Junior Culinary Team Canada brings national flavours to Ecuador


Daniella Germond and Ben Lillico joined chef professor Dan Leblanc in Ecuador where they recently prepared meals for the Canadian ambassador’s reception, as well as the Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Members of Junior Culinary Team Canada represented their home and native land in Ecuador this Canada Day.

Team members Daniella Germond and Ben Lillico joined chef professor Dan Leblanc on the trip, from June 23 to July 3.

During their stay in Ecuador, they taught a master class at culinary school Istituto Superior De Arte Culinario, located in Guayaquil. Leblanc noted that they worked alongside students of the institute to prepare a tasting plate for top chefs from Guayaquil and the deans from the city’s culinary institutes using Ecuadorian and Canadian products. They also prepared a tasting of Canadian products alongside local chocolate producer Fresh Costa.

The team members also participated in a conference attended by about 500 students where they discussed their experiences in the culinary industry and at competitions.

“The students really appreciated our visit and there were many photos taken with them,” said Leblanc.

They had the opportunity to prepare a Canadian-inspired buffet for the Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, serving 160 guests.

They also travelled to Quito, the political capital of Ecuador, where they prepared a cocktail hors d’oeuvres reception for Canada at the house of Canadian ambassador Pamela O’Donnell.

“The event was also well received with great comments all around about the food,ᾯ said Leblanc. “We were all very proud to represent Canada on this special day.”

The group also got a taste of Ecuadorian culture, touring the historical sites of Cuenca (known as the cultural capital of Ecuador), and Incan ruins at Ingapirca.

“It was a great journey filled with great experiences, challenges, meeting new people, creating friendships, strengthening bonds with old friends and partners and showcasing Canada on the world stage,” said Leblanc.

This was the third year that the team has travelled to Ecuador for Canada Day. Last year, Leblanc accompanied team members Megan Proper, Trevor Littlejohn, Katrina Young and Wes Lund; and in  2013, chef professor Olaf Mertens and team member Scott McInerney made the journey.

Visit for additional info.

Share this article