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A Top Chef's Perspective

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Introducing Candace Cheney and Sara Trottier from the pastry team at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre Fort McMurray. YMM met with Candace and Sara to learn more about them and the wonderful work they do.

YMM: How did you two get started in the pastry industry?

Candace: I have been in the industry since I was 14 years old. I was surrounded by lots of baking influences when I was growing up so I had a love of it very early on. When I received the opportunity to work in a bakeshop at the age of 14, I jumped at the chance. I decided to attend a local college for commercial cooking, but found that my love of pastries won over the cooking passion in me.

Sara: I started with cooking at the age of 15 when I was given the opportunity to join a really good Culinary Program in my high school. After high school I completed a 12-month Culinary Program in Vancouver. My love for making beautiful pastries was discovered when I moved to Paris, France for eight months where I was able to work in the various areas of the kitchen. So when I returned to Vancouver, I found a full time pastry position.

YMM: What brought you to Fort McMurray and the Sawridge?

Candace: I came to visit my mother for the weekend here in Fort McMurray and when I went back home I decided to check out the job bank and noticed that the Sawridge was hiring a baker. I applied and got the job! Eight years later, I’m still here and I’m still loving it!

Sara: In 2008, my husband was offered a job at Suncor in Fort McMurray, so we packed up and moved! I applied at the Sawridge and started off at the kitchen line, but Candace stole me from that role soon after. I’ve been working alongside Candace since. It’s been about four and a half years.

YMM: Tell us about your wedding cakes.

Candace: We love to make weddings cakes here at the Sawridge! My team and I love using our creativity to create a masterpiece for the bride and groom. Vintage is really in this year, so the cake I’ve made is reflective of that. It is something you would see in the Great Gatsby!