Toronto Regional Finalists Announced in Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition
Vancouver, BC (May 27, 2015) – A panel of Canada’s top chefs has spoken and announced the culinary finalists from Toronto’s regional heats of the national Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship presented by TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege. The competition was extremely fierce during the Toronto heat yesterday afternoon, with only two young chefs able to progress through to the final national round, which will take place on September 12 in Vancouver. Regional heats will also be held in Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.
Each competitor was given identical ingredients, provided by Gordon Food Service Canada, and allowed two hours in the kitchen to wow the taste buds of the judges. Those who came out on top were from a diverse group of talented young chefs from a number of the city’s top kitchens. The Toronto heat finalists are: Stephen Baidacoff (from Eleven Madison Park) and Marvin Palomo (from DaiLo) who stood out ahead of the competition to win over the judges.
“As we enter our third year and this contest grows larger, we see more and more top calibre applicants from cities across Canada, making the talent pool increasingly more impressive and the competition tougher,” says Chef David Hawksworth, the founder of the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship. Chef Hawksworth added: “There was a wide range of techniques used in the preparation of the dishes we saw yesterday in Toronto but the judges found there to be a certain elevated level of sophistication from the two who progressed through to the finals.”
Stephen Baidacoff was first overall in the Toronto heat, impressing the panel of chefs, which included Rob Gentile, David Lee, Damon Campbell, Grant van Gameren, Kristian Eligh & David Hawksworth. The bold simplicity of his outstanding lamb dish showed a confidence that translated into an impressive first place showing. As a reward for his hard work in the kitchen, Le Creuset provided him with a Stainless Steel Chef’s Pan (Saucier) as well as round-trip airfare to Vancouver to take part in the final.
Taking place at Vancouver Community College in September, the final round of this national competition will see the finalists use mystery ingredients from a black box, revealed only moments before the competition clock begins to tick. The winner, chosen by a prominent panel of Canadian chefs and food critics, will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship along with an international stage.