Story Ideas

Top chefs take to the stage at CNE

And you’ll find them cookin’ across the country

24 August 2011

Top Chef Canada just concluded its first successful year – with three chefs from across the country battling it out in the kitchen on the final episode for the $100,000 prize.

In the end it was Vancouver’s Dale MacKay who came out on top, followed by Toronto’s Rob Rossi and Calgary’s Connie De Sousa.

There were 16 young chefs who started the season, eliminated week by week in culinary challenges ranging from cooking tasty street food to creating a menu for Milestones restaurant. So where are these top toques cooking now? They’re in restaurants and inns, wineries and bistros across the country – and most will be together again on the Food Network Celebrity Stage at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Aug. 22 to Sept. 4, 2011:

Dale MacKay – has just opened his own restaurant, ensemble, in Vancouver this spring.

Rob Rossi – The second place finisher and former sous chef at Toronto’s Canoe Restaurant, recently announced his departure from the Mercatto group of restaurants for “new and exciting ventures.”

Connie De Sousa – The only woman to make it to the final three in the Top Chef Competition, De Sousa is back at CHARCUT in Calgary, the popular locovore restaurant where she is both co-executive chef and co-owner.

Dustin Gallagher – Gallagher is the chef at Toronto’s Grace restaurant, known for its “modern farmhouse cuisine”.

Todd Perrin returned to St. John’s, Newfoundland where he owns and operates The Chef’s Inn, a bed and breakfast featuring locally inspired dinners with ingredients from his own garden.

Andrea Nicholson – a chef, cooking teacher and certified as a Neapolitan pizza maker in Italy – heads up Great Cooks Culinary Centre in Toronto and produces her own line of Killer Condiments.

Darryl Crumb – This Winnipeg chef specializes in Prairie comfort food at the new Brooklynn’s Bistro, where he brings his Le Cordon Bleu training and Paris cooking experience to the table.

Patrick Wiese – This Toronto chef hails from Chicago and now cooks exclusively as a private chef for one of Canada’s top investment bankers.

Rebekah Pearce – Calgary native, chef and sommelier, Pearce worked at Mission Hill winery’s Terrace Restaurant this summer.

Jamie Hertz – Hertz has his own restaurant, Fusion Bistro, in the funky mountain town of Nelson, BC, where he creates his own style of comfort and soul food.

Steve Gonzales – With Columbian-born parents, Gonzalez put a modern spin on Latino food as chef de cuisine at Origin in Toronto, although he’s recently just left to reportedly open his own place this fall.

Chris Kanka – A chef with experience in restaurants like Monsoon and Bangkok Garden, Kanka is now working on a restaurant project – with plans for opening in spring 2012 in Ontario’s Durham region.

Clayton Beadle – Born in the Yukon, Beadle was the youngest competitor on the show and now works as chef de partie at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler.

Derek Bocking – Bocking hails from Montreal where he is head chef at Confusion, a tapas restaurant with a global approach.

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