Culinary Arts – First place at York Region, Jonray Romero Diamante

At St. Brother Andre, we are so fortunate to be blessed with the wonderful students we have. They are passionate and full of school spirit. An example of one such student is Jonray Diamante, a grade 12 student who is making its mark in the culinary world and is no stranger to competition. He has recently placed first in the Skills Canada competition. Read his reflection…

The hospitality program and the guidance of Mr. Cook shaped who I am today. I learned a lot of the basics to cooking and it is where I found my passion to work in the food industry. It helped me shape my mentality of learning about food and train to become a chef. I have already worked in several fine dining restaurants such as Dailo, Fring’s and Richmond Station in downtown Toronto. I have met several cooks and professional Chefs throughout the 2 years that I have been in the industry and I am continuing to build connections with chefs and cooks throughout the GTA.

The first time I heard about the Skills Canada Competition was in Grade 10 when I met a former student working on the competition that year. Mr. Cook asked me to do the Skills Canada competition when I was in Grade 11 and I worked hard to earn that 1st place ribbon in regionals, however, I got the 6th place in the provincials competition.

For the competition this year, I learned from my mistakes in my experience last year and I did everything I could to stay organized and focused to work ahead of my schedule even though I got sidetracked during the presentation of the main course. I thought I had enough time since I did the majority of my prep in advance, however, when the time came to present my main course was soon approaching, my heart was pounding and the adrenaline set in.

I started to work faster and messier in order to finish cooking, seasoning and plating my dish. That was the highlight for my competition. I was able to push through even though I made a mess of my station and I eventually managed my dish out on time. That was the same mistake that I made in the previous competition and I got to work not doing the same error again.

Overall, I was very excited, yet calm and prepared for what was to come. There’s a lot of training that I have done to achieve my goal and I did my best to secure that gold. Competitions are stressful and tough but also exciting and fun.

Last year I was stressing a lot during the competition but this year I was more relaxed and confident. The only time I felt nervous was during the awarding ceremony because I wanted to win.

Big shout out goes to my teacher, Mr. Cook and to Chef Kire from Humber College for mentoring and supporting me during this journey. And to my family and friends for their full support and love. The provincials are coming up in a couple of weeks and I am doing my best to go for gold.

Culinary Arts – First place at York Region, Jonray Romero Diamante

Proud winner

Jonray Romero Diamante of St. Brother André Catholic High School, York Region with his proud Mom (Judy Romero Diamante from Mangaldan) and Dad (Jhun Ciolo Diamante of San Pablo City) with his very supportive teacher, Chef Cook.

Culinary Arts – First place

Very Happy Jonray Romero Diamante First Place AGAIN at Skills/Compétences Canada – Secondary Level Ontario

The teacher

Jonray with his very supportive teacher, Chef Cook of St. Brother André Catholic High School, York Region at the Skills Ontario Competition on April 7, 2018

Sweets - Lemon Tart

Jonray’s winning entry

The steaks - Top Sirloin Cap

Jonray’s very delicious steaks

Winning Minestrone Soup

Jonray’s winning soup at the Skills Ontario Competition 2018

Skills Ontario Competition Qualifying Competitions: Saturday, April 7, 2018

Jonray Romero Diamante of St. Brother André Catholic High School in Markham did it again! First place in Skills Ontario Competition Qualifying Competitions held on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Due to the popularity of some contests at the Skills Ontario Competition, Skills Ontario holds Qualifying Competitions to ensure that the most prepared and talented students ultimately compete at the Skills Ontario Competition. Secondary level competitors in the following contests must first compete at a Qualifying Competition:

  • Culinary Arts – First place Jonray Romero Diamante
  • TV & Video Production – Team of 2
  • Carpentry Individual
  • Welding

Qualifying Competitions were held at seven colleges across Ontario on April 7, 2018.