Top Chef Canada

KaylaAge 28 – Currently Resides: Vancouver, BC (Hometown: Victoria, BC)

Kayla Dhaliwall is the executive chef at Tapenade Bistro in Steveston, BC. She took her first cooking job at the age of 17 as a breakfast cook in an old age home. She graduated from the Culinary Arts Program at Vancouver Community College and from there gained experience working in an array of establishments, from a diner to an upscale hotel, including Saturna Island Vineyard Bistro, Deacon’s Corner, Wild Rice and the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. She has participated in several culinary competitions including Best of the West in 2010 on the Fairmont Team and Top Jr. Chef of BC in Kelowna in May 2010. Kayla likes to draw from her unique background and experiences to put a new twist on classic comfort foods.


JonathanAge 34 – Currently Resides: Toronto, ON (Hometown: Toronto, ON)

Jonathan Goodyear discovered his love for cooking at a very young age. By his mother’s side, he was only too glad to help with any task she delegated. After graduating high school, Jonathan ventured off to Europe where he realized cooking was his calling in life. When he returned from Europe, he enrolled in George Brown College. From there, Jonathan was recommended for a position at The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Since then, he has worked in both Europe and North America, with roles ranging from commis (Eigensinn Farm), tournaut (Four Seasons, Truffles, 5 Diamond) private chef, executive sous chef (Sutton Place Hotel) and most recently executive chef at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto. It is with this as his base that he continues to push forward, following his heart and passion.


GeoffAge 31 – Currently Resides: Calgary, AB (Hometown: Calgary, AB)

Geoff Rogers is the executive chef at MARKET, a local and sustainable restaurant in the heart of Calgary. His culinary career began more than a decade ago at a restaurant called Cornerstone Grill. With no experience, he worked his way up to a supervisory role within the first two years. From there, he moved around within restaurants to gain more knowledge and experience. He believes that chefs should support their local communities by shopping within their “borders” and supporting local farmers and producers who share the same slow food ideals. His cooking style features techniques such as whole animal butchery, curing, cheese making and preserving. He has also introduced more modernist techniques to elevate his creativity and provide more options to highlight an ingredient. Over the past few years he has received several awards and won many competitions. He was also featured on the cover of Avenue Magazine’s 2011 annual food issue.


FrederickAge 28 – Currently Resides: Montreal, QC (Hometown: Price, QC)

Frederick Boucher is the sous chef at Pastaga, Vins Natures & Restaurant. He began his career 10 years ago as a dishwasher, until one day the chef simply asked him if he could cook, to which he responded ‘yes,’ and he has not looked back since. Frederick graduated from the Culinary & Tourism Institute of Quebec in 2007. His personal style involves mixing techniques to create a new experience for his customer. He cares deeply about the staff he works with. He believes a good leader is someone who knows what he wants, and he employs a staff that understands his vision. One thing he doesn’t believe in is waste. “I try to use everything,” he says. “If it’s a vegetable, a meat or anything else, and nothing goes to waste.”


DennisAge 34 – Currently Resides: Toronto, ON (Hometown: Windsor, ON)

Dennis Tay currently works alongside Top Chef Canada season two winner Carl Heinrich as the saucier at Richmond Station and is the soon-to-be sous chef at Chef Nick Liu’s much anticipated Asian Brasserie, GwaiLo. Most recently, Dennis was the sous chef at Keriwa Cafe. A former break-dancer, Dennis began his cooking career at age 27 at George Brown College. After completing the Chef Training Program, Dennis continued his schooling at George Brown in the Italian cuisine program and trained in Italy for a year and a half at the then two Michelin starred La Tenda Rossa in Chianti, Tuscany. After Italy, Dennis travelled and staged in Scotland, and returned to Canada to work in Halifax and then returned to Toronto to take a position at Splendido Restaurant. Dennis enjoys cooking with local and seasonal products. He loves to introduce people to new things and new ways to eat, while continuing to learn new things himself. He believes that nothing brings friends and family together to enjoy life like good food and drink – and he strives to emulate that with every dining experience.


DannyAge 27 – Currently Resides: Montreal, QC (Hometown: Montreal, QC)

Danny Smiles’ kitchen career began in the dish pit at his parents’ small hotel, until one night the chef garde manger lost his thumb and Danny found himself in a new position. After completing his studies at St. Pius X Culinary Institute and interning for Michelin Star chefs in Brescia and Soverato, Italy, he returned to Montreal where he found his greatest challenge and inspiration working under Chef Chuck Hughes at Le Bremner where he currently works as chef de cuisine. He loves to work with fish and seafood, and with his unique mix of Egyptian and Italian backgrounds, he pushes the limit when it comes to new and unusual products and techniques. Being from Quebec, Danny feels a deep commitment to keep every dish as fresh, local, and honest as possible. He says, “At the end of the day, I am a Montreal chef whose passions are to continue learning, to strive for perfection, and to make people happy with every bite.”


DanielAge 29 – Currently Resides: Duncan, BC (Hometown: Coalville, UK)

Daniel Hudson is the chef/owner of Hudson’s on First, Duncan, BC’s newest fine dining restaurant. Along with his wife Andrea, they create classic dishes and techniques delivered with modern interpretation. With Hudson’s on First being so close to the coast and near an abundance of organic farms, his dishes focus on the freshest, local produce available. Daniel started his cooking career 12 years ago in one of the UK’s finest country manor houses, Eastwell Manor. His training has come solely from on-the-job experience, learning and gathering information from his head chefs over the years. His motto in the kitchen is “I do what I know and what I know, I do well.” He believes it is this attitude towards cooking coupled with an eye for perfection that makes him stand out from the rest.


ClementAge 33 – Currently Resides: Vancouver, BC (Hometown: Vancouver, BC)

Clement Chan is the owner and chef of Le Tigre Truck, one of Vancouver’s most popular food trucks. He holds several provincial cooking championships and was the National 2010 Canadian Chef of the Year (awarded by Canada’s National Association for Chefs and Cooks). He graduated in Culinary Arts at Vancouver Community College in 2002, and then went to Dubrulle French Culinary School to earn his baking and desserts diploma. He has worked in some of the finest establishments in Vancouver over the last decade – Chambar, Blue Water Cafe, Raincity Grill, Lumière, Fairmont, Hyatt Regency and Hapa Izakaya, to name a few. His culinary philosophy is based on combining local seasonal ingredients with high-quality sustainable seafood and organic meats to create amazing, tasty dishes.


ChrisAge 28 – Currently Resides: Calgary, AB (Hometown: Calgary, AB)

Chris Shaften is the head chef at Blondes Diner in Calgary, as well as the chef/owner of Taste First, a private chef and restaurant consulting business. A native of Calgary, Chris has traveled and worked across Canada and Australia. His innovative approach to time-honoured recipes has garnered him a wellrespected place within the Calgary restaurant scene. Chris’ eclectic style is built upon techniques of classic French cuisine, mixed with his passion for turn of the century Canadian recipes. Chris’ approach to food is heavily researched and then refined with his own personal spin. He places a strong emphasis on food that is accountable to both the community and the environment. Every dish Chris creates is inspired by the season’s most delicious products, childhood memories, and his travels. Chris hopes to not only satisfy his diners, but also to educate and connect them to a time and place.


ChrisCAge 24

Currently Resides: St. John’s, NL (Hometown: St. John’s, NL)

Born and raised in St. John’s, NL, Chris Chafe is the executive chef at Magnum & Steins in St. John’s, NL. As a result of hard work and passion, Chris earned the role of executive chef at age 22. Chris began his culinary career working part-time as a dishwasher while attending university, and from there, he decided to pursue cooking full-time and landed the role of sous chef at Magnum & Steins. Completely self-taught, Chris honed his skills through apprentice work with experienced chefs including Antonio Esperanza and Blair Lebsack of Madison’s Grill in Edmonton. When he is not spending time with his partner and one-year-old son, Chris absorbs any information he can through television, recipe books, the Internet and other local chefs. Winner of the silver medal at Gold Plates St. John’s 2011, Chris continues to challenge himself by participating in local charity and community events. Chris looks forward to building on his experience and taking on new culinary experiences and opportunities within the local St. John’s food industry.