Chuck Hughes at Cook for the Cure 2013 | Photo: Nick Lee

Featuring an all-star lineup of chefs, the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure was a culinary showdown held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on December 7th, 2013. Chefs included the Food Network’s Lynn Crawford, Chuck Hughes, Mark McEwan, Vikram Vij and Corbin Tomaszeski hosted by actor Dean McDermott alongside Tyler Florence (host of the Great Food Truck Race and Food Court Wars).

The top 50 fundraisers for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation got to participate and compete in the Cook for the Cure culinary competition, splitting into 5 teams headed by each of the chefs.

The big day started with a “Celebrity Chef School” session where the 50 participants were coached about ingredient picking to proper plating. Trade secrets were also revealed on food preparation, knife techniques, and methodology in advance of the high-pressure competition in the evening.

Then the evening started with a cocktail reception including rubbing elbows and photo ops with the chefs, and bidding on silent auction items.

After the first course, the scores were displayed and Team Vij was in the lead with 47.2 points from the judges followed by McEwan at 44.5 points. Team Crawford was 3rd at 41.5 points.

Then after the second course, the competition was heating up with Team Vij at 90.2 points, Team Crawford at 81.5 and McEwan at 77.5 points.

It was a tight race but at the end Chef Mark McEwan‘s team was declared the winner in a shocking comeback in the dessert course. I guess Vikram Vij took some risks in the dessert that didn’t score well with the judges but you must admire him for not playing it safe just to keep his lead.

We got to hear a brave, emotional story of a breast cancer survivor and I could see more than few people were brought to tears.

The live auction featured one-of-a-kind culinary experiences up for grabs from the Chefs including the one from Chuck Hughes, who refused to allow his bid to close until he got one more thousand to much hilarity. He’s a great sport and I’m glad he got it.

It was a fun, friendly culinary competition all for the sake of creating a future without breast cancer.

“I’d like to thank all of the fundraisers, sponsors and fabulous chefs who are supporting our vision of a future without breast cancer,” said Sandra Palmaro, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), Ontario Region.

“Donations from this event allow CBCF to continue to fund relevant, innovative research and support and advocate for the breast cancer community.”

Top chefs: Vikram Vij, Mark McEwan

Top chefs: Vikram Vij, Mark McEwan

Team McEwan with the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure trophy

Team McEwan with the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure trophy


About the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the leading community–driven organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer.  Our investments in innovative and relevant research and education have led to progress in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Since 1986, we have been at the forefront of a nationwide movement supporting and advocating for the breast cancer community. Join us at


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Nick Lee

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