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CCUFSA Virtual Culinary Challenge 2021


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

This year, due to Covid 19 restrictions and safety precautions, Ccufsa will be hosting our conference virtually.

In the same manner, we are going to hold one of our most anticipated events, the Ccufsa Culinary Challenge virtually aswell.

We will have 3 teams of chefs who will prepare a video presentation of their menu.

The videos will be judged by 3 Chefs:

Chef Rick Secko

Nestlé Professional

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.

Chef Rick has held numerous roles at Prime Restaurants such as Culinary Lead for New Restaurant Openings, Corporate Brand Chef for Casey’s Bar & Grill and Pat & Mario’s. And for six years led – East Side Mario’s as Brand Chef.

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.


Chef Amy Symington

HIS Canada – Forward Food

Amy Symington, M.Sc. is a nutrition professor, researcher and plant-based chef at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. Aside from having a Masters in Applied Human Nutrition with a focus on functional foods and their health benefits, Amy has 20+ years experience in the food industry including in restaurants, cafes, large quantity and catering, private events and galas and as well as volunteering in community kitchens. Amy is the Culinary Nutrition Program Coordinator at Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto (GCGT), a not-for-profit cancer organization, she is the Executive Chef for Humane Society International (HSI) Canada, she volunteers with the Toronto Veg Food Bank (TVFB) as a chef and nutrition consultant and does recipe development and food writing for various publications in Toronto and worldwide. Amy believes in the evidence-based health and environmental benefits of plant-based diets and is the recent author of The Long Table Cookbook: Plant-based recipes for optimal health.

Chef Shane Chartrand

SC Restaurant

Born to Cree parents and raised by a Métis father and Mi’kmaw-Irish mother, Shane M. Chartrand has spent the past ten years learning about his history, visiting with other First Nations peoples, gathering and sharing knowledge and stories, and creating dishes that combine his interests and express his personality. The result is tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, a book that traces Chartrand’s culinary journey from his childhood in Central Alberta, where he learned to raise livestock, hunt, and fish on his family’s acreage, to his current position as executive chef at the acclaimed SC Restaurant in the River Cree Resort &Casino in Enoch, Alberta, on Treaty 6 Territory.

Learn more about Shane Chartrand:

Chef Shane Chartrand dishes on Indigenous cuisine and inspiring others through food

Cree chef Shane M. Chartrand shares his culture in tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine

2021 Culinary Challenge Teams:

Queens University, Aramark
Team Leader:
Colin Johnston- Campus Executive Chef

Durham College – Chartwells
Team Leader : Sandeep Kachroo – Director of Culinary

Ontario Tech University – Dana Hospitality
Team Leader : Simon Yan, Chef Manager


Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded. 

The Nestle Professional Award will be awarded for the best team dessert.

The videos will be presented at the virtual event and judged via poll to determine the People’s Choice Award.

The Theme:
Creativity in the Face of Challenge

The Challenge:
To elevate the Home Delivery Meal Kit

The Twist:
Contestants will receive notification of mandatory secrets ingredients just prior to the event.


Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded. 

The Nestle Professional Award will be awarded for the best team dessert.

Questions about the Culinary Challenge can be directed to:

Gord Cooledge
CCUFSA Culinary Liaison

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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.