Riley-square(November 2013)…Riley Webster started his culinary career back in grade 10, seizing whatever opportunities came his way. By then he had already set his sights on what he wanted to do, so when his foods teacher told him about the High School Culinary Challenge, he knew he’d compete one day.

Over the next three years, Riley worked with his food teacher in many school culinary events, and he went on to be an assistant teacher in grade 12. He was fortunate to go on culinary field trips to both France and Italy.

Riley competed in the High School Culinary Challenge in 2012. “The challenge [and resulting scholarship] has benefited me by leading to training with some of the best chefs in Edmonton,” he says. “It has also given me a good scope of the different kinds of kitchens and different sorts of services they provide.”

His tips for prospective competitors in the High School Culinary Challenge are:

  • “Make a list of the tasks your need to do! It will save you stress and possibly points too!
  • “When they say 5 minutes to service window, don’t start pulling out your plates. Keep them in the oven so they don’t lose temperature and you don’t lose points. Just get organized for it.
  • “If you decide that culinary arts is the career you wish to do, start working on your knife skills and get a part-time job in the industry to get your feet on the ground.”

Facts about Riley…

Any kitchen you aspire to work? “In the future I would like to work at Lux Steakhouse and Bar.”

Favourite style of cooking: “My favorite cooking style is freshwater lake cooking, whether it’s rainbow trout or crayfish.”

Favourite dish to prepare: “Rainbow trout fillet with lemon wedges, hash browns and corn—simple, but awesome when fresh!”