June 8, 2013 - 9:02pm

At the BC Chefs' Association Culinary Competition, held recently in Vancouver, VIU’s Culinary students Kevin Hilton, Allegra Jimenez and Lizzie Boyle, shone so brightly all of them took home gold.

One of them, Lizzie Boyle, was awarded the Grand Gold, for having the highest amount of points. All three had put their skills to the test in the Cold Competition where looks are everything.

“The students have to prepare the food and then present it on a plate so that it’s as aesthetically pleasing as possible,” explains Chef Debbie Shore, Chair of VIU’s Culinary department. “The judges don’t taste the food but mark it on workmanship, appearance and presentation.”

The three students trained as a team with VIU’s Culinary instructors in order to prepare for the competition, but they all competed separately.

Chef Shore said it was a great experience for all of the students.

“The cold competition is a category that is part of the Culinary Olympics – an international competition that takes place every four years. The Olympic team is made up of chefs from across Canada, chosen by their peers because they have demonstrated excellence in their culinary skills,” says Chef Shore. “So it was a great opportunity to give our students a chance to participate in an Olympic-event type of competition. That they all took gold and demonstrated exceptional skills, made the opportunity all that more exciting.”

Many graduates of VIU’s culinary program go on to pursue successful careers in the industry – provincially, nationally and internationally. Information sessions on the program are held every Friday at 9am on VIU's Nanaimo Campus in Building 300, Room 128. For more details go to [VIU's Culinary website](

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