(May 20, 12:44 p.m.) CALGARY, Alberta — Red Anjou Crisp proved a hit with the judges of the Pear Bureau Northwest’s Pear Excellence Red Anjou Pearfection recipe contest.

Judging for the contest, the first of its kind to be organized by the Milwaukie, Ore.-based organization, took place on the first day of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association expo on May 15.

Chefs from Sysco Calgary prepared recipes from the five regional finalists, culinary students from across Canada.

The winner, Nelita Silva, a student at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, earned a $2,000 cash prize and a trip to Orlando, Florida, for the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit 2009 and the Epcot International Festival of Food and Wine, where she will get a chance to demonstrate her recipe on in front of an audience.

The chance to present at Disney World is worth more than the cash prize, said Cristie Mather, communications manager for the Pear Bureau.

“That student will have immediate recognition, which will really kick start their career,” she said.

Judges were Danny Dempster, president of the Ottawa-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Derek Dale, executive chef of the Calgary Stampede, and Cindy Frindlay, academic chair for the culinary arts at SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary.

The other finalists — Candice Wong of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver, British Columbia; Boutros Wakim of the Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island-based Culinary Institute of Canada; Kathleen Guthrie of the Whitby, Ontario-based Liaison College; and Rodney Defreitas Piemental of the Pearson School of Culinary Art, Lasalle, Quebec — each received a $500 cash prize.

Student wins cash, trip in pear recipe contest
Left to right: Derek Dale, executive chef for the Calgary Stampede; Cindy Findlay, academic chair for culinary arts at SAIT Polytechnic school in Calgary; and Danny Dempster, president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Ottawa, served as judges for the Portland, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest's Pear Excellence Red Anjoy Pearfection recipe contest.