Team Canada Wins Gold at Festival International du Pain

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Chefs Lasantha Mendis (left) and Sujeewa Thalagala showcase breads created during Festival International du Pain competition.

TUNISIA — A team of Canadian pastry chefs has returned home with four gold medals from the Festival International du Pain 2019, which took place in Tunisia in late February.

Competing alongside chefs from 15 countries, Team Canada dominated in four competition categories: Plated, Black Box, Champion of Bread and overall Team Gold. In the final round, Team Canada beat out the team from Croatia to take top honours.

The Canadian team was led by chef Lasantha Mendis, lead baker at Mount Logan Lodge in Northern Alberta. Additional team members include team baker Sujeewa Thalagala, coach and international judge Ruwan Jayakody and chef Dilup Attygalla, who handled the team’s media and communications. Members of the Canadian team were selected by the Culinary Federation (formerly the Canadian Federation of Chefs & Cooks) for their proven pastry and culinary skills.

“The judges really enjoyed our maple cinnamon bun with lavender frosting. Our creations were beautiful and delicious, but I think we won because of our great teamwork,” says Mendis. “We were very organized, stuck to our game plan and used uniquely Canadian ingredients, like smoked maple-turkey bacon and maple syrup.”

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