Photo © Courtesy of Canadian Culinary Championship
Elevating Canadian culinary excellence to build a more inclusive Canada
Canadian cuisine is a melting pot of flavours, cultures, and innovation. From Montréal smoked meat to Nanaimo bars, the country boasts a diverse culinary landscape that is second to none. In keeping with this delicious legacy, the Canadian Culinary Championship (CCC), the national finale of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, is taking centre stage as the most respected culinary competition in the country. This esteemed event is not just about showcasing culinary talent—it’s about uplifting Canadian youth and fostering a culture of inclusivity.
The celebration and elevation of Canadian Culinary Excellence are at the heart of the CCC. Ten regional competitions, known as Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, pave the way to the national finale each year. This culinary extravaganza has recently been awarded the prestigious title of “The Best Gastronomical Event in North America,” but its impact extends far beyond the kitchen. Over 17 years, the competition has raised close to $18 million and substantially impacted the culinary landscape.
Driven by their passion for culinary excellence, the competing chefs participate to showcase their craft and make a difference. Selected chefs are invited to create their ultimate dish, meticulously paired with a Canadian beverage. They dedicate months to perfecting their creations, utilizing the finest regional ingredients. The efforts for the regional winners culminate in a gruelling two-day, three-event grand finale held in the nation’s capital, where the Canadian Culinary Champion is crowned.
Being invited to compete at the regional level is a prestigious achievement in itself. Standing on the podium signifies recognition as one of the country’s finest culinary talents. Winning the competition becomes a career-defining achievement for these remarkable chefs. As former champions and participants who now form the mentorship network and share their experience and knowledge with the new generation of competitors, the culinary landscape continues to evolve and thrive.
“Having a respected national culinary competition in Canada has brought Canadian chefs together in an unprecedented way, not only with each other but with leaders in the business and philanthropic communities,” shared Marc Lepine, a two-time Canadian Culinary Champion from Atelier in Ottawa. “For the chefs, the anticipation and excitement that surrounds the events can be felt all year long.”
Beyond the pursuit of culinary excellence, the CCC aims to build a more inclusive Canada for Canadian youth. As a social enterprise, it supports charities that provide equitable access to sports opportunities, music education, and food security. In 2023 and 2024, the focus is on supporting Spirit North, which ensures Indigenous youth have access to sports; MusiCounts, which ensures all youth have access to music education; and local grassroots charities addressing food security.
MusiCounts has been a shining example of the impact that can be achieved through collaboration. Since 2018, nearly $1 million has been raised for MusiCounts, benefitting 87 schools nationwide. These funds have provided instruments and equipment, enriching the lives of approximately 130,000 students. One such success story is Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto. This school’s population serves low-income families and new Canadians. With the funding support, the school was able to introduce a steelpan drum program that bridged economic and cultural gaps, bringing relevant music education to the lives of Birchmount’s youth.
The 2023 regional Toronto competition is on November 9th, and the winners from each of the 10 competitions across the country will be in Ottawa for the national final on February 2nd and 3rd, 2024. The stage is set for an unforgettable celebration of culinary excellence—coming together to ensure equitable opportunities for youth across Canada.
To learn more about the Canadian Culinary Championship, the regional events, and to purchase tickets, visit greatkitchenparty.com
Canada’s Great Kitchen Party is built on a solid foundation of bringing people together in celebration and elevation of Canadian culture.