“I get to practice on my Japanese recipes on a large scale for once,” says Fred Weatherbee, a student in the Baking and Pastry Arts program, as she grinds her dough during the baking competition held at the college April 3.
“I am making Japanese cheesecake then Japanese melon bread.”
And as unique as those dishes sound, Weatherbee was among nine participants competing for prizes and bragging rights as the Baking and Pastry Arts program held its eighth baking competition in the H building.
There were four categories: the bread competition, which Dalton Pankhurst won, the croissant competition, won by Rhea Heink, the cakes category, won by Katherine Oeggerli, and the cookies competition, in which Rhea Heink came out victorious.
Overall, Oeggerli, was named the winner of the eighth baking competition. She took home a microwave, a book and a knife.
Competitors Rhea Heink, Michelle Echlin, Jaimee Montpetit, Michele Seivwright, Katherine Oeggerli, Devyn Lemieux, Amanda Mullen, Dalton Pankhurst and Fred Weatherbee were given time for each item to be made and be presented to judges, who included Gordon Esnard, Ernst Frehner, Adrian Fontaine and Howard Babb. They then picked three winners from each category.
Anthony Bond, the Baking and Pastry Arts professor and coordinator, said the competition allows students to practice what they have learned in the first half of the year. Baking and Pastry Arts is a one-year program.
Among the competitors, there is a consensus that baking is more than just making bread, cookies, cakes and croissants; it’s also a stress reliever.
“I love baking,” Echlin says. “Whenever I am upset, baking is the thing that makes me happy.”
The competition is also an opportunity for the participants to not only improve their time-management skills but also manage their stress, according to Heink.
“I think this competition is a good experience for students,” Heink says. “It’s a good way to prove that you can work well under pressure and plan and stick to our own schedules.”