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Hot & Spicy Food Festival competition results are in!
Harbourfront Centre announces the winners of three coveted culinary titles

TORONTO, ON (Sept. 3, 2013) – The competition was scorching at the 16th Annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival! Over the four-day weekend, chefs from across the globe and restaurants from around the GTA participated in a number of culinary battles including the 10th International Iron Chef Competition, Taco Takedown and Donut Holed-Up.

The return of the 10th International Iron Chef Competition was a sizzling showdown where chefs went head-to-head against each other and the clock. Competitors included Chef Philip "Ippy" Aiona (USA/Hawaii), Chef Betty Vazquez (Mexico), Chef Luis Berrazueta (Ecuador) and Aaron Joseph Bear Robe (Canada). It was Chef Ippy who came out on top with creative dishes infused with the secret ingredient – sauerkraut. His take on beef Carpaccio with a sauerkraut foam mouse, sauerkraut tempura and arugula spaghetti defeated runner-up Chef Betty Vazquez for the win.

“It was a tough decision to make, but Chef Ippy worked his culinary magic and turned the secret ingredient into a delicious gastronomic creation,” said Melanie Fernandez, Director of Community & Educational Programmes at Harbourfront Centre. “Our panel of culinary experts agreed that his creativity deserves recognition, which is what earned him the prestigious International Iron Chef title.”

In addition to this latest title, Chef Ippy’s culinary achievements include being a finalist on the eighth season of Food Network Star and being recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the “Best 30 Under 30 in Food and Wine.”

The Taco Takedown and Donut Holed-Up competitions were also popular events this past weekend. Both events were curated by culinary expert Mary Luz Mejia and featured local restaurants and bakeries serving up their versions of these tasty snacks. It’s is no surprise that the overall winners are top food personalities and leaders in Toronto’s culinary scene.

The winners of the second annual Taco Takedown are:

• Best Overall Taco: El Catrin Destileria – Chef Olivier Le Calvez
• Most Authentic Taco: Rebozos Mexican Restaurant – Indalecio Marroquin
• Most Original Taco: Milagro Cantina Mexicana – Arturo Anhalt

Taco Takedown contestants included Jason Rees, Pork Ninjas Barbecue and Catering; Andres Marquez, Fonda Lola; Indalecio Marroquin, Rebozos; Mali Fernandez, Pachuco; Arturo Anhalt, Milagro Cantinas; and Olivier Le Calvez, El Catrin.

The winners of the inaugural Donut Holed-Up are:

• Best Overall: Jelly Modern Donuts – Grayson Sherman
• Best Dough: Dragon’s Kitchen –Paula Costa
• Most original: My Little Dumplings – Bashir Munye

Donut Holed-Up contestants included Paula Costa; Deb Starzynski, In the Kitchen with Deborah; Joe Winkfein, Lightweight Mini-Donuts; Grayson Sherman, Jelly Modern; Bashir Munye, My Little Dumplings; and Wade Vroom and Keith Barker, Sugar Mamma’s Mini Donuts.

Stay tuned for more culinary events at future summer festivals, including the Vegetarian Food Festival (Sept 6-8) and the Pan American Food Festival (Sept. 20 -22) at Harbourfront Centre.

Harbourfront Centre would like to acknowledge the support of ProEcuador and Consulate General of Mexico in Toronto for their assistance with the International Iron Chef Competition.

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000 diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private sector and individual donors.


For more information contact:
Media Note: High-res images and interviews are available
Althea Linton
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