Durham College student cooks up gold medal meal

Less than a year after opening Durham College’s (DC) Centre for Food (CFF) Sarah Lavergne, a first-year student in the CFF’s Culinary Skills program, has won gold in the Cooking category at the 20th annual Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC).

Marking the first year of competition for a student from the new CFF, Lavergne claimed the national title one month after winning gold in Culinary Arts category at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition (OTSC). The CFF, Durham Region’s first-ever post-secondary presence focused on the field-to-fork concept, is based on the harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and consumption of food – in particular the production of local food for local consumers.

SCNC is an Olympic-style multi-trade and technology competition that annually welcomes more than 500 competitors from across the country to compete in more than 40 trade and technology categories.  This year’s golden result gives the college its sixth national medal in as many years.

“We are very proud of Sarah’s accomplishments, which are a direct reflection of her hard work and commitment to her studies and her skills,” said Don Lovisa, president. “Her success re-affirms that the programs taught at DC prepare students for tremendous success against their peers on the national stage and in their professional careers. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Sarah on her performance and our faculty who have helped her prepare.”

“I’m so thrilled and excited to have won gold at Skills Canada,” said Lavergne. “It’s something that I never thought possible when I first started the program. I couldn’t have done it without all the coaching, time and advice I received from my instructors, in addition to the support from everyone else at Durham College and my family and my friends.”

The Culinary Skills program is a two-year program focused on providing skills in culinary planning, preparation and presentation for a variety of food-service environments. Students from these and a number of other programs benefit from working and learning in Bistro ’67, a full-service, green-certified teaching and learning restaurant located at the CFF.

“In my first year I’ve learned so much about the culinary world and cooking, and this competition definitely showed me the value of commitment, determination and hard work,” she added. “What an awesome way to wrap up the school year!”

Skills Canada is a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to Canadian youth. The organization offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trade awareness programs.