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ANNOUNCING CANADA’S TOP 10 REGIONAL FINALISTS

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S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022/23

S.Pellegrino is a proud supporter of Canada’s chef and restaurant community, continuously looking for ways to support emerging talent, share industry voices and partner with restaurant owners. Over the last few years, the culinary community across the nation has faced severe challenges and, as many in the industry are aware, it hit young chefs hard as the pandemic devastatingly impacted so many restaurants we know and love. 

As a way to show continued support for emerging talent, S.Pellegrino brought the Young Chef Academy Regional Competition back to Canada. In its fifth year, the competition offers young chefs an inspiring experience that provides national visibility and professional prestige. After a nation-wide call to all young chefs to take a chance and apply to be one of the top talents selected to take part in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition, the Academy is pleased to announce Canada’s top 10 2022/23 Young Chef Academy Competition regional finalists [see opposite page for the list]. Each finalist was hand-selected by the prestigious culinary academy, ALMA (International School of Culinary Arts in Italy), and will now go on to showcase their talent in front of an esteemed panel of Canadian culinary royalty including celebrity Chef Christine Cushing, Chef Patrick Kriss of Alo Group, and Chef Suzanne Barr, taking place October 23-25 in Toronto. 

“Like each one of these brilliant finalists, everyone in the culinary world begins their journey with talent and a dream,” said Christine Cushing. “I am so honoured to be selected as a judge for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition Regional Finale to help make someone’s dream a reality and give them this opportunity to represent Canada on the world stage.”

In the Canadian leg of the competition, all ten of the hopeful finalists will share their unique signature dish, which communicates their heritage, personal vision, unique skills and creativity. Each chef will have to execute their signature dish in less than five hours (from prep to expert plating) to win over the hearts and tastebuds of the judging panel. 

The panel of culinary sages will be evaluating the dishes based on three criteria including technical skills, creativity and personal belief which, simply put, is a clear message summarizing the “vision” of their work, their vision of the world of food, and their contribution to today’s society in general, through food. After trying each dish against the above golden rules, each judge will have to rate each dish with a score from 1 to 10 with the highest score winning the evening and the title.

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In the days surrounding the event, the 10 chefs will mix and mingle with peers, receive guidance from culinary mentors, participate in a culinary forum and of course showcase their signature recipe. The winner of the regional finalist competition will then go on to represent Canada in the Grand Finale taking place in Milan, Italy next year, where they will be set to impress a Grand Jury of the world’s top chefs in gastronomy, in hopes of being named ‘best young chef in the world.’ The 2023 Grand Finale is slotted to be the largest to-date, building on the 300 young chefs and mentors from 50 countries who took part in the last competition.  

The competition remains a highlight in the gastronomy world and is an initiative of S.Pellegrino’s Young Chef Academy, an inspiring international community that aims to identify, connect and nurture the next generation of chefs, no matter where they are from, their gender or their ethnicity.

THIS YEAR’S 10 REGIONAL FINALISTS REPRESENT THE ‘CRÈME-DE-LA-CRÈME’ OF CANADA’S EMERGING CULINARY TALENT, INCLUDING:

SAMY BENABED

Executive Chef, l’Auberge
Saint-Mathieu du Lac
Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, QC

TIMOTHY JAMES BLEAU

Sous Chef, Deane House
Calgary, AB

DAHYUN CHOI

Senior Sous Chef, Islington Golf Club
York, ON

HOUFENG DENG

Chef and Owner, Neue Catering
Vancouver, BC

Kali Fawcett

KALI FAWCETT

Chef De Partie, Stofa
Ottawa, ON

Carmen Holtby

CARMEN HOLTBY

Head Chef, The Stable House
South Granville, Vancouver, BC

Harpreet Kahllon

HARPREET KAHLLON

Chef De Partie, Don Alfonso 1890
Toronto, ON

Ben Miller

BEN MILLER

Chef de Cuisine, Tableau Bar Bistro
Vancouver, BC

Pierre Olivier Pelletier

PIERRE-OLIVIER PELLETIER

Chef-Owner, Kebec Club Privé
Québec, QC

Ben Thompson

BEN THOMPSON

Sous Chef, Orchard Restaurant
Calgary, AB

For more information about the upcoming S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Regional Finale, the Finalists or their dishes, visit: www.sanpellegrinoyoungchefacademy.com/regional-finalists-2022/canada

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