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Meet Our 2016 Passion for Excellence Scholarship Award Finalists

We are excited to announce the top 3 finalist of this years’ 2016 Passion for Excellence Scholarship Award! Meet Gloria Otshudi (left), Kevin Morin (center) and Shawna Wood (right).

Out of forty-five applicants, only three were selected to make it through to the final 4 hour cook-off on December 10th 2016. The finalist will prepare a preselected recipe at our Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa campus that will be judged based on five components: presentation, technique, taste, hygiene and organization.

The winner of the cook-off will be awarded a fully funded placement within the coveted Diplôme de Cuisine program at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, the winner will also carry out a paid internship under the guidance of esteemed Chef Yannick Anton at renowned Signatures Restaurant.

We spoke to our three finalists about their passion for the culinary world and why they decided to take part in the competition —and what it means to them to be in the top 3.

What made you realize that you wanted to attend culinary school and take part in the scholarship competition?

Kevin Morin: Food for a long time, mostly from studying and doing agriculture. When I looked at the program description of what le Cordon Bleu institute offered, I was impressed by the structure, professionalism and depth of their school. I knew training there would fast track my career plans, and sharpen my edge.

Gloria Otshudi: Since cooking has always been my passion and the career I want to pursue, culinary school has always been in the back of my mind, but not just any culinary school Le Cordon Bleu was always the only school for me. However, I never thought I would be able to attend due to economical short comings, but when I found out that there's a scholarship competition I didn't hesitate to participate as this is a once in a life time opportunity.

Shawna Wood: I have always had a keen interest in attending culinary school. I have always wanted to have a family owned bistro but with a family our size it's not been easy for me to find the time or the finances to attempt those goals. I now have time to find myself after all these years of being a stay at home mother and I want to explore my passions.  It will mean learning new techniques that will help me feed my family in healthier ways. It will mean showing myself I have the drive and desire to participate with my very best. Most of all, it will mean that I've shown my children that trying to better yourself by following your dreams, can only lead you to positive things. I am genuinely anxious and excited to take part in this competition.

What does it mean to you to be selected in the top 3 out of 45 applicants?

Kevin Morin: I am very content that the institute appreciated my thoughts on the opportunity for kitchen and restaurant gardens. Participating thus far in the competition has been a great excitement; every round an opportunity to dwell deeper into the culinary arts.

Gloria Otshudi: It means the world...no, not the world, it means the universe to me! It also gives me so much motivation going into the final round and giving it my utmost best.

Shawna Wood: To be chosen out of 45 applicants and finding out I was in the top 3 was humbling. I almost didn't believe it. I am a home cook and my experience comes from creating dishes in the kitchen with my family while listening to classic rock and singing/dancing as we cook. We love food in this house, well, we have to, there are 9 of us now!  So it's out of love for family time together with my small army here at home that really makes it enjoyable. To be given a chance to gain more knowledge and refine my cookbook with these truly talented chefs would absolutely mean the world to me.

Now in its second year, the Passion for Excellence Scholarship continues to assist aspiring Chefs with a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn their passion for food into a career. For information on our 2017 Scholarship please visits http://www.chefscholarships.ca/

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Fine Dine Fridays with Le Cordon Bleu

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Experience our 3-course dinner expertly curated by Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Master Chefs and presented by our highly talented superior level cuisine students.