Lauren Van Dixhoorn from Niagara College crowned Rising Chef at Florida citrus showdown

Three student chefs battled it out at Mildred's Temple Kitchen on February 8th during Winterlicious Culinary Event Series

To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/florida-department-of-citrus/lauren-van-dixhoorn-rising-chef-florida-citrus-showdown

TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, February 8th, three of Ontario's budding chefs took centre stage to compete for winner of Pulp Kitchen: Rising Chef Citrus Cook-off and a $2,000 grand prize. While all the students impressed the panel of Toronto's local celebrity judges at Mildred's Temple Kitchen with their citrus-inspired meals, Lauren Van Dixhoorn from Niagara College was declared the Florida citrus champion.

Part of American Express® Winterlicious 2011 Culinary Event Series, each student was responsible for preparing one appetizer, entrée and dessert featuring fresh Florida grapefruit, grapefruit juice and orange juice. Lauren's three dishes (grapefruit endive & arugula salad, salmon-orange and doughnuts with orange cream) stood out amongst the rest and captured the judging panel's attention.

The judging panel for the event consisted of: Chef Christine Cushing (Fearless in the Kitchen, W and OWN Networks) Anthony Walsh (Executive Chef, Canoe), Anne Yarymowich (Executive Chef, Frank @ the AGO) and Ivana Raca (Executive Chef, McEwan Foods) and Daniel Muia (Chef and Owner, Mogette Bistro). The judging panel agreed that Lauren was consistently strong throughout each course, particularly with her ability to pull interesting ingredients and flavours together.

"It was an honour to watch these talented young chefs in their element last night," said Malcolm Jolley, Good Food Revolution blogger and the evening's master of ceremonies. "The Florida Department of Citrus provided these students with an experience of a lifetime. Working in a high pressure situation and receiving feedback from some of Toronto's most acclaimed chefs sets these students up for success as they enter the workforce."

Each course was judged on four categories: taste, originality and creativity, presentation and ease of preparation. The three courses received a mark out of 100 and all three rounds were tallied to determine the winner. While only Lauren was proclaimed the next "Rising Chef" and recipient of the $2,000 grand prize, each student received a sponsored KitchenAid® mixer and Wüsthof knife, making it a night to remember.

About the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC)
The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. A few of the popular varieties of Florida citrus fruit available in Canadian supermarkets are Ruby Red Grapefruit, Flame Grapefruit, and Marsh Grapefruit with 100 per cent pure Florida orange juice and Florida grapefruit juice available all year round.

About Winterlicious Culinary Event Series
Winterlicious, presented by American Express® Culinary Event Series again shines the spotlight on Toronto's unrivalled culinary industry with a series of 14 mouth-watering culinary events.

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as follows:

Photo:  http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1081/cache/600_x_400_florida-citrus-110208-0319.jpg

Photo : http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1081/cache/600_x_400_florida-citrus-110208-0364.jpg

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCvaTTNEfXE

SOURCE Florida Department of Citrus

For further information:

Jessica Greasley
GolinHarris
416-642-7952
jgreasley@golinharris.com

Melanie Manzatiuk
GolinHarris
416-642-7919
mmanzatiuk@golinharris.com

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