Montreal, April 10, 2023 — The Road to Lyon 2025 started today on the Garland Stage at Toronto’s Restaurant Canada Show with the National Selection where the new Canadian culinary athlete, Chef Keith Pears, won the leading role and the reigns of Bocuse d’Or Team Canada.
Under the eye of the country’s leading industry professionals — including Chef Alvin Leung, Chef Alex Chen, Chef Jason Bangerter and our ex-national culinary athlete, Chef Samuel Sirois, — contenders went head-to-head in a high-energy battle for the chance to become our national culinary athletes. The four contenders had 2,5 hours to reinvent the Châteaubriand using Montpak veal from Quebec. Expectations were high for the next contenders as Chefs Canada (and the more than 2,000 chefs from the national foodservice industry) are working together to carve Canadian gastronomy a spot on the world stage.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Chef Keith Pears was born into a family of chefs. In 2017 he moved to Toronto to take the position of Executive Chef at the Delta Hotels by Marriott. No stranger to competitions, Keith has competed in a number of culinary contests including Best of the West, City TV’s Master Chef (B.C.) and won the title of Chef of the Year, Garland Canada International Shellfish Chef Challenge, Chopped Canada and most recently Canada’s Great Kitchen party (Toronto). Keith is now Executive Chef at W Hotel Toronto.
Chef Keith’s first mandate will be to work with Chefs Canada to form his team which will include a coach and a commis. They will have just over a year to work together to win their golden ticket to the Olympics of gastronomy in Lyon at the Americas competition.
THE BOCUSE D’OR, JUST A STEP TO ENSURE THE FINANCIAL SUCCESS OF THE CANADIAN FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY
After moving two spots to the 11th position this past January, Chefs Canada is putting a plan in motion for Bocuse d’Or Team Canada to secure a spot on the top 5 in 2025. In the next couple months, Chefs Canada will be announcing a board of advisors to whom the team will be reporting to. “Since Bocuse d’Or Team Canada represents the Canadian foodservice industry and the more than 2,000 Ambassad’ors in our network, it only makes sense that they have something to say about what is being used on those plates to represent them on the world stage,” explains Thomas Delannoy, President of Chefs Canada. The board will be composed of some of the country’s top chefs who will be meeting with the team on a regular basis.
“We’ve gained great strides since the new leadership took over in 2019, and we’re just beginning… Our ‘raison d’être’ involves more than rankings at culinary competitions,” continues Thomas. “It’s about benefiting and ensuring the financial success of our industry. To increase food tourism, shining the spotlight on our producers and food mastery at star-studded international competitions is a given to gain the respect of the international culinary community, but enabling the viability of the Canadian foodservice industry involves more than that. It starts here, at home, by creating unique experiences for Canadian gourmets and gourmands to visit our roster of stellar chefs and to buy into their product offering. That’s what Chefs Canada is all about.”
The Chefs Pantry: Since its pre-launch last November, Chefs Canada is planning on creating a much broader line of food products in partnership with high profile Canadian chefs and producers. Though the new products are still in R&D, the official launch is scheduled for Fall 2023. This will enable Canadians to financially support Team Canada while supplementing income of chefs from coast to coast.
The Chefs Academy: The sharing of knowledge with each other as well as with the next generation and working on giving our profession the luster it once had, have always been part of the Chefs Canada’s mission. We believe that it starts by uniting our industry and putting in place learning opportunities that will enable our family of chefs to expand and perfect their skills. Starting at the National Selection and soon to be offered online, Chefs Canada will be hosting Masterclasses on everything from business tips to advanced techniques to equip our community and contribute to building a sustainable industry.
ABOUT CHEFS CANADA
Devoted to inspiring culinary excellence, Chefs Canada has a mission to promote Canadian cuisine, terroir, producers, ingredients and products here at home as well as abroad, doing our part to create a sustainable and profitable culinary scene. Strong of a network that counts some of the country’s best chefs and top industry professionals, Chefs Canada works to shine the spotlight on our industry in order to further define and promote our cuisine through global competitions and partnerships. The organization is strongly rooted in their desire to unite, share and transmit our mutual expertise, techniques and savoir-faire amongst Canadian chefs but also with the next generation, creating a demand and standard for Canadian gastronomy on the world stage.
To schedule an interview with the new Bocuse d’Or Culinary athlete or the President of Chefs Canada or to request high-res photos, please contact The PR Department at 416.535.3939 or [email protected]