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Meet Boulangerie Competetion 2022
Winner - Veronika Poddubska

A self-taught, amateur, and a very passionate baker, Veronika joins the Boulangerie Competition to share her passion for bread-making and for an opportunity to win bakery training at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand.

The news about Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand Boulangerie Competition delighted Veronika, a self-taught baker who is always looking for new techniques and ways of working with dough. Passionate about yeast and starter-based dough baking, she always tries to research bread recipes from all around the world.

Veronika is originally from Odessa Ukraine, a multicultural city with a massive variety of bread types. She had a chance to live in Germany as well as in Israel where she learned how to make a round festive challah, which symbolizes a family circle, sun, wheel of life and never ending traditions. The round three-strand braided bread remind her of her childhood and of the Ukrainian bread Kolach, hence she created the festive challah, at the Boulangerie Competition Grand Finale.
Veronika and her Festive Challah

Veronika competed with four other self-taught and passionate bakers who were all very terrified and nervous as her at the beginning of the competition. But despite the pressure due to the time constrait and the unfamaliar baking environment, she managed to create her amazing version of festive challa while demonstrating great baking skills and knowledge of working with dough which impressed the judges. She refused to use a stand mixer and chose to rely on her three important tools: her hands, her instincts and lots of patience!

From left: Shing, Chef Sébastien Lambert, Christine, Klara, Adeleh, Veronika and Chef Sam Heeny

When her name was announced as the winner, Veronika jumped for joy and was shaky in disbelief. It has always been her dream to improve the quality of her knowledge in bread-making. As her prize for winning the competition, Veronika gets to join the Boulangerie Programme at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand commencing on the 3rd October 2022.

"I think it's important that everybody knows how to bake their own bread. It's really therapeutic to massage the dough and work on the gluten, texture, and the different bread flavours."

Veronika Poddubska, Boulangerie Competition 2022 Winner