The final round of the 2015 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation competition was held on September 12, where eight top young chefs from across the country battled it out for a $10,000 grand prize and the chance to stand in Canada’s brightest new culinary spotlight, while jump starting their career.
Impressing an esteemed panel of judges, including Chef David Hawksworth himself and Chef de Cuisine Kristian Eligh (both from Vancouver’s Hawksworth Restaurant and Bel Café), with his dish of roasted squab with lobster agnolotti, nasturtium braised endive and squab jus, Ian MacDougall (23), from Calgary’s Model Milk was awarded the top prize in this national culinary competition.
Exhibiting incredible skill and attention to detail in the kitchen, MacDougall blew the judges away with his carefully crafted plate in the tasting challenge. Also wowing the judges was Cynthia Iaboni (26) of Montreal’s Le Serpent, who took the title of Le Creuset’s Rising Star and $5000.
Established in 2013, the foundation was set up with the hope to inspire and encourage young chefs from across Canada by granting them the opportunity to cook in front of a panel of the country’s most renowned chefs and food critics.
This year the competition expanded and hosted regional heats in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and for the first time Montreal. Thirty-seven competitors (all of whom are under the age of 28) took part in the nationwide competition and eight young chefs were chosen as finalists.
“We’re thrilled that we were able to take the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation truly national this year,” said founder Hawksworth in a press release. “Every year we are so impressed with the calibre of contestants and this year has once again shown us exceptional talent amongst the brightest young stars of Canada’s culinary scene.”