Winnipeg, Man. – Canada’s culinary students showed their creative skills in the eighth annual Mission:ImPULSEible food product development competition.
This year’s national champion was a decadent, chocolate coconut cake called the Celebration Coco Bean Cake. Created by Samantha Smith and Danielle MacDonald of Mount Sinai Vincent University in Halifax, N.S., the cake was made from 100 per cent pulse-based flour and then topped with frosting made with coconut milk and pea fibre.
Mission ImPULSEible challenges culinary students to produce new food products featuring Canadian pulses (peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas).
This year saw 35 student teams from across the country develop pulse-inspired dishes with the goal of creating awareness for the International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP).
Christine Farkas, manager of Food Product & Culinary Innovation with Pulse Canada, says this year’s competition had some of the most creative entries by far.
“With IYP on the horizon,” says Farkas, “I wanted to see the students get really innovative and create dishes you wouldn’t normally associate with pulses. This year’s competitors certainly rose to the challenge.”
The second place winner was a team from the University of Saskatchewan with its Pulsiano Pizza, a frozen gluten-free pizza. The crust included lentil flour, the pizza sauce was a combination of tomato sauce and pureed kidney beans, and the pizza was topped with vegetables and roasted chickpeas.
Third place went to team Alberta’s Peamon Tart that had a lemon filling in a flaky crust made from a mixture of red kidney beans, chickpeas, Romano beans and great northern white beans. The product is gluten-free and the eggs are replaced with pea protein.
For the 2015 Mission, 35 student teams from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Atlantic Canada participated in provincial competitions during the spring of this year.
The provincial winners then participated in the National Championships in June in Calgary, Alta.
Judges for this year’s competition were: John Lillard, Senior R&D technologist with Campbell Company of Canada; Theresa Almonte, director Business Development in North America with Intertek. Also on the panel was Robin Esrock, bestselling author, journalist and international broadcaster and the Westin Calgary’s Executive Chef, Chef Frederic Hoffman.