Camosun logo for print

Information • June 19, 2020 1:18 pm • COVID-19 - Latest information and FAQs • Read more…

Release date: October 15, 2019
By Industry Training Authority

On November 2, the knives will be out as competitors from across B.C. take part in the Culinary Apprentice of the Year Award competition at Vancouver Community College’s downtown campus.

Competitors were selected from over 40 applications and will be heading to Vancouver from northern B.C., the Okanagan, Vancouver Island, and the Lower Mainland. The competition is being revived this year after a decade- long absence and, for the first time, is including competitors from across the province.

This year’s competitors are:

  • Theo Brisley (Kelowna)
  • Raul Copete Vazquez (Burnaby)
  • Deidre Davis (Laxgalts'ap/Greenville)
  • Siobhan Detkavich (Kelowna)
  • Aaron Hoffman (Vancouver)
  • Aaron Ivanoff (Prince George)
  • Katie Macbeth (Kelowna)
  • Keenan Martens (Victoria/Nanaimo)
  • Emily Poisson (Victoria)
  • Nathan Sundeen (Vancouver)
  • Joshua Tocher (West Kelowna)

“These competitors represent the cream of the crop in culinary excellence,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “These highly-skilled students are living their passion and showcasing the state-of-the-art facilities, training, and mentorship opportunities offered by B.C.’s public colleges and universities. I’m proud that their hard work is being recognized as they represent the best of British Columbia’s world-class culinary scene.”

“It was important for us to make sure that this competition is truly inclusive and reflects the cultural, geographic, and demographic composition of our province,” said Shelley Gray, CEO of Industry Training Authority. “With the range of backgrounds, each competitor is going to bring a unique approach to their dishes based on their regions, training, and personal experiences.”

Competitors will be required to create a three-course meal for judges and invited guests at the culinary event in Vancouver on November 2. To be eligible, applicants had to have received their Red Seal Chef Certificate in 2018 or be registered as a third year culinary apprentice in 2019. They must also be working in B.C. at the time of the competition.

It’s an excellent way for competitors to test their skills, learn from others, and talk to chefs who are willing to share their knowledge. Some of the judges include world-class chefs such as Bruno Marti, Hamid Salimian, Morgan Wilson, and James Hutton.

“Being involved in the apprenticeship culture is a huge part of my life,” said Chef Scott Jaeger, Past-President of Chefs’ Table Society of BC and Proprietor of The Pear Tree Restaurant. “Providing opportunities like this competition, especially with travel, nurture and strengthen our culture, our way of life.”

“Having Keenan Martens chosen to compete in the Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition is an absolute validation of what focused and engaged learners can achieve in just three years,” said Jason Lloyd, Chef Instructor of the Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Island University. “The skills learned and competence developed in the Culinary Arts Diploma program, combined with these types of opportunities, enable the new generation of chefs and cooks to drive innovation and showcase their talents in a way that can only benefit our industry’s future. I could not be more proud of Keenan.”

“The old saying if you can’t stand the heat….! really comes home for all the competitors now,” said Steve
Walker-Duncan, Chair, Culinary Arts at Camosun College. “As the kitchen temperature rises in the next round of the competition, we want to congratulate Camosun’s very own Emily Poisson and wish her the very best of luck. The Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition gives young cooks like Emily an exciting opportunity to learn from the best, build strong networks, and gain an incredible experience.”

The Culinary Apprentice of the Year Award winner will have the opportunity to accompany Culinary Team BC to Germany for the World Culinary Olympics in February 2020.

The competition is sponsored by Chefs’ Table Society of BC, Vancouver Community College, and Industry Training Authority, along with BC Chefs Association, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association, Okanagan Chefs Association, and Victoria Chefs Association. Other partners include Russell Hendrix, Intercity Packers, Gindara Sablefish, Cacao Barry, Cactus Club Cafe, Cascadia Tableware, Icon Fine Wines & Spirits, Chef & Co, and House of Knives.

Follow the BC Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition hashtag #BCCulinaryAward on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


"The Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition gives young cooks like Emily an exciting opportunity to learn from the best, build strong networks, and gain an incredible experience."

~Steve Walker-Duncan, Chair, Camosun Culinary Arts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Lubna Ekramoddoullah
Communications Specialist
Industry Training Authority
778-327-5896 |

Rodney Porter
Executive Director, Communications & Marketing
Camosun College
250-889-7494 |

Last updated: October 15, 2019 1:04 pm

Contact Us
Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Rd
Victoria BC V8P 5J2
Camosun College Interurban
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

©1996–2020 Camosun College | Victoria BC, Canada | Printed: July 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm Change Everything logo for print