Victory was extra sweet for Megan Proper from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute.
The 20-year-old not only won the gold medal in Baking at the Skills Canada National Competition competing against the top post-secondary Baking students in Canada she is the first student from the CFWI to ever win this title. More impressive was the fact that Proper was the only competitor in the competition who wasn’t a Baking student.
Proper graduates from the CFWI’s two-year Culinary Management program on June 19. She attributes her win at the Skills Canada National Competition which took place from June 5-8 at BC Place in Vancouver British Columbia to the many hours she dedicated to training thanks to a supportive team of CFWI chef professors and the numerous opportunities she has been offered to enhance her skills outside of the classroom.
After realizing early on in her program that she was more interested in a baking rather than culinary career Proper told her CFWI chef professors she was interested in receiving any extra baking training that she could get. Competing in and training for competitions such as Decadence and Skills Canada allowed her to pursue her passion and build her skills.
Her win wasn’t a piece of cake however. Proper trained extensively for months to prepare for the Skills Canada competition and kicked it up a notch since she won gold at Skills Canada’s Ontario Technical Skills Competition in May which qualified her for the national-level event. She was trained by chef professors Philippe Corbiere Peter Storm and other chef professors who provided extra training in the kitchen labs at the CFWI. Knowing that sugar work would be a main component of the competition the CFWI also arranged for Proper to work with top sugar experts in Canada and North America – Norbert Maushagen from Toronto’s Cake Boutique and world-famous pastry chef Ewald Notter.
“I didn’t want to win this medal for myself as much as I wanted to win it for everyone at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute who have gone out of their way to train me in baking and to make me the best” she said. “I wouldn’t have had any of this if it weren’t for the CFWI.”
Acting dean of the CFWI Craig Youdale noted that Proper’s victory at the national level at her first attempt was exceptional considering her culinary background and how far she has progressed in less than two years.
“Two years ago Megan was shy and unsure. Now she’s a national champion which not only looks good on her resume but will boost her confidence knowing that she has the capability to succeed” said Youdale. “Her win is a testament to the extra training the CFWI equipped her with beyond what is taught in the classroom and to all of her chef professors who have worked with her for the past two years.”
Proper graduates from Culinary Management on June 19.