Category: CFWI News

New exhibit opening at The TOM; launch of 100th anniversary wine created by NC Teaching Winery

An article posted by Blackburn News on May 19 highlights a new exhibit at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound: Betwixt and Between: An Untold Tom Thomson Story. The Tom has also announced the official launch of the Tom Thomson 100th Anniversary wine — White Canoe — which was created by the Niagara College Teaching Winery in honour of the 50th anniversary of the TOM and the 100th anniversary of Thomson’s mysterious death at Canoe Lake.

View the article here.

Niagara College’s 50th anniversary gala to celebrate past, present and future in food, refreshments and fun

Marking its 50th anniversary throughout 2017, Niagara College’s major 50th anniversary gala event of the year will be held Saturday, May 6 at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus where food and refreshments will come together with music and reminiscing to celebrate this significant milestone.

Over 300 community leaders, educators and fans will gather together to dine and relish NC’s continued success as a pre-emptive college in Ontario.

The ‘Celebrate Niagara’ gala will be hosted by NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute with a dinner that will be “second to none,” said Institute dean Craig Youdale.

Featuring a menu framed around the region’s delicious foods, the sold-out crowd will enjoy a trip down memory lane, entertainment by a live band, and NC’s own famous brands of wine and beer, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration – with a couple of surprises along the way, promised Youdale.

“This is an opportunity not only for a nod to the success the College has enjoyed, but a chance for our chefs to inspire guests with a special menu and evening,” said Youdale. “We are looking forward to showing our guests a terrific evening.”

Media photo op

Members of the media will have an opportunity to preview of some of the special desserts being prepared for the dinner will be held Tuesday, May 2, at 11:45 a.m  at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.


Canadian Food and Wine Institute of Niagara College’s 50th anniversary gala dinner, May 6.

Preview for media: Tuesday, May 2, 11:45 a.m., Room (cooking lab) 115, meet at Bench to Go Restaurant, with free parking in restaurant lot directly in front of building (sharp right turn past parking lot guard house on Niagara-on-the-Lake campus). Brief introduction and comments by Dean Craig Youdale; demonstration of dessert decorating; sampling; opportunity for photos.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

Niagara College’s culinary dean receives top award

Craig Youdale, dean of the Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute, is recipient of the gold medal in education from the Ontario Hostelry Institute.

The OHI recognizes excellence in the food services and hospitality industry in Ontario.

Youdale, whose Niagara in a Glass column appears in this newspaper every other Monday, said he is honoured and excited to receive the award.

“It is a privilege to be honoured by my peers and be in the company of leaders in our culinary industry,” Youdale said in a media release.

Youdale, who has been working at the college for eight years, said his success is due to the support from the school. He said the college has supported his innovative ideas throughout the past eight years and continues to do so.

“It has allowed me to really expand what I’m doing,” Youdale said.

Youdale also credits his success to the people he works with. He said that group has grown over the years and there are some “highly unique” individuals working with him to develop a diverse and unique set of programs.

He said Niagara College has the only wine program in the college sector. Youdale has also developed the college’s brewery program as well as culinary innovation and food technology program.

Youdale said he is looking forward to the addition of the artisan distillery program, positioning Niagara College to boast the first learning environment for all three classes of alcohol production.

CFWI dean is OHI gold educator of year

Niagara College’s Craig Youdale won the Gold Medal in Education from the Ontario Hostelry Institute.

Niagara College’s Craig Youdale, dean of the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, won the Gold Medal in Education from the Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI) on April 20 at the OHI’s annual Gold Awards dinner in Toronto.

Youdale is a leader in the food and beverage industry and oversees the academic programs at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. The institute includes the successful student-driven teaching enterprises – NC’s Wine and Visitors’ Centre, NC Teaching Brewing, Benchmark Restaurant; and the upcoming Artisan Distillery. Youdale also led the NC’s culinary students to podium finishes in the International Culinary Olympics, and other prestigious competitive culinary events.

The OHI is an advocate and promoter of excellence in the food services and hospitality industry in Ontario and promotes excellence through its Gold Awards; Top 30 Under 30 Program; Culinary Foundation; Pastry Chef Award and scholarship program.

Youdale, cited by OHI for his “critically acclaimed achievements” demonstrated through his leadership not only for Ontario’s hospitality industry “but as an ambassador for Canada as well,” said he was humbled by the recognition.

“It is a privilege to be honoured by my peers and be in the company of leaders in our culinary industry,” said Youdale. “To be included in the company of talented people is very humbling. I am honoured.”

“The Ontario Hostelry Institute sets high stands for the profession, and it is very gratifying that the Institute chose to recognize Craig for his leadership,” said NC president Dan Patterson.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

Brewnited Nations international flavour is theme for annual Project Brew fest by Niagara College students

Niagara College Brewmaster students are offering the public a taste of the world at their annual Project Brew festival: The Brewnited Nations.

The soon-to-be graduates of the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program will be hosting the event this Friday at the Market Square in St. Catharines.

The event will offer a selection of 20 beers as well as a collaboration cask, hand-crafted by NC students at the Teaching Brewery.

The beer festival is an opportunity for the public to sample unique, locally developed and often experimental small batch beers from the college’s Teaching Brewery; and for graduating students to showcase what they have learned.

“Project Brew is the culmination of four semesters of learning for students. Not only do they design a recipe and create an original beer from scratch, they also plan and execute Project Brew to highlight the skills they have acquired during their time at Niagara College,” said faculty advisor April Tyrrell. “This fun community event is an excellent opportunity for students to promote themselves and their beer to the public.”

“It allows us to take responsibility and build a festival while learning about the many trials and tribulations that come into play while putting this together,” said the event’s student chair Brittany Ribalkin, who will be presenting a Biere de Garde at the event. “I believe that it will benefit me as students do all aspects of the brew from recipe design, to brewing the product, to the various lab tests, packaging and overall daily duties of the brewery. After all is said and done, we all work as a team to pull off an incredible event.”

While this will be the seventh Project Brew hosted by the Brewmaster program’s graduating students since the event was launched in April 2015, this is the first with a ‘Brewnited Nations’ theme. Ribalkin noted that the theme was chosen because many of the brews have ingredients and styles from different countries, offering a way new way for guests to enjoy various beers that the world has to offer.

The theme also struck a chord with students since there are several international classmates in the program from as far away as the United States, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea.

In addition to beer, guests at the event can enjoy entertainment from international dancers and participate in international games including Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

“We want our patrons to feel free to dress up and get into the theme of the event,” said Ribalkin.

Vendors at Project Brew will include the College’s Benchmark restaurant, The Smokin’ Buddha, and Eh Jose, as well as Signal Coffee Co.

Proceeds from Project Brew will benefit the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship, which is presented annually to a student in the College’s Brewmaster program who brews the best beer in the NC Annual Brewmaster competition. The scholarship is in honour of Matt Soos, a graduate of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who died in August, 2015 at the age of 26.

Brewnited Nations Project Brew, annual Niagara College student beer festival.

Market Square, 91 King Street, St. Catharines. Online advance tickets to the event are $20 ($17.50 group discounts are available). Tickets include entry to the event, a commemorative sample glass and four beer tokens. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $25 or online (visit Guests must be 19 years of age or older (valid photo ID required) to attend.

Friday, April 7, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Niagara College students cook up success at Saputo Junior Challenge for Ontario

Two Niagara College students proved they could take the heat in the kitchen, earning second and third place at a provincial culinary competition recently in Toronto.

First-year Culinary Management student Kevin Charanduk won silver, and second-year Culinary Management student Anthony Belluomini won bronze, at the Canadian Culinary Federation Saputo Junior Challenge for Ontario.

Dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Craig Youdale applauded the students’ accomplishment and noted the significance of the experience.

“Competing is about showcasing the incredible passion and dedication our students and staff have to the culinary world,” said Youdale. “The students are able to have the opportunity to showcase their talents under pressure and really gain some important confidence in their future.”

Held at Humber College on March 18, the students had four hours and 30 minutes to prepare and serve a three-course menu for six people. Before the competition began, menus, work plans and recipes were submitted. Competitors were tasked with preparing a menu using chicken for each dish and specific cheese from sponsor Saputo for each course. Students were judged on cooking skills, as well as on food preparation, presentation, and taste.

Charanduk and Belluomini were selected to compete by chef professor Olaf Mertens and began preparing for the competition in February – everything from chicken butchery to final plating. In March, their dishes were finalized including their recipes, schedule plans, ingredient and equipment checklists. It was the first culinary competition for the two NC students and a meaningful one for them both.

“Getting to represent all the hardworking staff and students of the College pushed me to work hard every class and practice,” said Charanduk.

Charanduk, a resident of St.Catharines, noted how training for the competition has helped to grow his abilities and now he can work faster and cleaner.

“We were awarded a trophy for our finishes, but the experience itself and the opportunity to grow is reason enough to do the competition,” he said.

Belluomini, who moved from Meaford to Niagara-on-the-Lake to attend NC, said he was proud to have been selected to represent the College and put his skills to the test. He was grateful for his support he received from chefs and mentors at the CFWI as well as from colleagues, family and friends.

While it was a challenge to fit in his training with his schoolwork and his job at Two Sisters vineyard – Belluomini said he valued the experience.

“I feel as if the competition not only improved my skills, my organization, and my creativity, but it also developed my overall character, giving me more confidence in myself,” he said. “My passion and drive to become a chef is stronger than ever and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

Niagara in a glass: Cuvee a celebration of Niagara excellence

A column written by Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute dean Craig Youdale shines the spotlight on Cuvee, which returns to Niagara this month.

Youdale writes about this wine industry event and how it has evolved since it was launched almost 30 years ago. He also highlights how his own experience as a guest chef at Cuvee in 1999 with two chefs by his side who are now his colleagues at the CFWI: Mark Picone and Tony DeLuca.

View the column, posted by The Standard on March 11, here.