Bloom: Conestoga College Culinary Blossoms

Educate. Eat. Experience. That’s the name of the game at Conestoga College’s School of Culinary Arts & Hospitality.

Conestoga students and staff continue to find recipes for success, winning both the gold and silver medals for the second year in a row in the Restaurant Services Competition at Skills Ontario, held April 30 and May 1, 2012 in Waterloo.

Jeremy Torres won the gold medal by 3.5 points, edging past Marshall McPherson (last year’s provincial gold medalist and national bronze medalist) who claimed silver.

Torres  advanced to the national competition held in Edmonton, AL, May 11 – 16, 2012. There, after two days of intense competition, he earned a silver medal losing to Quebec.

“It was an extremely close competition between first and second place with only eight points out of 1000 separating the two,” said Matthew Worden, maitre d’ and sommelier of bloom. restaurant located at the College’s Waterloo Campus.

The Restaurant Services competition tests the competitor’s ability to perform various dining room skills while providing exceptional customer service to their guests. The provincial competition lasts for a full day while the national competition requires two full days of service. It is one of the few competitions of the 55 that are held at the national level that involve live guest interaction which increases the pressure and stress of performing well.

“These medals bring our recent tally to five provincial and two national medals since I started with the college three years ago. To say that we are putting our Restaurant Services program on the map would be an under statement,” added Worden.

In other culinary news, Conestoga College Chef Technologist Paul Torrance is among 65 chefs enrolled in Canada’s first run of the Certified Master Chef program (CMC). Chef Torrance recently completed his MBA in Hospitality at the University of Guelph while concurrently studying for the CMC program.

Conestoga’s full-time and part-time students have the opportunity to apply restaurant service and kitchen production techniques in bloom., which has recently been awarded the 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their wine list for the second year in a row.

For more information about bloom. and all things culinary at Conestoga College, click here.


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