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From left: Vincent Leung, Andrew Chase
About Andrew Chase (judge):
Andrew Chase began cooking as a child, and with an exceptional mentor: Charles Banino, executive chef of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Paris and Boston, who was a frequent visitor in his parents’ home. Today Andrew’s kitchen philosophy is the passionate – but exquisitely simple – credo of a true food and wine lover: “Find the best, seasonal ingredients, inspire your cooking with fresh ideas, enjoy the cooking process, and share the results with friends and family. And take two sips of good wine between every bite.”
In Homemakers and Canadian Living magazines, Andrew strives to offer readers those fresh ideas through accessible but sophisticated internationally-inspired recipes. His goal for readers is healthy and well-rounded eating, but he also hopes to inspire them to try new ingredients, new techniques and new flavours.
Prior to Homemakers, Andrew was associate food editor and wine writer for Canadian Living. He is also a contributor to Gastronomica (UCLA), the first English-language journal of food and culture; is the author of The Asian Bistro Cookbook (Robert/Rose, 1998), The Blender Bible (Robert/Rose, 2005) and 400 Blender Cocktails (Robert/Rose, 2006) and Canadian Living, The Barbecue Collection (Transcontinental Books, 2010); and from 1999 to 2001 wrote a food column for the Toronto Star.
From 1989 until 2000, Andrew was chef, proprietor and sommelier at a number of critically acclaimed restaurants in Toronto specializing in creative pan-Asian cuisine, including Berkeley Café (Gault Millaut Toque; New York Times Recommendation); Café Asia (named one of the top four restaurants in the city by Toronto Life) and Youki Asian Bar and Bistro (listed among the top 20 restaurants in Canada in Where to Eat In Canada, and highly recommended by Fizz [Germany] and Zagat’s Survey [U.S.]).
Andrew was educated at Columbia University (B.A.1976, Art History and Chinese Language), in New York City, and at National Taiwan University (B.A. and M.A. credits 1981, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy), in Taipei, Taiwan. Before moving to Toronto in 1988, he worked in Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia.
About Chef Vincent Leung (judge):
Executive Chef of Senses, Vincent Leung, is known for his modern east-meets-west style. His flare for fusing the best of local fare with Asian tastes to create bold and flavourful dishes is the culinary signature that he brings to the well-respected Senses menu.
The introduction of Chef Leung as the newly appointed executive chef brings him full-circle to Metropolitan Hotels’ repertoire of high-end restaurants where he first apprenticed and began his career. Leung’s classical French training lends itself to tradition and attention to the details of fine dining, while his Pan-Asian culinary explorations inspire an Asian twist on classic dishes.
His authentic knowledge of Cantonese cuisine was instilled during his time in Hong Kong, where he developed his skills in the preparation and use of traditional Chinese delicacies, including abalone, at The Forum Restaurant. Leung also gained experience at Le Parisien, a western-style restaurant in Hong Kong with strong Asian influences. In addition to Chef Leung’s skill in Chinese cuisine, his style is strongly influenced by the flavours of Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Prior to Senses, Leung opened Habitat Restaurant & Bar in Canmore, Alberta. In 2010, Where Magazine ranked Habitat Restaurant & Bar one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in Canada, while Chef Leung was recognized as one of Westernliving Magazine’s Top 40 Foodies Under 40. Leading up to his success as Executive Chef at Habitat, Chef Leung held positions at some of Toronto’s top restaurants, including Monsoon Restaurant, the award-winning Lai Wah Heen and Hemisphere’s Restaurant & Bistro at the Metropolitan Hotel Toronto.
About Christian Pritchard (host):
Beginning his career as an event planner for Canada’s largest food retailer, Christian earned a reputation for planning large events such as Wine Region Tours from Toronto to Niagara and culinary events for corporate private parties. From there Christian further explored his delectable cooking skills and opened his first catering company, Bistrolicious. During this time Christian continued to emcee international trade shows in the communication field around the globe. Christian’s talent in cooking and entertainment was not to go unnoticed as he was then asked to produce, write and star in his own TV series for RogersTV, Durham Region
Christian has become a household name in food entertainment and can regularly be seen on the Food Network (Summer’s Best), RogersTV (Mission Meal, Diggin’ Durham, daytime), CHCH (Morning Live), CBC (Steven & Chris), and City TV (Breakfast Television). He has been nominated for a National Impression Award for his work on Mission Meal. As well as his television work, Christian can be heard on radio programmes such as Arlene Bynon’s travel show on Talk 640 and Saturdays with Ted Woloshyn on NewsTalk 1010.
When Christian Pritchard moved to the Durham Region in 2003, he immediately fell in love with the produce-rich farms surrounding him. Bringing him back to his first love of shopping from farmers for fresh food at the St. Lawrence Market, he could now shop right in his own backyard. He has connected both personally and professionally with the farmers in Durham Region and has become an advocate for local foods.
Now Christian is sought after for speaking engagements and continues to produce and emcee large cooking events in North America and around the world. He has hosted Harbourfront Centre’s Iron Chef competitions for the past eight years and is regularly in demand for food event consulting, speaking engagements, advisory councils for college food programs, recipe and menu development and PR work.
One of Christian’s greatest passions is food education. He teaches hundreds of cooking classes throughout Ontario and is involved in children’s programming with regards to agriculture and food. Christian’s latest venture is The Blue Mountain Culinary Cottage in the mountains of Collingwood.
Christian is currently the cohost of daytime on RogersTV, chef, emcee, food consultant, caterer/event planner and food entertainer. And in his spare time, Christian, the “Rock and Roll Chef”, is a bassist with the bands, Alpha Dawgs and Skinless Chicken.