Thirty candidates are set to compete in the kitchen as part of the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition worth $10,000. Canada’s culinary scene is heating up as it was announced recently that the national finale will take place in September 2014 at Vancouver’s own Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.
Since launching the program in 2013, the Scholarship (started by Chef David Hawksworth) brings to life an unwavering vision of inspiring and encouraging young chefs from across Canada by giving them the opportunity to cook in front of a panel of the country’s most revered chefs. Alongside his Chef de Cuisine, Kristian Eligh, David Hawksworth will once again be joined by an exceptional panel of returning judges. Casting their votes will be TV star Chef Mark McEwan, acclaimed food writer Jacob Richler, legendary Chef Normand Laprise, and celebrated Canadian chefs Anthony Walsh and Scott Jaeger.
During its inaugural year, finalists came from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario – with this year’s range of candidates expected to be even more broad and talented – representing the best of Canada’s young chefs.
The nationwide search begins with three regional heats in Western, Central and Atlantic Canada, featuring judges Chef Hawksworth and Chef Eligh. Calgary will kick off the heats with Chef Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT Roast House, Chef Justin Leboe of Model Milk, and Chef Michael Noble of NOtaBLE.
Throughout the various legs of competition, the main panel of judges will feature special guest appearances such as: Culinary Instructor Chef Michael Allemeier, who will join in judging the Western Canada heat (June 22nd, 2014 at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology); Chef Anna Olson and Chef Lynn Crawford will be joining Shangri-La’s Executive Chef Damon Campbell and Chef Rob Gentile of Toronto’s Buca as guest judges at Toronto’s George Brown College on June 25th, 2014.
Atlantic Canada (the final stop for this culinary competition) will take place at the Nova Scotia Community College in Kentville on June 29th, 2014 with guest judges such as Food Network star Chef Michael Smith; Chef Craig Flinn, owner and chef at Halifax’s renowned Chives Canadian Bistro; and Chef Jeremy Charles of Newfoundland’s Raymonds Restaurant making their picks.
For each regional competition, 10 candidates will compete against each other – and the clock – to create a main dish for four within two hours using specified pantry ingredients. The top three from each heat will go on to the final event in Vancouver, where they will have two and a half hours to cook a main meal and dessert using surprise ingredients from a black box. The scholarship winner will take home a $10,000 prize, presented by the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia, and gain experience working at a leading international restaurant. The top prize will be awarded to the young Canadian chef, under the age of 28, who shows the judges that they have the drive, passion and skill to succeed in the industry.
Learn more about this year’s upcoming competition and the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship here.