Culinary Showdown

Kitchenaid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown
Caterina Vitale

On Saturday December 7th, I was one of the luck few to enjoy the ultimate foodie experience! This year, Kitchenaid and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation teamed up with 5 of the top Food Network Celebrity Chefs, along with hosts Tyler Florence and Dean McDermott to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research by hosting a friendly cook-off competition. With $2,800 in donations, in which WFIM also contributed, I was one of the top 50 fundraisers who got to enjoy a whole day and night eating, cooking and talking food at the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto.

The day began with half hour sessions, learning different skills from each chef, including Lynn Crawford, Corbin Tomaszeski, Chuck Hughes, Vikram Vij and Mark McEwan with groups of 10 people to each chef. My team Vij (aka Kamasutra) was exciting and dynamic, each person there with a story to share of how they came to be one of the top fundraisers. Chef Vij, known as one of the top chefs of Indian culinary, with an average wait time of 2 hours at his famous restaurantVij’s in Vancouver, is one of the funniest and talented people I’ve ever met!

The competition began at 7:30 pm, after a cocktail reception with 400 guests, some of whom also raised money to this event. 5 Judges, including two women from Chatelaine Magazine and the Toronto Star ranked 3 courses- appetizers, main and dessert- based on presentation, taste and use of the 4 secret ingredients in each dish. Our team Kamasutra was the leader after the first two courses, but ultimately fell to third place- partially because one of the secret ingredients, figs, was forgotten in the dessert.

All in all, it was one of the best and most memorable foodie events I have ever been to. My signed apron and picture with the hosts and team mates will forever be treasured.