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Harbourfront Centre’s 14th Annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by NOW Magazine announces the SIZZLING results of weekend events

Steve Gonzalez sets new Guinness World Record for Longest BBQ Marathon,
Chef Paul Newman declared 8th Annual Longo’s Iron Chef,
Miles Suhaimi wins Emerging Chef Competition!

TORONTO, ON (Monday, Sept. 5, 2011) – Expert chefs from around the globe and across the GTA showed off their skills and competed against each other throughout the long weekend on downtown Toronto’s waterfront. Harbourfront Centre’s annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by NOW Magazine is one of Toronto’s most popular summer traditions, and this 14th edition saw record crowds out to test the limits of their taste buds!

Chef Steve Gonzalez (“Top Chef Canada”) set a new Guinness World Record for Longest Barbecue Marathon, Chef Paul Newman of Turks & Caicos won the title of 8th Hot & Spicy Longo’s Iron Chef Champion, and Miles Suhaimi from Liaison College won the Emerging Chef Competition. It was a weekend chock full of spice and excitement.

Gonzalez set the new Guinness World Record for Longest BBQ Marathon at 32 hours, 40 minutes, grilling nonstop from 8:02 a.m. Sunday morning until 4:43 p.m. Monday afternoon. He bested the standing record of 28.5 hours, taking only one 50-minute nap and 45 minutes combined in other short breaks (one five-minute break per hour is permitted, and competitors may bank this time if they wish). Harbourfront Centre visitors could partake in Chef Gonzalez’s culinary creations during festival hours, and the food prepared overnight was donated to Second Harvest ( Food barbequed during this record-breaking marathon included five pork shoulders (approx. 75 lbs.), 90 lbs. of pork tenderloin, ¾ case of onions, ¾ case of corn, ½ case of plantains, 2 lbs. of garlic, a case of butternut squash, nine litres of olive and canola oil, six bunches of cilantro, four bunches of parsley, three bunches of basil and a watermelon! Thanks to The Butcher Shoppe for their support.

Gonzalez himself soaked through four pairs of shoes, three t-shirts and three pairs of socks, but kept on the same lucky hat throughout. Gonzalez says his plans now are “To sleep for at least a day or two,” and then he will continue on his search for the perfect space to open a new, Latin American restaurant in Toronto.

Gonzalez is a first-generation Canadian and prides himself on being innovative and putting modern spins on classic Latino food. His presentation skills have been requested by International Food and Wine Festivals, corporate sponsors and television special appearances. This is Harbourfront Centre’s second successful Guinness World Record attempt this summer after winning the record of Most Layers in a Layer Cake on Canada Day.

The 8th Anniversary Hot & Spicy Iron Chef declared a new champion Monday afternoon as well. After two days of intense battles, Chef Paul Newman of Turks & Caicos came out the winner. The Iron Chef Competition was judged by a high profile panel of food experts including “Iron Chef America” floor reporter, the “Thirsty Traveler” host and Food Network personality, Kevin Brauch, Food Network celebrity chef and co-host of “Heat Seekers” and “Everyday Exotic” Roger Mooking, as well as food writer/editor Ivy Knight. It was emceed by co-host of CityTV's “What's Cooking,” Richard Cazeau. Special thanks to partners Barbados Tourism Authority and the Consulate General of Barbados, Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, and the Consulate General of Mexico in Toronto.

Full results were as follows:

Iron Chef Round One Semi-Final:
Chef Paul Yellin (Barbados) vs. Chef Francisco Alejandri (Canada) of Agave Y Aguacate, winner of the Hottest Chef in the GTA online survey
Secret Ingredient: SAKE
WINNER: Chef Francisco Alejandro

Iron Chef Round Two Semi-Final:
Chef Paul Newman (Turks & Caicos) vs. Chef Guillermo Javier Gomez (Mexico)
Secret Ingredient: TEA (various types – green, black, fruit mix, etc.)
WINNER: Chef Paul Newman

Chef Paul Newman (Turks & Caicos) vs. Chef Francisco Alejandri (Canada)
Secret Ingredient: LEEKS
WINNER: Chef Paul Newman

The Emerging Chef Competition saw four young culinary up-and-comers competing for the win in an Iron Chef-style contest using secret ingredients. Hosted by food enthusiast and Gemini Award-nominated food producer/director Mary Luz Mejia, the competition was judged by Chef Joshna Maharaj (Scarborough General Hospital, Sustain Ontario), Richard Cazeau (CityTV’s “What’s Cooking”) and Jo Lusted (“The Ingredient”, regular guest on CBC’s “Steven and Chris”).

Full results were as follows:

Emerging Chef Competition Round One Semi-Finals
Miles Suhaimi (Liaison College) vs. Jay Budwani (Stratford Chef School)
Secret Ingredient: MAPLE SYRUP
WINNER: Miles Suhaimi

Emerging Chef Competition Round Two Semi-Finals
Raymund Acenas (Liaison College) vs. Eric Neaves (Stratford Chef School)
Secret Ingredient: DARK CHOCOLATE
WINNER: Raymund Acenas

Emerging Chef Competition FINAL BATTLE:
Raymund Acenas vs. Miles Suhaimi
Secret Ingredient: PEACHES
WINNER: Miles Suhaimi

Other contest results decided by public online voting before the festival weekend were as follows:
Burger Battle - Best Burger: Great Burger Kitchen
Hottest Chef in the GTA: Francisco Alejandri of Agave Y Aguacate
Sauce it Up! Homemade BBQ Sauce Contest presented by Redpath Sugar: Karen Perkin

This summer, with our lead summer partner, the Toronto Port Authority, we explore “Hot Spots” of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, and regions of conflict that shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. This theme is programmed into each weekend festival to bring together rich artistic traditions from our own backyard and around the globe! It also presents a unique opportunity to experience top Canadian and international artists in a fun, family-friendly environment without ever leaving the city!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront. For more information visit

The Toronto Port Authority, Harbourfront Centre’s lead summer partner, owns and operates the Port of Toronto, the Billy Bishop Airport, and the Outer Harbour Marina. It is committed to building a waterfront community that is vibrant and enjoyable for Torontonians and visitors, by working with partners to create a clean, green, prosperous water’s edge. For more information visit


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