Coldstream’s Simon Dufresne (second from right) is congratulated by Okanagan College Culinary Arts instructors Jim Armstrong (from left), Vincent Stufano and Mike Barillaro after winning a cook-off against seven of his classmates to earn a trip to Italy in October. (Photo - submitted)

Coldstream cook to make Thanksgiving dinner in Italy

Simon Dufresne wins Okanagan College culinary arts cook-off event

A dish featuring quail has given a Coldstream cook a chance at turkey dinner.

Simon Dufresne, 18, a Kalamalka Secondary grad, recently finished his professional cook Level 1 certification from Okanagan College and Industry Training Authority. During an eight-week rotation, a top student was chosen per week to be among the final eight in a cook-off competition.

The winners – Dufresne and fellow student Hui Xu – travel to the Hotel Belvedere in the northeast Italian city of Riccione, on the Adriatic Sea, from Oct. 10 to 20. There, they will bring some of Canada with them as Dufresne and Xu will prepare a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for Okanagan College culinary arts instructor Mike Barillaro and Jim Armstrong, who will accompany the pair to Europe.

“We’ll be serving a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, so turkey, ham, all the fixings,” said Dufresne, a Lt.-Gov. of B.C. Silver Duke of Edinburgh winner.

“I feel this is a great opportunity and am honoured to have beaten out the seven other students for the win.”

Dufresne’s winning dish was a quail breast wrapped in prosciutto, creamy parmesan polenta, and quail leg confit with carrot foam. Dessert included olive oil sponge cake and al moretto zabaione. The dishes were rated by independent judges from outside the school.

Dufresne said he became interested in cooking “awhile ago, when I was younger.” He finished a duel credit program in his Grade 11 year to graduate, and in what would have been his Grade 12 year, he enrolled in the OC culinary school.

Asked if he had a specialty dish, Dufresne said: “No, not really. All food is good.”

He plans to keep going as a cook and obtain his Red Seal certificate and see where that takes him.

“Eventually, I’d like to open my own restaurant,” said Dufresne.

Related: Okanagan College launches Indigenous cooking training

Related: 11 of Canada’s top chefs land in Kelowna

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include co-winner Hui Xu.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP meets with religious leaders

Discussion included effect of attestation requirement and other legislation on faith communities

Bollywood Bang fundraiser for CMHA Vernon a success

CMHA received $33,922 from Bollywood event to support crisis line and youth programs

Vernon Lions Club “Ducks for Dogs” fundraiser a success

The event raised over $15,000 for B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs

Vernon woman heads up college foundation board

Gladys Fraser brings wealth of experience to role as chair of Okanagan College Foundation board

Vernon skier receives Cross Country Canada award

Gerry Brenemen received Volunteer of the Year Award for contributions to Sovereign Lake Nordic Club

Kelowna’s Okanagan Regional Library may not look like the one you grew up with!

New technology and arts programming transforms library operations

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Canadian Forces Snowbirds making quick trip to South Okanagan

Planes will be touching down at the Penticton airport to refuel

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Stolen car now returned to Summerland dealership

Vehicle was stolen on same day as attempted carjacking incident

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Rock the Lake music festival in Okanagan nears Saturday night sellout

Aug. 10th show is nearly sold out and three-day weekend passes are almost gone as well

Police recover $12,700 in stolen pet food from North Shuswap property

Chase RCMP execute third search of property where stolen vehicles, illegal firearms seized

Most Read