Durham College (DC) Culinary Management student, Glenda Neatt, recently won the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) Culinary Competition for her Gazpacho Martini Sorbet recipe, which consists of gazpacho with a splash of vodka churned into sorbet and garnished with roasted red pepper tuile (a thin, crisp wafer), sweet tomato chip and a greenhouse ‘olive’ cut from a cucumber and stuffed with red pepper.
The event, which took place at Cirillo’s Culinary Academy in Toronto on November 5, featured Neatt’s entry which impressed the judges as it uses all varieties of Ontario greenhouse vegetables, showcasing their diversity in a dish that could be served as an appetizer or dessert.
“It is clear that Glenda is a dedicated student with a natural talent for culinary creations who refined her recipe until she got it just right,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Her wonderful achievement is a testament to the quality of teaching provided by the faculty at our Centre for Food (CFF) and we are very proud of her accomplishment.”
The first stage of the competition saw entries from culinary students across the province narrowed down to four finalists. After competing against students from Centennial and Humber colleges, Neatt won a KitchenAid food processor and hand mixer as well as a $500-cash prize. In addition, she showcased her winning entry on CHCH TV’s Morning Live show on November 7.
“It was great to be able to take part in the OGVG culinary competition,” said Neatt. “I am thrilled to have been able to work with wonderful Ontario greenhouse vegetables and explore creative ways to use them in culinary arts. The competition was a lot of fun and I am grateful for the help and support that I received from Chef David Hawey, professor and co-ordinator of the college’s culinary programs.”
In addition to Neatt’s recipe taking centre stage at the OGVG competition, it will be featured as a special menu item for a limited time at DC’s Bistro ’67, a 70-seat, full-service, green-certified, teaching-inspired restaurant housed at the CFF.
“Glenda is the third medal winner from the CFF in our first year of operation and we are thrilled with her success,” said Hawey. “Our students are some of the best and brightest in our community and we are confident the CFF will continue to produce award-winning culinary talent. Congratulations to Glenda on this wonderful achievement.”
With this win, Neatt joins the likes of DC graduate Sarah Lavergne, who won gold in both the culinary arts and cooking categories at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition and Skills Canada National Competition, respectively, last spring while she was a student of the college’s Culinary Skills program. In addition, Culinary Management students Marisa Latin and Michael Stowell-Smith also took home gold at the Winterloo Student Ice Carving Competition in Waterloo last winter.
Supported by celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy, the CFF accommodates approximately 900 students studying in the college’s culinary, hospitality, event management, tourism, food science, agricultural and horticultural programs. In addition to being home to Bistro’67 it houses Pantry, a unique retail store that sells student-created fresh-baked items, meals-to-go, preserved foods and ready-to-cook meals prepared in house.