Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pear Excellence 2009

Pear Excellence is a competition organized by the Pear Bureau Northwest:
"[They] scoured the nation's culinary schools in search of students whose fresh pear recipes tantalized its taste buds, and five regional semi-finalists were selected to compete for a grand prize of $2,500 on May 5th at The Chef's House in Toronto!"
Today, we were invited as "foodies" to attend the final judging event of Pear Excellence: The 2009 Canadian Culinary Student Competition at The Chef's House. However, Howard was called for jury duty, so I brought along a friend from work to go with me. It was a good thing that my friend likes pears! There was pear punch, pear centerpieces, pear gift bags, and we sampled the competing pear dishes. I accidently grabbed the wrong camera today on my way out, so I'm very sorry for the fuzzy photos!

Above: Table for us!

Each student presented their recipe to a panel of judges: Rita DeMontis (Food and Lifestyle Editor, Toronto Sun), John Higgins (Director, George Brown University), Peter Dewar (Faculty, Nova Scotia Culinary College), and Sal Battaglia (Fresh First Produce & President, Ontario Produce Marketing Association). The judges would then provide comments to the students. After all five dishes were tasted, the judges tallied up the marks. *Drum Roll*

Above: Table for the panel of judges.

Congratulations to Rose Prost-Hiebert! Her pear ginger cheesecake recipe won her the grand prize! She also won the People's Choice Award - voted by us guests! Her cheesecake was so delicious that I can't wait to try making it myself!

Grand Prize: Pear Ginger Cheesecake
Ontario: Rose Prost-Hiebert, Elliott House Restaurant and Chef School

Finalist: Perfectly “Peared" Pizza
Prairies: Juli McCue, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Finalist: Candied Pear Balls
Maritimes: Tara Fleet, New Brunswick Community College

Finalist: Pear and Sausage Risotto
Quebec: Michael Tozzi, College LaSalle

Jeremy Webber of Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island, VIU entered his Grilled Pear and Ginger Soufflé with Brandied Pear Chips. We don't have a photo of Jeremy's pear creation, his soufflé was only served to the judges.

Above left: We were given gift bags on the way out. Everyone received a pear, a magnet, a pen, and a pear plush toy.
Above right: Recipes and ideas about pears were also included. You can find lots of pear recipes on the USA Pear website as well.

Above left: Here is the pear packaged in a "reusable pear packer!" How interesting!
Above right: I did use their Check the Neck for Ripeness™ technique, I think it was ripe, so I ate it! This pear smelled and tasted like the pears grown in our backyard, but it had a different texture that I've never tried before!

Thank you to Cristie Mather from Pear Bureau Northwest for the invitation! We had a fun time and all the recipes were wonderful! Congratulations to all the finalists!

Pear and Roxy are now good friends. For the winning recipes, please visit USA Pears here.


  1. Oh how yummy it all looks. Now I'm off to buy some pears!

  2. Miss Sandra - Now I know what to do with all the pears we get from our pear tree!

  3. congrats rose!! i have one tired pear in my fruit basket, looks like it needs some help :).

  4. bethany - Yes, congrats to Rose! Best cheesecake I ever had! Waiting to start picking from our pear tear in the backyard...