NC culinary grad tops in the world

Daniella Germond  story

Daniella Germond, a student and recent graduate of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute has earned top honours among young chefs from around the world.

Germond, of St. Catharines, has emerged as the overall champion in the 2016 Young Chef Olympiad in India, which brought together young chefs from 67 countries from around the world.

Germond, who graduated from Niagara College’s Culinary Management program in 2014, advanced through all four rounds of the competition, which began in New Delhi on Jan. 26 before moving to Mumbai, Bangalore and then Kolkata for the final round on Jan. 31. Germond is currently enrolled as a full-time student at Niagara College and is currently working toward her Cook Apprentice certification.

Unlike competitions where competitors are given an array of ingredients and are asked to create different dishes, competitors in the Young Chef Olympiad were required to execute very specific dishes. Germond captured the championship with a final-round shrimp appetizer, chicken entrée and œufs à la neige, a classical dessert. Competitors are judged on organization, cleanliness and sanitation, cooking techniques, presentation and taste.

“I’m in absolute shock,” Germond said in the wake of her victory. “There were so many talented young cooks here. I’m so grateful for the experience and mentorship I’ve gained at Niagara College.”

Germond, who works as a line cook in the college’s teaching restaurant, Benchmark, began preparing for the competition in November 2015 under the tutelage of chef-professor Scott Baechler, who accompanied her to India for the competition.

“I’m so proud of how Daniella handled herself and how she represented her college and her country,” said Baechler.

“All of us at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute share immense pride and excitement for Daniella; our entire team here has contributed to shaping this amazing young chef, and we’re thrilled for her success,” added Craig Youdale, dean of the CFWI. “Her mentor, Scott Baechler, played a key role in preparing Daniella for this international competition, and his work is a great testament to our faculty and staff’s commitment to our students’ success. We will enjoy having Daniella with us for one more year before she moves on to what will be a great career as a chef.”

Germond is no stranger to representing her country on the world stage. She is a member of Junior Culinary Team Canada, a team of Niagara College students and graduates who were selected in 2013 to represent Canada at the World Culinary Olympics this year in Germany. Since being selected, the team has won honours in Luxembourg and the United States.