Chef Matt Hemmingsen wins Road to The Royal Chef Challenge at Niagara Food Festival

Earns spot in semi-finals at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Three top chefs put their culinary skills and creativity to the test on Saturday, September 12 in a re-match at the Niagara Food Festival as they competed in the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal Chef Challenge.

Chef Matt Hemmingsen from Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery served up a win with his Cornish hen stuffed with figs, goat cheese, and pine nuts, wrapped in prosciutto on a rösti potato with local roasted vegetables followed by his delicious Angel Food Cake stuffed with local berries, raspberry chocolate jam and topped with a sabayon.

Chefs were given 30 minutes for each round to create an entrée and a dessert. Each dish included a "secret ingredient" selected from locally grown or produced food products, which were provided to the chefs at the beginning of the competition. The secret ingredients used for this chef challenge were, The Royal's 2013 Grand Champion chocolate raspberry jam, Woolwich Dairy goat's milk cheese, and farm fresh eggs provided by Egg Farmers of Ontario.

Also competing in the event was the 2013 Road to the Royal Champion, Chef Justin Downes from Vineland Estates and Chef Darren Stoute from Stoute Catering.

The Road to the Royal Chef Challenge will visit one more regional fair leading up to the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Award-winning chef and author Ted Reader — known as one of Canada's top barbecue authorities — will serve as Master of Ceremonies for each competition.

"All three chefs demonstrated why Niagara is such a foodie hot-spot," said Reader. "The dishes they produced were creative, delicious, artfully executed and left the judges asking for more!"

The winners of each regional competition will move forward to semi-final rounds to be held on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at The Royal in Toronto. Funding support for this program has been provided to The Royal by the Province of Ontario.

The remaining stop on the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal Chef Challenge is:

  • Markham FairSunday, October 4

About The Royal:

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.  This year, The 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "Chef Matt Hemmingsen with award-winning Chef Ted Reader. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at:

For further information: please contact: Courtney Charette, Public Relations Coordinator, Enterprise Canada, 63 Church Street | Suite 203 | St. Catharines, ON, Canada | L2R 3C4, Main: 905.682.7203 ext. 222, Direct: 905.346.1231, Cell: 905.329.0391, F: 905.682.7481, E:, W:


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