Culinary Skills and Knives are Sharpened and Ready for Battle

Posted on February 9, 2015

The next generation of young Alberta chefs are rolling up their sleeves and tightening their aprons this week in preparation for some hot competition in the kitchen at the 8th annual High School Culinary Challenge on February 7, 2015.

Seventeen teams from 16 High Schools from communities including Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park will compete for gold by preparing a three-course meal for six. The students will be judged on preparation, timing, sanitation, presentation and of course taste! And there’s plenty on the line. Each applicant is eligible to apply for up to three full scholarships to attend NAIT’s culinary apprenticeship program. The winners receive the opportunity to work with some of Edmonton’s top chefs.

“Most of the students are at a time of their life where they have to make a decision on which career path or avenue they will take after high school ,” says Chef Simon Smotkowicz, Executive Chef at the Shaw Conference Centre and Past President of the Canadian Culinary Federation, Edmonton branch. “This competition is very important in helping them find success in their decision.”

The opportunity to work with some of Edmonton’s top chefs is a huge opportunity for the winners of the competition. “Each year it impresses me to watch the talent and skill that comes out of these students at such an early stage in their culinary careers,” says, award winning Chef Paul Shufelt, judge for the High School Culinary Challenge. “I’m honoured to witness their growth and watch as these talented young chefs move on to successful careers in the industry.”

Winners will be announced at an Awards Dinner at the Shaw Conference Centre on March 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the dinner are available to the public online at, by email at or by calling 780-475-2433. Tickets are $35 or $245 for a table of 8, which includes a three-course dinner. Money raised at the High School Culinary Challenge Awards Dinner will go towards the scholarship fund.

Media Contact:
Catherine Bangel
Catherine Bangel Communications
p: 780-263-1358

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