Island born, Island cookin'

Canada's top chefs return to Kelowna Feb. 1-2 to battle for the title of best in the nation at the Canadian Culinary Championships.

The competition includes a Mystery Wine Pairing Competition, Black Box Competition, and Grand Finale at the Delta Grand Hotel. Tickets are available at http://www.greatkitchenparty.com/.

Leading up the event, Castanet is featuring profiles of the 11 competing chefs.

New Brunswick and PEI – Irwin MacKinnon, Papa Joe’s, Charlottetown

Chef Irwin MacKinnon has been a member of the Culinary Federation since 1992. 

The Prince Edward Island Association of Chefs and Cooks has been holding its annual “Chef of the Year” Gala Dinner for the past 20 years. Chef Irwin has been involved in the dinner in one aspect or another since its beginning and has been the recipient of the award in 2001 and 2017.

He is currently president of the organization.

MacKinnon has been a member of Culinary Team PEI on seven occasions, competing at the Atlantic Culinary Exhibition and Regional Conferences. In addition to competing, he has judged numerous Provincial and Regional competitions. He has also coached both Skills Canada and PEI Junior Chef competitors.

Chef Irwin is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada. He understands the importance of having a mentoring chef and since becoming a chef himself, he has mentored over 40 intern students from the Culinary Institute of Canada and continues to do so today.

He received the award for 2018 Eastern Regional Chef of the Year at the CCFCC Regional Conference in April of this year and 2018 National Chef of the Year at the CCFCC National Conference in June of this year.

Irwin is an Island-born chef and resides in New Haven, PEI, with his wife and four children. He enjoys cooking regional cuisine using local ingredients while concentrating on flavour and presentation. Local farmers, producers and artisans also recognize him for using their Island products extensively throughout his menus.

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