Top chefs ready to battle

Three of Canada's top chefs are coming back to Kelowna, with their eyes set on gold.

Previous competitors Christopher Hill, Jesse S. Friesen and Dave Bohati are among 11 chefs who will compete in the Canadian Culinary Championships Feb. 1 and 2.
“I am beyond excited to return to the Canadian Culinary Championships," says Winnipeg's Friesen. “This time, I have done more practising in my kitchen by putting more thought and attention to details for certain parts of the competition, especially the grand finale.... When I competed for the first time in Kelowna in 2017, I was proud of our team’s performance, but I definitely know where I made mistakes. I now have a better idea of where to put extra attention.”
Tickets are on sale now, and food lovers can choose from three event package options, including the Friday Mystery Wine Pairing Competition, the Black Box Competition, or the Saturday Grand Finale featuring musical entertainment by iconic Canadian rock band Chilliwack.

“It’s great to see so many chefs with the desire to return, we see them come with new strategies based on their learnings from previous competitions. It will make for a very competitive event, and (it's) really exciting to watch as a guest," says event co-founder Lisa Pasin.

Guests can watch it all unfold while enjoying some of the tastiest dishes prepared by some of the best chefs from across our country, she adds. 

Competing chefs include:

  • Takashi Ito - AURA waterfront restaurant + patio, Victoria
  • Davina Moraiko – RGE RD, Edmonton
  • Dave Bohati – Murrieta’s, Calgary
  • Christopher Hill – Taste Restaurant Group, Saskatchewan
  • Jesse S. Friesen - The Merchant Kitchen, Winnipeg
  • Elia Herrera – Colibri, Toronto
  • Yannick LaSalle – Restaurant Les Fougères, Chelsea, QC
  • Jason Morris - Pastel, Montreal
  • Irwin MacKinnon – Papa Joe’s, Charlottetown, PEI
  • Thomas Carey – Fresh Twenty One, Dartmouth, N.S.
  • Katie Hayes – Bonavista Social Club, Newfoundland

The Canadian Culinary Championships is the national finale of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, with regional events held annually in the fall. 

In each of the 11 cities, chefs compete with a dish of their choice paired with a Canadian wine, beer or spirit. 

The competition supports elite Canadian amateur athletes through the sport foundation B2ten and provides musical instruments to school children through MusicCounts, as well as supporting children to gain the skills and confidence they need to become the next generation of food leaders through mentorship sessions with chefs via Community Food Centres Canada.  

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