Northern Lights College Culinary Arts Students Take Gold at Fusion Faceoff Challenge
Northern Lights College culinary arts students got the experience of a lifetime thanks to the Fusion Faceoff Challenge. Two teams made up of students ranging from Level 1 to Level 3 went head-to-head in a series of cooking challenges, culminating in a four-course culinary battle.
Level 1 student Tina Dettieh was named Red Team captain, and Level 2 student Jashanpreet Kaur was named Blue Team captain after three rounds of qualifying competition. Once it was all said and done, the Blue Team was declared the winner of the faceoff that took place on the Dawson Creek campus on November 3, 2022. Jashanpreet was very happy at the end of the day. “It’s a very memorable moment for us, because our program is ending next month, but this is a lifelong memory for us,” she says. “This was the first time that I was team leader and [everyone] was very supportive.”
Both teams had to create four courses, including an amuse-bouche, starter, main, and dessert. Jashanpreet had to decide on the menu, the ingredients, and who would be doing what on her team. She was proud of her team and what they were able to accomplish together. “My team is hardworking, and they are all very nice,” she says. “It’s nice to be with people that are so supportive and they’re very enthusiastic as well.”
Guiding them through the faceoff was Canadian celebrity Chef Dale McKay, who won the very first season of Top Chef Canada in 2011 and has gone on to have a successful culinary career. Working alongside NLC culinary instructors, Chef Michael French and Chef Regan King, Dale says he’s very impressed with what the NLC students were able to accomplish in this amount of time. “I usually don’t feel this way on a work trip, but I’m not excited to leave,” he laughs. “I’ve felt like I’ve been part of the faculty, the community here for the last four days.”
He gave kudos not only to the students participating, but to Chef French and Chef King as well. “It’s really rare to have such a good group of people together in a class like this and have two such giving chefs, they’re such calm mentoring kind of people, I’ve just felt at home.”
The two teams got all their ingredients from the Dawson Creek Co-op Food Store, which closed for 30 minutes on shopping day so the students could race through the aisles to gather what they needed without knocking any regular customers over. Amber Donovan, marketing coordinator for the Dawson Creek Co-op, was very pleased with how the Fusion Faceoff came together. “It blew away my expectations,” she says. “The fact that we got all this on the first shot . . . that’s what happens when you get local collaboration.” The Fusion Faceoff Challenge was livestreamed by Eagle Vision and broadcast on Dawson Creek Co-op’s YouTube Channel.