Chef Signature Series shines spotlight on German Michelin-star chef

What happens when a German Michelin-star chef combines techniques and food trends from his homeland with Canadian ingredients supported by the entire Junior Culinary Team Canada as his kitchen team?

Guests to one-of-a-kind dinner event at Niagara College are about to find out.

On March 21 the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute (CFWI) will shine the spotlight on Bernd Siener as part of its Chef Signature Series. The Series offers guests an opportunity to savour cuisine from prominent guest chefs while giving the College’s culinary students unparalleled industry experience on campus.

Siener will be the first European chef to ever be featured as part of the College’s Chef Signature Series. He will be assisted by Junior Culinary Team Canada – comprised of students and recent grads from the CFWI who won the right to represent Canada and compete at the World Culinary Olympics in 2016 (

Chef Siener is no stranger to the CFWI or Junior Culinary Team Canada. Prior to competing in the Expogast Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in November 2014 the team prepared dinner at Siener’s Michelin-starred restaurant – Marburger Esszimmer in Marburg Germany. Michelin stars are given by Michelin inspectors who analyze restaurants and hotels throughout the year anonymously and earning a star is seen as one of the highest honours in the industry (visit

The chef has been a friend to NC chef professor Olaf Mertens – who is also a coach for Junior Culinary Team Canada – for almost 30 years since they apprenticed together in Germany at the Steigenberger Hotel Berlin and Park Restaurant. In 2009 NC culinary students had an opportunity to prepare dinner with Siener and three other master chefs from the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Toronto.

“Chef Siener has become a good friend of CFWI and its only fitting that he become the first continental European chef to be a part of our Signature Chef Series. This will once again raise the bar for our Signature Chef Series” said CFWI dean Craig Youdale.

In addition to participating in the Chef Signature Series dinner Siener will be a guest speaker and give demonstrations for the College’s culinary students at the CFWI during his time in Canada.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the CFWI to showcase European talent and really gives our students a unique challenge and opportunity to learn” said Youdale.

The Chef Signature Series dinner on March 21 will involve more than the college’s culinary students. Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students will produce specialty beers for the event while the CFWI’s sommelier teaching crew and a second-year Winery and Viticulture student will be responsible for the wine. The event will also feature Dillon’s Distillery cocktails from Toronto’s Richmond Station and live music from Evermile.

The March 21 dinner will be held at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus cafeteria beginning at 6 p.m. This event marks the conclusion of the CFWI’s 2014-2015 Chef Signature Series replacing the formerly scheduled New York versus Chicago event. The Series included celebrity chef Vikram Vij (Nov. 12) A CFWI Christmas featuring the college’s chef professors (Dec. 13) Niagara region chefs (Jan. 10) and Ottawa chefs (Jan 31).

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute located at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus is the College’s centre for food wine and beer education. The CFWI delivers culinary wine and beer programs that are unique in Canada including Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management wine technology Wine Business Management and Culinary Innovation and Food Technology. It is home to Canada’s first commercial Teaching Winery and first Teaching Brewery as well as Benchmark the College’s teaching restaurant. 

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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