Royal Agricultural Winter Fair dishes up competition for 3 local chefs

Road to The Royal Chef Challenge headed to Markham Fair on October 5

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Three top local chefs will put their creativity and culinary skills to the test against each other on October 5 at the Markham Fair as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair's Road to The Royal Chef Challenge, presented by TSC Stores.

The culinary competition has been expanded to include six regional fairs across the province.  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.

"These events will showcase fresh ingredients that can be found in local restaurants in Ontario and at the same time they also celebrate the amazing talent of the chefs," said Sandra Banks, CEO of The Royal.

Participating in The Road to The Royal Chef Challenge at the Markham Fair on Sunday, October 5, beginning at 2:00pm, will be:

  • Chef Deana Folco of Folco's Ristorante in Markham.
  • Chef Pedro Pereira of Fishbone Bistro in Stouffville.
  • Chef Brian Simmons of Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry

Chefs will get 30 minutes to create an entrée in the first round and judges will select 2 Chefs to move to the final round and create a dessert. Chefs will have to incorporate two "secret ingredients" in their dishes. The mystery ingredients will be selected from locally grown or produced food products and provided to the chefs at the beginning of the competition.

"TSC is incredibly proud to partner with The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair this year, especially as the presenting sponsor for The Road to The Royal Chef Challenge," said Darryl Jenkins, Chief Merchandising Officer at TSC Stores. "The cooking competitions at the country fairs featuring local food connect well with our customers. They value locally grown, farm fresh food and often plant their own gardens or crops to harvest on their own land. Our partnership with The Royal is a natural fit with the farming, animal, and pet supplies that we carry at TSC, along with the planting and growing-your-own food supplies that we offer."

Sponsoring The Road to The Royal Chef Challenge was also a natural fit for The Egg Farmers of Ontario, which represents approximately 440 egg farmers and pullet growers, said chair Scott Graham.

"High-quality Ontario eggs are an essential ingredient in great recipes for every meal occasion so this competition is a perfect partnership between Egg Farmers of Ontario and The Royal."

In addition to the Markham Fair, The Road to The Royal Chef Challenge will make its final stop at the Norfolk Fair in Simcoe on Saturday, October 11.

Regional competitions have already been held at the Peterborough, the Barrie Fair, the Paris Fair and the Great Northern Exhibition in Collingwood.

The winners of each regional competition will move forward to semi-final rounds which will be held on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The top two regional finishers and a top Toronto chef will vie for the title of Royal Chef Challenge Champion during a final round at The Royal on Saturday, November 15.

The 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 7-16, 2014 in the Direct Energy Centre and Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. Funding support for this program has been provided to The Royal by the Government of Ontario.

"There has been an important relationship for many decades between regional fairs and The Royal, which continues today through events such as The Road to The Royal Chef Challenge," Banks said.

About The Royal:

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.  This year, The 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 7-16, 2014 in the Direct Energy Centre and Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

SOURCE: Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

For further information: Courtney Charette, Public Relations Coordinator, 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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