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New Chef Signature Series at Niagara College

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Five different teams of chefs, five unique culinary events – that’s what’s on the menu for Niagara College’s Chef Signature Series.

This year, NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute is serving up its second-ever Chef Signature Series with a new twist. Each event will feature the culinary talents of an entire team of prominent chefs working together with the college’s culinary students to prepare an elegant four-course meal for guests. The 2014 Chef Signature Series follows the success of last year’s sold-out series, where each event put one of the CFWI’s own chef professors in the spotlight.

The series kicked off on Jan. 18 with 10 chef professors from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute including Michael Olson, Tony de Luca, Olaf Mertens, Phillippe Corbiere, Peter Storm, Alan Kerr, Jim McLean and more. (Photos of the artisan breads, preparation and cooking, finished meals and Chef Michael Olson’s birthday cake)

The next event, on Feb. 8, will feature chefs from some of the Niagara Region’s leading establishments including the Fallsview Casino Resort, Vintage Hotels, Willow Cakes and Pastries, and Inniskillin/Jackson Triggs.

On March 8, the series continues with some of Toronto’s most exciting, up-and-coming chefs – including Carl Heinrich, winner of Top Chef Canada.

An event on March 29 will feature the flavours of the Ottawa Valley, with four chefs named among the Top 10 chefs from the nation’s capital, including celebrity chef Michael Blackie.

The final event of the series on April 12 will be a BBQ and Craft Beer Festival, bringing five of the best barbecue personalities in North America to the CFWI, including ‘Dr. BBQ’ Ray Lampe, executive chef at NYC’s Southern Hospitality BBQ and winner of more than 300 barbecue competitions worldwide.

The Chef Signature Series not only allows guests to experience the multiple cooking styles of several top chefs in a single dining event, it’s also a learning opportunity for the College’s culinary students.

“The Chef Signature Series is bringing the industry to the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Our culinary students will have the extraordinary opportunity of learning from more than 20 top chefs over the span of the series,” said Craig Youdale, acting dean of the CFWI. “Our students will not only be exposed to the different styles and personalities of some of the most prominent chefs in Niagara, Toronto, Ottawa and North America; they will have a chance to work with them and get a real taste for the industry.”

Each event will be held at Benchmark Restaurant, at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. They begin at 6 p.m. with reception upon arrival, featuring Niagara College beer and wine. A four-course meal will be accompanied by pairings of Ontario VQA wines or Ontario craft brews.

As they dine, guests can tune into the action in the kitchen via a live video feed, filmed by the College’s Broadcasting students, on display in the dining room.

Tickets to the events are selling fast but are still available at $79 each of $359 for all five events. For reservations call 905-641-2252 ext. 4619 or email benchmark@niagaracollege.ca

Chef Signature Series 1 Chef Signature Series 2

The Author

Marc DeLisio is the Director of Marketing and Technology at Naturally in Niagara. Marc loves Niagara, and is striving to make it an even better place to Live, Work, Play, Invest and Retire!

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