SAIT Culinary Arts student Erik Hansen

Second-year SAIT Culinary Arts student Erik Hansen is no stranger to competition. At just 20 years old he has already competed in the Skills Alberta Culinary Arts competition in Edmonton and the Taste Canada Cooks the Books Student Cooking competition in Toronto.

It’s no surprise he was selected and won the annual culinary Trophée Jean Rougié student cooking competition in France this past January.

Congratulations chef Erik Hansen

Now in its 14th year, the esteemed French competition is historically only open to French students. This year they allowed an international candidate from SAIT, a decision that cost them the title. Through hard work and commitment to the craft, Erik earned the opportunity to compete alongside his mentors, SAIT culinary instructors Andrew Springett and Manuel Panfili. Together, they dedicated three months to research and preparation, honing skills for the upcoming challenge requiring a cold and hot dish.

For the cold dish, Team Canada entered a terrine composed of a hazelnut sable crust, foie gras truffled mushroom duxelles, sous vide foie gras lobe, poached leek hearts, mulled Riesling, sliced smoked duck breast, foie gras leek and shallot emulsion and a poached Atlantic lobster tail, all encased in leek bands. Two garnishes accompanied the dish alongside a wild Saskatoon-and-huckleberry reduction.

A 15-minute break was allowed before the hot dish “black box” ingredients were revealed. This challenge called for eight ingredients and eight techniques on one plate. Erik seared a piece of foie gras, created a Jerusalem artichoke puree, segmented a scallop and layered truffle in-between, poached and butter-glazed a carrot, pan-sautéed langoustines and razor clams, poached oysters, and created a chip using a potato. Erik and his team took home the trophy, prizes and accolades, but in the end, what this young man says mattered most was meeting Jean-Luc Danjou, the technical director of this world-renowned competition. His future looks bright.

SAIT Culinary Arts Program |