Culinary Management Student Represents Canadore at Nationals

By Canadore College Modified on March 06, 2020

Canadore student Kelly Lai was a finalist in a competition around healthy eating.

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An array of delectable dishes prepared by competitors at the Healthy Eating Student Competition, for which Kelly Lai, a Culinary Management student at Canadore College, was a national finalist.

First-year Culinary Management student Kelly Lai represented Canadore College on the national stage in January, as a finalist in a competition focused on healthy eating.

Omnium Dux is an organization based in Quebec that, according to its website, promotes initiatives that "inspire Canadians to eat better and live better." It stages The Healthy Eating Student Competition to promote college and university programs that focus on nutrition and culinary trades in Canada. And it encourages the excellence of future professionals in these industries.

Pop-ups, Ghost Kitchens, and Bread Made from Crickets

Lai travelled to Montreal for the conference, which took place on January 29th, 2020. While she didn't win, the experience was enriching. There were many unique products that were presented at the conference that may soon make their way into our local grocery stores, like bread made with flour that is sourced from crickets.

"I know that sounds weird, but being Asian, I've eaten things that are not common in the North American diet," she says. "Protein is protein."

She also enjoyed learning about what is "up and coming" in the culinary world. "Ghost Kitchens is one of the concepts they were talking about," she says. "And, pop-up kitchens, very popular and getting more traction."

A ghost kitchen is a fully professional cooking facility that prepares delivery-only meals. A pop-up kitchen is one set up to showcase culinary talents at a temporary location. "To see what's out there, it was fun to see it presented," she says.

The Healthy Eating Student Competition

The competition is judged by a jury of five experts in nutrition and the food industry. Students were presented with a case study of a busy family and directed to create recipes and suggest ways to become more efficient. Lai's entry consisted of six recipes that were easy to prepare, along with five tips on how to save time and reduce waste.

"It was rotisserie chicken with steamed beans and some sautéed potatoes," she says of one of her entries. "So easy, but low fat. That was one of the parameters. I think each recipe, time-wise, took 15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to make."

Lai says she knows the recipes save time because she uses them in her own life to help her balance her studies and time with her children. She hopes to be able to enter the competition again next year!

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