Judging the Almost Famous

Almost-Famous-Chef-logo_thumb.jpgI am delighted to announce that I’ve been invited to be a Judge at the San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition.
This is the 10th anniversary of the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef  Competition and it brings together students from 73 culinary institutions across Canada and the United States to compete to be named the San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef, up to $22,000 in prizes and a career-changing apprenticeship with a master chef.

There are 10 regional competitions and I will be judging the Canadian Almost Famous S.Pellegrino Chef Competition - Canadian RegionalsRegionals held on January 30th at the Calphalon Culinary Center in Toronto with:

The competing Canadian schools are: The George Brown Chef’s School (Toronto), The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Vancouver, École hôtelière de la Capitale (Québec City), Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (Montréal). Almost Famous S.Pellegrino Chef Competition - Canadian Regionals

Each competing student will be given two hours to prepare eight servings of an entrée signature dish, seven for judges and one for display.  They will then present their dish to the judging panel. There will be a judging panel at each regional competition featuring chef judges, kitchen judges and media judges.

We’ll be evaluating each competitor on kitchen skills; the taste, presentation and creativity of their dish; as well as on their personality while being questioned by judges and media, and on their ability to perform under pressure.

Regional winners will then go to Napa California in March to compete in a variety of competitions including: the Mystery Basket Competition, the Signature Dish Competition, the People’s Choice Award, and the Acqua Panna® Fan Favorite.

Last year’s winner of the Canadian Regionals was Jean-Francois Daigle from George Brown Chef’s School for his Honey-Seared Bison Tenderloin.  An extra cool part for me is that he’s from New Brunswick and this dish was inspired by watching the bison grazing on wildflowers at a farm in Northern New Brunswick.  Here’s a shot of Jean-Francois after his win last year, with Jess Bennett of Sift, Dust & Toss, David Ort (last year’s Blogger Judge) of Food With Legs and Spotlight Toronto,  and me.

David, Jess, Jean-Francois & Lex

Here are the photos I took at last year’s San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition.

What do you think?