This year’s Pear Excellence Culinary Student Competition was another pear-fect success, with talented culinary students from across Canada showing off their flair with the pear for a panel of esteemed judges. Held in Toronto in April, the contest celebrated its sixth year. Culinary students Diego Beltran, Rebekah Roberts, Allegra Jimenez, Connie McKibbon, and Aaron Lackie faced off for the National Grand Prize, showcasing pears in dishes savory and sweet, from gluten-free chocolate chai cake to grilled flatbread. The judges chose Allegra’s “Pearfect Pearing” dish for the grand prize. The dish paired a savory cheesecake with poached Bosc pears, pear chips, and a candied beet salad for a plate the judges said was innovative, well-executed, and an exceptional blending of flavors.
All the regional finalists were applauded for their creativity and execution. Their dishes truly put USA Pears on a pedestal:
- “The Pearfect Pearing,” Allegra Jimenez, National Grand Prize Winner, Regional Winner – Vancouver
- “Pear and Black Thai Rice Cakes with Pear Sage Pesto,” Connie McKibbon, People’s Choice Winner, Regional Winner – Ontario
- “Trout Ceviche with Pear Blini,” Diego Beltran, Regional Winner – Quebec
- “Pear and Bison Grilled Flatbread,” Rebekah Roberts, Regional Winner – Prairies
- “Pear Cake Delight,” Aaron Lackie, Regional Winner – Maritime
To view the winning recipes and photos of the finalists” culinary creations, click here.
(Parlez-vous francais? Cliquez ici.)