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Pastry practice: behind the scenes with Team VCC

Posted on May 24, 2019

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to be sending a solid team of competitors to the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), happening Monday, May 27 to Wednesday, May 29 in Halifax, NS. 

Earlier this week, we visited the top-secret Skills Canada practice sessions happening inside the VCC bakeries. Meet two of our most talented and promising pastry artists:

 

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Clarissa Roque

Team Canada candidate – WorldSkills 2019

Clarissa is a Level 3 baking and pastry arts apprentice who is no stranger to intense competition. Having participated in Skills BC “just for fun” in Grade 10, Clarissa soon found herself repeatedly topping the podium in the secondary school category. 

This year, with three SCNC appearances already under her belt, Clarissa will be trying for an opportunity to represent Canada at WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan, Russia. 

Clarissa, who inherited a love for baking from her parents, brings to the competition deep creative skills in drawing and sculpting, a sophisticated flavour palette, and remarkable organization and focus. “Competitions are really stressful but somehow I kind of like the stress,” she says.

During the WorldSkills Team Canada trials in Halifax, Clarissa will have to produce seven different types of pastries in 14 hours over the course of two days.

 

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Farzin Irani

Baking competitor – SCNC 2019

Farzin is a Level 1 apprentice who started the VCC baking and pastry arts program in April 2018. After high school, Farzin first entered a science degree program but switched to baking after only one semester. “I took the risk and fell in love with it,” she says.

In addition to having great organization skills and extraordinary attention to detail, Farzin stands out by using Persian flavours like saffron and rosewater that she grew up enjoying. “I don’t want to use the same things as everyone else, like strawberries,” she says. “I use flavours that I like and I know well.”

Since January, Farzin has been going above and beyond her coursework to train in the VCC kitchens multiple times per week. She appreciates the helpful feedback offered by her instructors, as well as their willingness to work with her after hours. 

During the SCNC competition in Halifax, Farzin will have to produce five different types of pastries in a single, eight-hour session. 

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Did you know you can begin a baking apprenticeship while still in high school? Learn more about the Youth Train in Trades program offered at VCC.