Toronto Taste’s Thrilling Chef Challenge: Meet This Year’s Challengers

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Community

Join us on June 12, 2022, at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works for the 30th Anniversary of Toronto Taste! This annual culinary extravaganza is an evening supporting Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity. Toronto Taste brings together the best of the city’s food scene with dozens of the GTA’s top chefs and restaurateurs serving their best dishes and in attendance. 

One of Toronto Taste’s most thrilling events of the day is the Chef Challenge. In this live event (taking place on the main stage at 7:30 pm), three of GTA’s top chefs are given 30 minutes to prepare a dish from a box of mystery ingredients. An expert panel then judges the dishes to determine a winner. 

Let’s meet our Toronto Taste hosts, top chef challengers, and judges, shall we?

Meet This Year’s Toronto Taste Hosts

Bob Blumer is a gastronaut, author, and eight-time Guinness World Record holder. He’s best known as the creator and host of Food Network’s award-winning shows Surreal Gourmet, Glutton for Punishment, and World’s Weirdest Restaurants. He’s written seven cookbooks, transforming ordinary ingredients with simple cooking methods into works of art. He is a long-term ambassador for Second Harvest and Love Food/Hate Waste, a national Canadian zero-waste initiative. 

Toronto Taste 2022 Host, Bob Blumer

Bianca Osbourne is a professionally trained chef, TV personality, and educator. Bianca is a food expert on Canada’s number one Daytime show, The Marilyn Denis Show, and host of her own cooking show, CombiNATION Plates. As an educator, Bianca shares her love of food as a professor at Toronto’s Centennial College and offers a wealth of knowledge on the science behind blood sugar balance through her popular Tik Tok channel, Glucose Tips for the Gurls.

Toronto Taste 2022 Host, Bianca Osbourne

Meet This Year’s Toronto Taste Chef Challengers

Meet Toronto-born and raised Chef Sam Medeiros. At 26, Sam recently graduated from Sous-Chef to Chef de Cuisine at La Palma Restaurant. After graduating from Culinary School, she travelled the world to learn about cuisines and cultures first-hand. She helped open a small bistro in Grignan, France, became a Tournant for a restaurant group in Hong Kong, and toured the world of food before landing back in her hometown. When it comes to cooking, Sam highlights the simplicity of her ingredients masterfully. 

Toronto Taste 2022 Chef Challenger, Chef Sam Medeiros

Meet Chef Phil Nguyen. His mother’s Vietnamese home cooking inspired his culinary career at a young age. Phil’s mastered the art of cooking at a range of top restaurants, including L’unita Restaurant in Yorkville, Grand Electic, Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse, and opening Hotel X Toronto. Phil’s excited to share his Vietnamese culinary roots with finely crafted recipes.

Toronto Taste 2022 Chef Challenger, Chef Phil Nguyen

Meet Chef Jamie Robb. Real Sports’ Executive Chef, Jamie grew up in the kitchen learning from his chef mother and grandmother in a town just outside of Glasgow. After attending Canada’s George Brown’s Culinary program, he’s worked in kitchens across Southern Ontario and Alberta, including Via Allegro and Ultra Supper Club. Jaime’s been with MLSE since 2014, beginning as Sous Chef for both Real Sports and E11even, where he ran the Ontario Corn Fed Beef Program for the restaurant group. His secret ingredient? Love. 

Toronto Taste 2022 Chef Challenger, Chef Jamie Robb

Meet This Year’s Toronto Taste Chef Challenge Judges

Meet chef, entrepreneur, author, TV personality, and Second Harvest Ambassador, Matt Basile. Matt is the author of best-selling cookbooks, Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and host of the show, Rebel Without a Kitchen. He is a food-scene creative consultant, product and recipe developer, and content creator, set to launch a new and big project this year. 

Toronto Taste 2022 Chef Challenge Judge, Chef Matt Basile

Meet Julie Miguel, a food content creator and food media digital content producer. After placing seventh in the inaugural season of CTV’s MasterChef Canada, her lifelong passion for food kick-started her food media career and helped launch her blog, Daily Tiramisu. Since then, she’s appeared as a culinary expert on CTV Your Morning, Cityline, The Marilyn Denis Show, Fridge Wars, and other major TV channels. She’s partnered with nationally recognized food and lifestyle brands and co-founded The Happy Kitchen, a youth program that teaches life skills in the kitchen. She’s travelled the world to train and work with chefs and take on leadership roles at Centennial College and Taste Canada Awards.

Toronto Taste 2022 Chef Challenge Judge, Julie Miguel

Meet Juriaan Snellen, the Executive Corporate Chef at McCormick Canada. Juriaan previously held Executive Chef roles with major food manufacturers across Europe and North America and has significant culinary experience in fine, casual, and quick-service dining. In Southern France, Juriaan worked at Michelin-star restaurants; in Aruba, he worked as a fine-dining chef. He has his Certified Chef de Cuisine certification and a degree in hotel management. His expertise and his passion for flavour inspire only the most memorable meals.

Toronto Taste 2022 Chef Challenge Judge, Juriaan Snellen

The only questions left are: What creative concoctions will our chefs come up with and what dish will our judges choose as this year’s winner? 

Join us at Toronto Taste on June 12, 2022, at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. All proceeds go to supporting Second Harvest’s food rescue and hunger relief. 

Learn more about Toronto Taste.

HOME CHEFS: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Kitchen Food Waste

HOME CHEFS: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Kitchen Food Waste

A big part of running a kitchen is managing food and food waste. Chefs have to meal plan, do kitchen audits, make grocery lists, use what they have, and buy just the right amount of food so that there is little waste. This is good kitchen management 101. Reducing your...

Microsoft Ascend to the Rescue

Microsoft Ascend to the Rescue

A farmer, a flight attendant and a cook make up our tech team at Second Harvest. You may think this is the beginning of a bad joke ... but it's not. A farmer, a flight attendant and a cook are actually running the technical team for the Second Harvest Food Rescue App....