Garibaldi Secondary culinary student Cecilia Verdayes baked her way to a sixth-place showing in the province at the B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Field to Fork Challenge last month.
The Grade 10 student, who is originally from Spain, won over the judges with her chocolate cake made from a recipe she has perfected with her grandmother.
“I was delighted,” she said after winning the award.
Verdayes comes from a long line of cooks and said her favourite dish to prepare is biscuits. She took up the hobby with her best friend while living in Spain before coming to Canada and joining the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District 42 as an international student.
“I started cooking when I was very young because all my family likes to cook,” she said. “My grandmother helps me a lot with all things related to cooking.”
Chef educator Brent McGimpsey said Verdayes is the first Garibaldi Secondary culinary student to take home an award in the Field to Fork Challenge. He said she is incredibly focused in the kitchen and strives for perfection on whatever dish she is working on.
“It is incredible,” he said of her recent success. “It is so well deserved.”