This young chef is an award-winner

Par Raymond Berthiaume
This young chef is an award-winner
young chef

The 17-year-old Grade 12 student from Vankleek Collegiate Institute (VCI) is making his mark in the field of the culinary arts with a gold-medal performance in the kitchen at the Skills Ontario regional qualifying competition in Kingston. Timm-Sabourin and other students from across Eastern Ontario each competed in one of four categories during the one-day event at St. Lawrence College.

Timm-Sabourin won the gold medal and also a $500 bursary from the college for his achievement in the culinary skills event. That also qualifies him to compete next month in the provincial Skills Ontario competition in Toronto.

“I was pretty excited,” said Timm-Sabourin, during a noon-hour phone interview from school April 4. “I wasn’t expecting to be first.”

He noted that the student who finished second in the culinary arts competition had beaten him in a past competition and that hampered his self-confidence a bit. The challenge that Timm-Sabourin and all the other students competing in the college kitchen was a three-part lunch, featuring a burger as the main course, with a salad and a dessert.

The culinary event ran from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and included both the advance planning and preparation time and the actual making of the meal. All the ingredients were provided and all the ingredients, except perhaps the bun, had to be fresh.

“Everything you had to do on the spot,” he said.

Timm-Sabourin’s creation was a beef burger topped with pickled jalapeño, caramelized onion, and frico, which is crisped grated parmesan cheese. The beef patty was topped with a garlic aioli dressing and lettue and tomato. He prepared a Greek salad, topped with croutons and bacon crumbs, with French dressing, and for dessert provided a fresh-baked brownie with raspberry couli, whip cream and tuile.

His enhanced burger in the kitchen at St. Lawrence College is just the latest display of the young chef’s passion for the culinary arts.

“I really liked watching cooking shows when I was younger,” he said, “like MasterChef and also Hell’s Kitchen.”

At age 10, Timm-Sabourin was already helping prepare meals at home. While he is enrolled in VCI’s Foods program this year, almost all of his culinary skills he developed himself from watching cooking shows and teachin himself at home.

“More often, I’m helping others from what I know,” he said, about his classroom work.

He can’t recall when he wasn’t passionate about cooking and everything that is involved in preparing good things to eat.

“I enjoy taking basic ingredients and creating something new,” he said. “I enjoy seeing the reaction of people when I present a nice plate. I like Asian cuisine a lot, but I also like to try all different styles of recipes.”

When he’s not at school or in the kitchen at home, Timm-Sabourin enjoys watching YouTube videos of cooking demonstration as part of his continuing study of the culinary art. He also has fun playing video games and indulging in photography.

He knows that his talent in the kitchen offer him a bright future. What that future will be is wide open in his mind.

“I would like to start my own restaurant, or work in a high-end restaurant somewhere,” he said. “I’d also like to work around the world in different restaurants, learning different cuisines. That’s what I’m shooting for.”

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