crust. They sampled the desserts and offered their thoughts to the contestants.

The judges were highly impressed with the creativity of the students and their desserts.

“I’m really blown away by the level of skill we’re seeing today,” remarked O’Shaughnessy.

The winners received $750 for first, $500 for second and $250 for third.

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Baking student filling her pastries with cream from a pipping bag

Baking student pipping cream on to ice cream cones for her cake

Group of smiling faculty members

Camera man filming student working on her cake

Baking student assembling red apples on his cake

Baking student standing beside his mustard hot dog cake

Baking students presenting their cakes to panel of judges

Baking students nervously waiting for the judges to make their decision

Winning student holding up her trophy

Winning student hugging faculty member