TORONTO — Raffaele Ventrone, of Cirillo’s Culinary Academy/Cirillo’s the Restaurant, Toronto, emerged as the winner of the Ontario Junior Chef’s Challenge culinary competition of the Canadian Culinary Federation’(CCFCC).
Cheong Lee of Humber College, Toronto and Melanie Robinson of Era 67 Restaurant and Lounge, Orillia took second and third place, respectively. Other competitors included Mahriah Setosta of Algonquin College as well as Mitchell Lacombe of Brookstreet Hotel’s Perspectives Restaurant — both in Ottawa.
Sponsored by Saputo Dairy Products Canada, the competition featured a mandatory list of ingredients, including fresh whole Arctic Char, fresh Dungeness crab, shrimp, Alberta lamb racks, lamb shoulder, creppinette/caul fat, blue brie, Mozzarina di Bufala and aged Armstrong cheddar cheese. The chefs prepared a three-course meal for eight with the help of an assistant (who didn’t have culinary skills) supplied by the host college.
Held at Humber College School of Hospitality, Toronto, the event was chaired by CCFCC official representative Ryan Marquis, corporate chef and ingredient sales representative for Tabasco Foodservice and CW Shasky & Associates as well as Shawn G. Whalen, CCC, CEC, provincial competition chair for CCFCC central region.
Raffaele Ventrone, the junior chef winner, and Michael Carpino, the Ontario senior chef challenge winner (of Horseshoe Valley Resort in Collingwood, Ont.), will advance to the CCFCC national challenge to be held from May 29 to 31 at the Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort.