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The results are in! Harbourfront Centre announces culinary champions of 2014 Hot & Spicy Food Festival

TORONTO, ON (August 20, 2014) – The food competitions sizzled this past weekend at Harbourfront Centre’s 17th annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival. The three-day flavour-filled festival featured three culinary competitions: the Fiery Food Challenge, Meatball Madness and the eleventh annual International Iron Chef Competition. Following the final contest, Harbourfront Centre crowned three chefs with this year’s coveted culinary titles.

The International Iron Chef Competition took place over a fiery two-day cook-off. The battle was between Chef Chi-Wen Chen (Taiwan), Chef Shorne Benjamin (Saint Lucia), Chef Xavier Perez Stone (Mexico) and Chef Howard Dubrovsky (Canada). In the final round, Chef Perez Stone cooked-off against Chef Chi-Wen Chen, crafting a unique beef recipe that incorporated the final secret ingredient. Chef Stone ‘beat the heat’ with his dish, securing the 2014 International Iron Chef Competition title.

“It was a difficult decision but Chef Xavier Perez Stone’s use of the secret ingredients, Coffee Crisp (semi final) and figs (final), created a full flavoured foodlicious experience,” shared Elizabeth Baird, Hot & Spicy Food Festival International Iron Chef Judge (Order of Canada, author). “We want to congratulate all of the winners, as well thank the visiting chefs for participating in this outstandingly delicious festival.”

Chef Perez Stone is no stranger to notable culinary titles. As one of Mexico’s best chefs, his restaurant in the Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort was highlighted as #35 of the “100 Best New Food and Drink Experiences in the World” by Food & Wine Magazine.

Harbourfront Centre’s other Hot & Spicy Food Festival competitions included The Fiery Food Challenge, the search for the hottest and tastiest dish from around the world, as well as Meatball Madness.

Champions of the Fiery Food Challenge
Best Overall-Chef Yumiko Kobayashi, Wind Up Bird Cafe
Dish: Spicy Chicken Nanban
Most Creative Use of Spices- Chef Devan Rajkuma, The Food Dudes, & Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau, Canada
Dish: Shrimp vindaloo
Most Original- Chef Steve Gonzalez, Valdez Restaurant
Dish: Fire and ice ceviche with snapper, aji chombo, citrus & lulo sorbet

Champions of the Meatball Madness
Best Overall-Chef Scott Savoie, The Culinary Adventure Co.,
Dish: Inside out Canadian Bison meatballs in a spicy glaze
Best Sauce-ChefCookie Martinez
Dish: Pan fried Albóndigas de Pavo with Guava Sauce
Most Original -Chef Luis Valenzuela, Carmen Cocina Espanola
Dish: Aromatic Lamb meatballs with spicy tomato sauce)

Harbourfront Centre would like to acknowledge the support of Saint Lucia Tourist Board, TAIWANfest 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.


Sarah Cooper
Office: 416-973-4655 | Cell: 416-523-1240
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