Inuvik’s 17-year-old Karis Dekwant brought home a gold medal from the Skills Canada territorial baking competition in Yellowknife last weekend.
This isn’t the first time she has competed in the Skills Canada competition.
“My first competition was in Grade 9. In Grade 10, I made it to nationals but placed sixth,” said Dekwant. “Last year, I went to nationals again and won gold, and hopefully I can repeat that this year.”
Dekwant said she had seven hours to make a set of very precise baked goods for the competition.
“I had to make 16 cookies, they had to be piped and a certain weight. I had to make two loaves of bread – one braided and one freestyle,” said Dekwant. “I had to make six buns, two French pastries, 10 éclairs and a special occasion cake that had to represent wildlife and nature in Canada. It’s a lot of work, but it definitely pays off.”
She is no stranger to tall baking orders, as she makes between two and five cakes per week for her own bakery business.
“There was a lot of demand for my cakes once I won the Skills Canada competition,” she said. “One of the teachers asked for a cake for his daughter’s birthday, and it turned out really good, and I realized I could make something out of it. It’s crazy, I’m always booked.”
Dekwant is in her last year at East Three Secondary School.
“I might be going to Australia for a discipleship program for a year,” she said. “But I definitely see culinary as something I want to do in the future. Right now, (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) would be my number one choice for culinary school.”
She might open up her own bakery one day, but she isn’t sure where.
“I’ll have to see when it comes around,” she said.
Dekwant qualified to compete in the national Skills Canada competition, which will take place in Edmonton June 2-7.