June 13, 2018
Stefanie Francavilla has always been dedicated to her art. When she was ten years old, her mom bought her a Wilton icing gun. One batch of cupcakes and just a little bit of practice later, she discovered she not only had a natural talent for baking and decoration, but she genuinely enjoyed it as well. She soon traded her icing gun for a real piping bag, though her passion for baking and decorating has only grown stronger.
When Stefanie started high school, she wanted to learn more and start expanding her baking skills. She decided to start volunteering at cupCAKE, a bakery located in her hometown Barrie Ontario. Here, she began learning how to work with different types of icing such as fondant and buttercream. She was later hired on as part of the team, and completed tasks such as baking cupcakes and cakes, completing orders, and doing decorating with fondant, fillings and buttercream icing. Stefanie worked here for four years before moving on to work at the Canoe Restaurant as a pastry cook.
During Stefanie’s last year of high school in 2016, she participated in her first Skills Ontario Baking Competition and came in first place at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic school Board level. She then moved on to nationals and came in 8th place in all of Ontario. That same year, she competed in the Georgian College Baking Competition and became a bronze medalist. Stefanie’s love for baking was evident and it showed in her work, and she had an immense amount of talent.
Stefanie began the Baking and Pastry Arts Management Diploma program at Humber College in September 2016. This past week, Stefanie attended the Skills Canada competition as a representative of Humber College. Months before the competition, you could find Stefanie practicing once a week in the kitchen. As the competition date approached, that practice time increased to twice a week. During the last month she began full day trial runs practicing her recipes, making sure they were just right.
Skills Canada is Canada’s largest skilled trade and technology competition. It lasts for eight hours and participants must use a variety of different baking methods in order to create a unique artistic showpiece. Over the course of Skills Ontario and Skills Canada, Stefanie created a plethora of molded chocolate bonbons, two types of mini pastries, a mousse cake and an impressive sugar showpiece.
After a long day at Skills Canada and thanks to her coach, Sergio Shidomi, Stefanie proved that hard work pays off as she placed first and took home the gold! Stefanie now pre-qualifies to compete in the 45th Worldskills Competition in Russia in August 2019.
Congratulations to Stefanie Francavilla on this incredible achievement! The School of HRT is so proud of your dedication and hard work. We will be watching out for you to compete in Russia!