Shayna Kropft did not always know she wanted to be a baker. But with a passion for art and creating things with her hands she ended up in Algonquin’s baking and pastry arts program.
Kropft recently won overall winner and first place for bread and croissants in Algonquin’s sixth annual baking competition.
The competition was hosted on March 15. It showcased the eight participating students’ skills and creativity.
Kropft made perfect golden brown croissants using a recipe from class and a beautiful cranberry cinnamon bread braided into a circle, both of which were winners in the judge’s eyes.
“I’m very surprised,” said Kropft, “I tried really hard and I tried to make things unique. I guess that’s what got me to win.”
“Presentation is very, very important,” said Gordon Esnard, assistant general manager of the college’s food services and one of the competition’s four judges. “People eat with their eyes and if it looks good, it tastes good.”
The competition started at 7:30 a.m. and the baking went on until 1:30 p.m. With four categories, including bread, followed by croissants, then cakes and cookies, the competitors came prepared with their helpers to conquer the day.
There were individual third, second and first-place awards for each of the categories. Claire Faguy took home first place with her brown sugar cookies while Rosanna Matoush won first place for her creative carrot cake.
“We try to keep it casual. They’re not being marked, they’re being judged,” said Chef Anthony Bond, coordinator of the baking and pastry arts program. Bond said the competitors aren’t necessarily the best in their class, they are just those who love competing.
Before she was announced overall winner, Kropft said that she was pretty happy with how everything turned out despite the stressful day. She will get to return to the competition next year as one of the judges.