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Culinary Students Take the Cake at Kraft Heinz Iron Chef Competition

In December 2019, 32 talented students demonstrated their skills by competing for the title of Iron Chef in the annual Kraft Heinz Iron Chef competition at Humber. This year’s competitors represented the breadth of Humber’s program offerings, including Baking and Pastry Arts, Food and Nutrition Management, Culinary Management and Culinary Skills.

culinary student peeling garlic

The Theme

Student teams were tasked with preparing a Canadian-themed, three-course meal for a panel of tasting judges. Mandatory ingredients included brussel sprouts, parsnips, duck, maple syrup and cold brew coffee, in addition to Kraft Heinz peanut butter and Philadelphia cream cheese. In true Iron Chef fashion, a secret ingredient – Canadian kettle corn, was revealed on the day of the event.

Iron Chef judges assessing dishes

The Judges

Humber judges included instructors Matt Fulton, Greg Howe and George Taluri, Senior Vice President of MediaEdge Communications and the Canadian Restaurant & Bar Show, Chuck Nervick, CN Tower Executive Chef John Morris and Boston Pizza Development Chef, Anthon Jensen. These tasting specialists were familiar with the showcased ingredients and how they could best be highlighted within a full-course meal.

students working on a dish in the kitchen

The Pressure

Held just before the Christmas holidays, this event is an extracurricular opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience of the pressures they might face in the industry. “Students do everything on their own, including creating their recipes and their menus,” says Shonah Chalmers, Culinary Management Program Coordinator. “It’s a chance for them to be innovative and gain experience that will help make an impact in their jobs from day one.”

The Winners

The winning menu, prepared by Team Empress Etanas, featured a maple-cured and smoked Atlantic salmon salad, sous vide duck breast and a chili chocolate peanut butter brownie. Cash prizes, courtesy of Kraft Heinz, were provided to the top three student teams.

Iron Chef Finalists:

  1. Empress Etanas: Dacyion Reid, Lori Gardner, Laurie Crawford, Thelma Simpson
  2. Spice Girls: Loretta McQuarrie, Alex Michelin, Hailey Gyles, Shyanna Johnston
  3. Ravioli Boys: Stjepan Balen, Joel Latiff, Matthew Chiappetta, Jacob Brant.

Thank you to Kraft Heinz for sponsoring this competition and transforming the learning experience for Humber students. Congratulations to Dacyion Reid, Lori Gardner, Laurie Crawford and Thelma Simpson on winning the 2019 Kraft Heinz Iron Chef competition!

Iron Chef 2019

Watch the video to see culinary student compete in the 2019 Humber Iron Chef competition. 

Humber Chefs

“Students do everything on their own, including creating their recipes and their menus.” - Shonah Chalmers, Culinary Management Program Coordinator