Thursday, June 20, 2013

Discovered Culinary Competition 2013

In its second year running, the Discovered Culinary Competition (@DiscoveredChefs) gives up-and-coming Canadian chefs the opportunity to showcase their culinary talents. In front of a live audience and a rotating panel of judges including some of the city's most reputable chefs and food writers, competing chefs work against the clock in a high energy, black box competition. All to win the coveted Grand Prize of an all expenses paid trip to the North of Spain for a week-long cooking stage.

The competition began on April 8 at Nella Cucina (@nellacucina) with 14 weeks of preliminary challenges. Both winners and runner ups will advance from weekly challenges, resulting in 14 semi-finalists plus 2 Facebook fan favourites. These 16 semi-finalist contestants will then move on to the second part of the competition, composed of a two-day semi-final match resulting in four finalists, which will be held at Nella Cucina on Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14. The four finalists will then compete against each other for the grand prize, awarded at Nella Cucina Monday July 22. 

I was on the judging panel for Round 7 of the competition alongside Rodney Bowers (Owner of Hey Meatball and Hey) and Luca Stracquadino (former head chef of Le Bettola/Osteria, Terroni Family). 



There are three rounds: appetizer, entree and dessert. Each contestant is provided with a mystery basket of ingredients. They must prepare a dish using all of the mystery ingredients with access to a stocked pantry, in the limited amount of time allotted for each round (appetizer = 20 mins, entree = 30 mins, dessert = 20 mins.) Dishes are evaluated based on use of the mystery ingredients, creativity, presentation and taste. One contestant is eliminated after each round and the next round starts again with a new mystery box.


This is very fast-paced and intense competition.

Contestants running to and from the pantry...

Time's up! 

Here I am pretending to know what I'm talking about.

Back room deliberations.

And the winner of Round 7 is...

Andrew Eade! Congratulations!

The Discovered Culinary Competition is made possible by the graciousness of the following sponsors: Hilite Fine Foods, Amsterdam Brewery, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Liberterre, Newport Fish Importers and MGM Truffles. THANK YOU!    

If anyone is interested in the Discovered Culinary Competition there is still room for last minute applications! The Discovered Culinary Competition is open to all Canadian chefs over the age of 19. For more information or to apply online, visit The Discovered Chefs Facebook page at

*All photos by Tony Cicero Photography used with permission from Nella Cucina*

Related Post:
Judging at PEI Cook-Off Challenge