Chef Arron Carley wins first round of Discovered Culinary Competition

TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Chef Arron Carley of Estiatorio Volos restaurant in Toronto has won the first round of the new Discovered Culinary Competition, held Monday night at Nella Cucina in Toronto. Chef Carley now goes on to compete in the finals at the CRFA Show, Canada's largest event of the year for hospitality professionals, March 4 - 6, 2012 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.

The Discovered Culinary Competition is a four-month search for the best of Canada's up-and-coming culinary stars. The winning chef will get the opportunity of a lifetime:  an all-expenses-paid trip to spend a week cooking at a Michelin-star restaurant in northern Spain.

In a mystery box challenge, the Discovered Culinary Competition features four Canadian chefs competing against the clock each week to create an appetizer, entrée and dessert. In addition to Arron Carley, Monday's competitors were Tomislav Dragos of Elmira, and Joshua Bagalacsa and Nathan Campbell, both of Toronto.

The mystery boxes included canned crab, wonton wrappers, shitake mushrooms and grapefruit for the appetizer round; preserved lemons, lamb chops, canned artichokes and buttermilk for the entrée round; and phyllo pastry, blueberry pie filling, gorgonzola cheese and fresh pineapple for the dessert round.

The judging panel comprises three local chefs. Last night's panel included Chef John Placko, director of culinary excellence for Maple Leaf Foods; Chef Ginna Castro, general manager of the Rushton restaurant in Toronto; and Chef Steve Gonzalez, formerly with Origin restaurant and a competitor on last year's Canada's Top Chef. Also attending was Chef David Adjey, roving food host for the CRFA Show, who interviewed the chefs after each round.

The judges felt that Chef Carley made the best overall use of the mystery ingredients, producing consistently good courses with complex flavour profiles, and was organized and controlled in the kitchen with a good sense of timing. In fact, Chef Carley finished the appetizer round with three minutes to spare.

Chef Carley will next compete on March 4 or 5 at the CRFA Show. The four semi-final winners will then compete on March 6 to determine the overall winner.

The Discovered Culinary Competition is open to all Canadian chefs employed in the hospitality/foodservice industry. You must be at least 19 years old to compete. There is no entry fee. The competition is sponsored by Discover and presented by Nella Cucina and the CRFA Show. For more information and to apply, go to the Discovered Culinary Competition page on Facebook at

Registration for the CRFA Show (trade only) is now open at and those who register before Jan. 16 are entered into a draw to win a professional espresso machine worth $1,500.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

Contact: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or

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