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Local chef helps Team Canada sizzle at World Culinary Olympics

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Adelina Sisti-DeBlasis and some of her teammates from Team Canada pulled a prank after winning gold at the World Culinary Olympics in Germany.

After receiving word they had won, the group hopped on an elevator at the event facility with the intention to tell the rest of the team they won silver.

“One of the gentlemen says we won silver,” explained Sisti-DeBlasis, followed by polite excitement. “A gentleman looked to me and I said, ‘No we didn’t get silver,’ and then everyone screamed we got gold.”

The group erupted with excitement. Four years of meeting every six to eight weeks in Toronto to train for five straight days took a toll on the team, but it was all worth it.

There were 1,200 participants from 55 nations in Germany earlier this month for the IKE World Culinary Olympics.

Team Canada was entered in two categories, winning silver in the Chef's Table category where they served 14 people and gold in the Restaurant of Nations category where they served 110 people.

“It's surreal but the excitement and adrenaline is still going,” said Sisti-DeBlasis, who serves as the team's Support Manager and has a lot on her plate including communication, finance, fundraising, logistics, and more.

The team of 20 with eight chefs were in Germany for two weeks and brought with them ingredients from across Canada.

“One of our chefs made a cedar bread and they took bark and they dehydrated the bark and made flour [from] the bark,” said Sisti-DeBlasis, who is part of a team ranked sixth in the world this year.

She brought the medals home and shared the experience at the UHC Community Kitchen where she's a co-op and culinary teacher for the public board.

“Before even coming here, we heard about her and just like not even knowing how big of a person she was,” said grade 12 Riverside student Mimi Simic. “Now seeing her in action has been like really cool. Just her teaching us, the way she speaks. You can tell she's knowledgeable.”

While she has until July to ponder a second run with Team Canada in 2028, Sisti-DeBlasis said she'll turn her attention back to getting students excited about cooking, among other initiatives.

“Working with the UHC and to get some food sustainability and monies back into some really good programs that the UHC offers so food initiatives is going to be my goal,” she said.

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