Eli Qaqqasiq’s sweet hobby takes him to Halifax

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Layer cake. Chocolate-filled cookies. Miniature pastries. Chocolate sponge cake.

Arctic Bay’s Eli Qaqqasiq spreads some cream on his petit-four pastry during Skills Canada nationals in Halifax on May 29.
NNSL photo

Those were among the offerings that Eli Qaqqasiq baked at the Skills Canada national championships in Halifax on Wednesday. After he placed his finished products on plates and presented them on the table for the judges, they walked up and down the aisle, stopping to sample the baked goods and assessing various qualities.

“It makes me kind of nervous because we don’t get to taste it,” Qaqqasiq explained.

Not everything went according to plan. Over the seven hours allotted for baking, Qaqqasiq tossed out his first batch of cookies because they burned. The wrong type of flour was to blame, he said.

The lost time prevented him from baking bread and lime curds.

He still got high-fives and praise from members of the Nunavut Skills Canada delegation for not giving up during his first experience at nationals.

Teacher Jean-Francois Latour, who’s a baker, spurred Qaqqasiq’s love of baking and encouraged him to get involved with Skills Canada a couple of years ago.

It won’t be the way Qaqqasiq makes a living, however. Becoming a flight attendant is how he envisions himself spending many of his adult years.

“I just want to have fun for now while I’m young,” he said, adding that he’ll be entering his final year at Inuujaq High School in the fall.