Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Inspires Top Talent

On Saturday, September 12th 2015 at Vancouver Community College‘s Downtown Campus the top eight young chefs from across the nation headed to Vancouver to compete in Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition.

Competitors were given identical ingredients and had three hours in the kitchen to wow the taste buds of the judges with the black box ingredients revealed moments before their start time.

Our Chef Mark McEwan joined the judging panel along with Chef Normand Laprise (Toqué!), Chef Anthony Walsh (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants), Chef Scott Jaeger (Peartree Restaurant), Food Critic Jacob Richler, Maclean’s & Canada’s 100 Best, Food Critic Alexandra Gill (Globe & Mail), Food Critic Marie-Claude Lortie (La Presse) and Chef David Hawksworth & Chef de Cuisine Kristian Eligh (Hawksworth Restaurant).

McEwan_MarkMcEwan_HYC 2016 First Selections-5

After a close battle, the $10,000 bursary went to Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship winner Ian MacDougall of Model Milk.

The competition concluded with a memorable evening of Canadian cuisine presented by TD, hosted at Hawksworth Restaurant. The dinner featured dishes prepared by chefs, Mark McEwan, Anthony Walsh, Normand Laprise, Scott Jaeger, Kristian Eligh and David Hawksworth.

[Photos courtesy of Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation]

Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Attracts Top Talent

On Sunday, October 27, 2013 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver ten red seal chefs created a main course for four with a limited pantry and just two hours to work with. The top three finalists then had two and a half hours to cook a main course and dessert course using all the black box ingredients.

The winner was Chef Paul Moran who received a $10,000 bursary, provided by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC.


Chef Mark McEwan joined the judging panel along with Vikram Vij (Vij’s), Author Jacob Richler, Chef Normand Laprise (Toqué!), Chef Anthony Walsh (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants), Chef Scott Jaeger (Peartree Restaurant) and Chef David Hawksworth (Hawksworth Restaurant).


On the last day each judge created a course for a collaborative fundraising dinner that showcased the best of Canadian cuisine and Canadian culinary talent.

[Photo credit: Jessica Haydahl Photography]

Moments with Mark : 1991

Julia Childes, McEwan, Lee & Kennedy

In 1991, rockstar food critic Marion Kane invited Julia Child to the Four Seasons Hotel for a tasting menu put together by five of Toronto’s hottest young chefs. Mark was among the lucky participants, and we sat down with him to talk about the experience and the year that was.

In 1991, you cooked a braised lamb shank for Julia Child at an event at The Four Seasons. Do you remember why you chose that dish?

It was a big favourite on my menu at that time. It was something that I was proud of and thought it showed off who I was as a chef.

Susur Lee said that hanging out with Ms. Child was like going to your grandmother’s house to talk about food. As someone whose grandmother played an important part in their culinary life; would you agree with Susur? What do you think your grandmother would’ve thought of Ms. Child?

I never felt as though I was in the presence of a mother or grandmother. She was an icon, I remember being very nervous and hanging on her every word


If you got the opportunity to host a legend like Julia Child today, which of your restaurants would you choose and why?

I would take her to Fabbrica. I think that it would best suit the way that Julia liked to cook: simple and warm with a nod to classic preparations. I would love to sit across from her and share a pizza straight out of the wood burning oven.

If you could cook for Ms. Child again, would you make the lamb again? If not what would you make instead?

My style has not changed much.  I would still do a simple dish; maybe something like I did at the Hawksworth Scholarship Event a couple weekends ago.  Braised Veal Brisket Ravioli with Roasted Veal Tenderloin, Carrot-Parsnip Puree, an Apple Mostarda, Fresh Horseradish and Natural Sauce.

Speaking of lamb, 1991’s Best Picture was Silence of the Lambs. How do you feel about fava beans?

I actually love fava beans, but I love Jodie Foster more.


In 1992, Time Magazine heralded Cal-Asian cuisine as the food trend of 1991 – lots of lemongrass and ginger. Did you explore those tastes at the time? What did you think of it?

I didn’t really follow that trend.  It came in strong and fast and left the food scene in much the same fashion. They aren’t tastes you typically see throughout my cooking, and I try to maintain my voice through all of my food, sometimes playing slightly to trends, but really sticking to my standards.

Freddy Mercury died in 1991. What’s your favourite Queen song? And what do you think of Sasha Barron Cohen being chosen to play Freddy in the upcoming biopic?

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably my favourite. Who doesn’t love that song? As for Sasha Barron Cohen, I have always been very intrigued by him. He fascinates and startles people at the same time. I think he is a perfect choice