Last weekend, one young chef was crowned the winner of the inaugural Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition. The Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship program is a non-profit culinary foundation created to recognize and inspire young Canadian chefs, while promoting professionalism and culinary excellence within the hospitality industry. To be eligible, they must be Canadian chefs under 28, with a Red Seal certification, and are working full-time in a professional kitchen. 10 finalists across Canada were selected:
- Mark Andrew Brown – Ayr, Ontario
- Ross Derrick – Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Arnie Mitchell Guieb – Vancouver, British Columbia
- Talib Hubba – Sherwood Park, Alberta
- Carmen Ingham – North Vancouver, British Columbia
- Hayden Johnston – Thunder Bay, Ontario
- John Ly – Vancouver, British Columbia
- Brad Masciotra – London, Ontario
- Paul Moran – Kelowna, British Columbia
- Garrett Rotel – Calgary, Alberta
During Round 1 of the competition, these ten finalists competed against each other to create a main course dish for two within two hours, using provided ingredients. The top 3 finalists then moved on to Round 2, the black box challenge. They had two hours and fifteen minutes to cook a main course and dessert using mystery ingredients from the black box.
My guest reporter Terence checked out Round 2 of the competition at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and watched the following candidates compete for a chance to receive a $10,000 bursary, provided by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, and a stage at a leading international restaurant.
From left: Carmen Ingham, Paul Moran & Brad Masciotra (Photo credit: Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Twitter feed @HawkScholarship)
The black box ingredients were Schinkenspeck ham, Steelhead Salmon, Heart of Palm, Meyer Lemons, Almonds and Lobster.
The first half of the event included a discussion panel with the judges. They talked about culinary styles on the east coast vs. west coast; how Canadian chefs can hold their own against global competition; how reality cooking competition on TV may create unrealistic expectations for budding chefs; and judges’ own experiences/inspiration for their culinary career.
The judges were:
- Kristian Eligh, Chef de Cuisine, Hawksworth Restaurant
- David Hawksworth, Chef & Owner, Hawksworth Restaurant
- Scott Jaeger, Chef & Owner, The Pear Tree Restaurant
- Normand Laprise, Chef & Owner, Toqué! and Brasserie T! from Montréal
- Mark McEwan, Chef & Entrepreneur from Toronto, also Head Judge of Top Chef Canada
- Jacob Richler, Food Journalist & Author from Toronto
- Vikram Vij, Author, Chef & Owner, Vij’s
- Anthony Walsh, Corporate Executive Chef, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants from Toronto
The judges were interested in seeing how the finalists demonstrated a mastery of the black box ingredients, rather than doing something for the sake of being noticed/flashy. It’s important to stay true to the ingredients.
The second half of the event gave attendees an opportunity to mingle, sample appetizers from Hawksworth Restaurant, and observe the finalists in action.
After much deliberation by the judges, the winner of the inaugural Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition went to Paul Moran from Kelowna! (Photo credit: Jessica Haydahl Photography as seen on Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Facebook Page)
Let’s take a look at his winning dishes (Photo credit: Hawksworth Restaurant Instagram feed @hawksworthrest):
Congratulations to Paul on winning the competition! You made us British Columbians proud!
And much thank you to Terence, our guest reporter, for stopping by the competition.
For more information about the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship, visit hawksworthscholarship.com.