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If the past few years have felt distressingly devoid of sweaty, high-stress, high-stakes culinary bouts where knives flutter, fire dances and creativity reigns, The Chef Collective’s latest announcement is sure to thrill. Following a three-year hiatus, The Chef Collective’s Battle Series is returning to Toronto this fall. Events that pit the city’s best chefs against each other in ruthless culinary competition, each event in the battle series is a rowdy, rollicking good time you won’t want to miss.
Launched in 2013 by chef Joe Friday, The Chef Collective is a “chef-driven organization committed to supporting local and worldwide chefs by providing them with a platform to showcase their talents through live culinary battles,” states a press release. A veteran of Toronto’s restaurant scene, chef Friday is co-owner and head chef at Calii Love. His restaurant Friday Roots, which closed recently due to the pandemic, was Friday's ode to soul food and to his family's culinary traditions.
Since its inception, The Chef Collective has hosted numerous live culinary battles at restaurants across North America. At each event, participants have one hour to create two unique dishes using a secret ingredient. Competitors are judged by industry experts who declare a winner based on taste, originality, use of the star ingredient and presentation. For the winner? The prestige, prizes and sheer pleasure of being declared the night’s undisputed champ.
Chefs Friday and Devan Rajkumar will be hosting the kick-off battle on October 17th, at Boehmer restaurant, between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. In the ring, guests will find local talents Sam Medeiros, Imrun Texeira, and Jerome Robinson. On the judging panel, are chefs Erica Karbelnik, Paul Boehmer and Robert Rainford, along with certified cheese master Afrim Pristine.
“We’re thrilled to re-launch The Chef Collective battle series in Toronto this fall,” said Friday in a press release. “Our high-octane series is a must-attend event for anyone who appreciates culinary art and enjoys a good battle.”
With plans to take the event on the road in 2023, The Chef Collective will be hosting battles across Canada in the near future. Details about each battle will be announced on the organization’s social media channels.
Tickets for October 17th's kick-off event are available on Eventbrite, with a portion of proceeds from each ticket sold being donated to Habitat for Humanity GTA.