Thursday June 25
One of the hottest tickets every year at CCUFSA is the Culinary Challenge.
This event is limited to 200 guests, but the flavours and creativity are unlimited!
Guests will enjoy 3 courses prepared by each of the 3 competing schools for an array of taste, presentation, and theme choice.
This years teams are competing for the Judges Choice Grand Prize Gold Medal. Silver and/or Bronze medals are also awarded.
Our celebrity judge is Chef Mark McEwan of the McEwan Group. Also judging is Nestle professional Chef Rick Secko and another judge to be determined.
All guests attending have their own opportunity to judge by ballot for the coveted Peoples’ Choice Award.
The Nestle Professional award is for best team dessert.
Questions about the Culinary Challenge can be directed to:
CCUFSA Culinary Liaison
2020 Culinary Challenge Judges
Chef Mark McEwan
The McEwan Group
Chef Mark McEwan began his career as the executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel. From here, he opened the ground-breaking North 44 and McEwan Catering which set a new standard for Toronto’s culinary scene. Chef McEwan continued to push dining innovation with the launch of Bymark, ONE and Fabbrica which now has 3 unique locations. Inspired by global food halls, Chef McEwan opened McEwan’s Groceries which have 3 locations across Toronto. Chef McEwan then showcased his innovative approaches to Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian cuisine with Diwan at The Aga Khan Museum. Now, Chef McEwan mentors budding chefs in his kitchens, through his bestselling cookbooks and as head judge on Food Network’s hit series Top Chef.
Chef Rick Secko
Chef Rick Secko has over 30 years of experience. He holds a Red Seal certification and has worked alongside seasoned Executive Chefs throughout his career. Rick started working in various kitchens at a very young age, these experiences drove his passion for cooking. Cara’s Flight Kitchen at the Toronto Airport was Rick’s first real job, washing pots and pans in the bakery section. From there he worked in casual dining restaurants including Lime Rickey’s in Mississauga, Pat & Mario’s at Toronto Airport.
This experience led Rick into the corporate at Prime Restaurants where he was responsible for opening new restaurants as the Culinary Lead. This led to becoming Corporate Chef for Casey’s Bar & Grill and Pat & Mario’s.
The next part of his journey led him to the role at one of the largest casual restaurant brands in Canada – East Side Mario’s. For six years Rick was the Brand Chef. Rick then moved on to Cara Operations where he was Culinary Manager for the Prime Restaurant Brand.
Before joining Nestlé Professional Canada as Customer Development Chef, Rick worked with the Product Innovation team creating lunch and dinner concepts for RBI/Tim Horton’s. Rick’s role now at Nestlé Professional allows him to continue working with foodservice teams across Canada supporting growth, innovation and alleviating problems throughout their operations using creative culinary solutions.
Chef Rick Secko’s creative know how and his hands on approach allows him to find products and culinary solutions that meet today and tomorrow’s consumer needs.
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CCUFSA members benefit from the opportunity to share ideas, real world experiences and build solutions with like minded colleagues, all food service professionals with a common goal.