Niagara College welcomes Toronto chefs to Benchmark for unique dinner event

Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute is shining the spotlight on Toronto’s rising star chefs.

On March 8 the Canadian Food and Wine Institute will welcome talented Toronto chefs from some of the city’s hottest dining establishments as part of its Chef Signature Series. The chefs will work together with a team of CFWI students to dazzle guests with their culinary talents for this one-of-a-kind dinner event.

Chefs participating in the event include John Horne executive chef at Canoe an established leader in Toronto’s culinary scene; two chefs from Richmond Station -a hot spot opened by Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich -Jon Williams (chef de partie saucier) and Alex White (chef de cuisine); Top Chef Canada Season Two contestant Trista Sheen (executive chef) of Crush Wine Bar owned by Vintage Hotels in the city’s trendy King West district; and Royce Li owner and chocolatier of Shoko. For two of the chefs on the roster John Horne and Jon Williams the event will mark a return to their alma mater as graduates of the College’s Culinary Management program.

This event is the heels of two successful Chef Signature Series events this year. The series of five kicked off on Jan. 18 with 10 chef professors from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute and continued Feb. 8 featuring six chefs from the Niagara region.

Following the March 8 event two additional events are planned for this year’s series:

? March 29 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; and

? April 12 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.

Dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Craig Youdale noted that 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 Youdale. “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.”

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute located on Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus is the college’s centre for food wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark the college’s teaching restaurant as well as the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery. It is also home to Junior Culinary Team Canada to represent our nation at the 2016 World Culinary Olympics.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


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