This prestigious ‘Kitchen Party’ event will celebrate Vancouver’s top chefs

This prestigious ‘Kitchen Party’ event will celebrate Vancouver’s top chefs

This exciting competition pits 6 of the city’s culinary stars from independent restaurants against each other – and raises money for a great cause.

Roger Ma, centre, represented Vancouver with a win in 2019 and landed at the top of the podium nationally in 2020. He’s seen here with Marc-André Jetté of Hoogan et Beaufort and Emily Butcher of deer + almond. Great Kitchen Party/Facebook

It’s no secret that sometimes the best spot at the party is in the kitchen. And in Vancouver, our “kitchen” talent is vast.

To celebrate the city’s culinary stars on the rise – and support an incredible cause – Canada’s Great Kitchen Party returns on Nov. 24 with an in-person competition to determine who will represent Vancouver next year in the nationwide championship.

Launched in 2006, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party (formerly known as Gold Medal Plates) aims to elevate and celebrate Canadian Excellence by bringing together the top chefs in each city for a ticketed event that also mixes in iconic Canadian musicians and athletes.

Competing chefs reflect Vancouver’s diversity, independent restaurants

The exciting face-off at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver features some impressive local chefs representing a slate of acclaimed independent restaurants – including a few recently recognized by the Michelin Guide: Vish Mayekar (Caffè La Tana, Pepino’s); Scott Korzack (Bacaro); Bobby Milheron (Homer St. Cafe and Bar, Tableau Bar Bistro, Maxine’s Cafe & Bar); Sandy Chef (Archer); Thachaya (Mike) Tuangkitkun (Maenam); and Sean Reeve (Collective Goods, Say Mercy, The Mackenzie Room).

For Joie Alvaro Kent, cookbook author, food writer, and Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Vancouver Senior Judge, this year’s return to in-person competition comes at a most opportune time, and also offers the chance to spotlight the city’s culinary diversity in the kitchen and on the plate, and put an emphasis on some of our incredible indie spots.

“Vancouver’s inaugural list of Michelin one-star restaurants was a tour de force for highly revered neighbourhood gems,” Alvaro Kent tells Vancouver Is Awesome. “I’m absolutely thrilled that the slate of talented chefs competing in this year’s Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Vancouver genuinely reflects our city’s prevailing fondness for independently owned restaurants as well as our cultural diversity.”

Chef Sandy Chen, who is at the stoves as Chef de Cuisine at Archer, one of Vancouver’s most exciting fall debuts, reflects on what the event means personally. “It’s so great to see the return of in-person cooking competitions,” Chen tells V.I.A. “For me, it is an honour, privilege, and great opportunity to challenge my limits and push myself to another level.”


Sandy Chen is Chef de Cuisine at Archer in Vancouver, and is competing Nov. 24 to represent the city for the Great Kitchen Party. . @sandyweichen/Instagram

A familiar face to fans of TV’s Top Chef Canada will surely recognize Vish Mayekar, Head Chef at The Drive’s popular sibling spots Caffè La Tana and Pepino’s.”Calling Canada home now and now having the privilege of representing Vancouver on the national level through Top Chef and being part of Culinary Team Canada has been an incredible honour,” says Mayekar. “My next goal: keeping the Canadian Culinary Championship title in Vancouver!”

Vancouver last sent its winner all the way to the top of the podium in February 2020, when Roger Ma (Boulevard) took the championship.

Kitchen Party event features music stars, benefits Fresh Roots

In addition to the cooking competition, the evening includes live entertainment from Neil Osborne of 54-40, blues singer Kandle Osborne, and Canadian Hall of Fame and Juno award-winning band Chilliwack.

The event also happens to be one of the city’s largest annual fundraising dinner parties, and this year’s beneficiary is Fresh Roots, the Vancouver non-profit that transforms urban spaces to create thriving neighbourhood gathering places for learning, sharing, and connecting.

“We are proud to be part of this event in which all the competing chefs are champions supporting local and sustainable food systems. Fresh Roots’ mission is giving kids unique opportunities to experience growing, preparing, sharing, and celebrating good food—perfectly aligned with Canada’s Great Kitchen Party!” says Alexa Pitoulis, Fresh Roots Executive Director.

When it comes to the food, guests will watch as the competing chefs present their dishes to the judges’ panel. Senior Judge Alvaro Kent will be joined by James Chatto (Canada’s Great Kitchen Party National Culinary Advisor and Head Judge) along with well-known food industry Vancouverites Roger Ma; Andrea Carlson; Hamid Salimian; Douglas Chang; and Sid Cross.

All eyes will be on Chen, Mayekar, and the other four chefs as the centrepiece for a terrific night that reflects so much of what Vancouver’s food scene is all about.

“These six highly skilled culinarians uphold an impressive level of integrity, ingenuity, and dedication to highlighting local growers and purveyors—a true testament to the key values of Vancouver’s food community. We’re in for an exciting evening and a tight race for top honours,” shares Alvaro Kent.

Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Vancouver

When: Nov. 24, 2022. VIP reception 5 p.m., competition 6 p.m., seated portion 7:30 p.m.

Where: Westin Bayshore – 1601 Bayshore Dr, Vancouver

Tickets: Purchase online