Cook for the Cure

Do you want to dine on a gourmet three-course meal while watching celebrity chefs and their teams battle it out in a culinary showdown? Even better, how about being on one of those teams and in the middle of all the action? And doing all of this in support of a great charity, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation? On September 15th, we took part in the Kitchen Aid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown kickoff event, held at The Bay’s flagship store on Queen St., to find out how you can do just that.

This year, the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure is celebrating its 13th year. 2014’s Culinary Showdown, to be held on Saturday, November 29 at the Allstream Centre, will have an all-star lineup of chefs including Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan, Corbin Tomaszeski, Vikram Vij, and new this year, Susur Lee. The preview event was to include chefs Crawford, McEwan and Tomaszeski, but unfortunately due to unexpected circumstances Chef Crawford was unable to attend. The kickoff was a chance for guests to get a taste of what the big event in November would be like.

Chefs McEwan and Tomaszeski first talked about the importance of the research being driven by the CBCF, and how breast cancer has personally touched their own lives. They then engaged in some playful, competitive banter in a lead up to their upcoming showdown. Chef McEwan, whose team won last year, is determined to repeat, while Chef Tomaszeski is determined to lead his team, punningly called the C-cups, to victory. Breast cancer survivor Molly Scott then delivered an emotional speech about her personal story, detailing her experience with the disease and expressing her gratitude to everyone who has supported her.

Eager guests then volunteered for the two chefs’ teams and were handed red aprons. Each team consisted of about a dozen participants. The challenge that night was a pasta challenge, with the goal of making the longest pasta noodle. Each member of the team had to work in harmony with each other to run the pasta dough through the pasta machine, while ensuring that the pasta remained unbroken. The pasta continued to get thinner and longer with each pass, stretching to an impressive length down the aisle of The Bay’s kitchen appliances department. In the end, despite Chef McEwan’s team’s valiant effort, Chef Corbin’s team ultimately won the challenge, with a good time being had by all.

The teams work together to make the longest pasta noodle | Photo: Nick Lee

The teams work together to make the longest pasta noodle | Photo: Nick Lee

Registration then began for all those who wanted to sign up for the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure fundraising program immediately. Guests are also able to register online on the Cook for the Cure website. Representatives explained how the fundraising works, and provided ideas and tips on how the guests can host their own events and fundraise effectively. At different fundraising levels there were different incentives, including aprons and cookbooks signed by the celebrity chefs, with the top rewards including the chance to attend the Culinary Showdown and the Celebrity Chefs School. The most coveted prize is of course making it onto one of the celebrity chefs’ teams and participating in showdown itself. You can earn your spot by being one of the top fifty fundraisers.

So get your friends together to help you participate in the Cook for the Cure. It is sure to be a fun and exciting, energy-filled event celebrating the amazing efforts of the fundraisers in support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Here’s a quick video of the pasta challenge by John Tan.

Also check out our coverage of the 2013 KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown.

For more information:
Twitter: @CBCF_ #KitchenAid4Cure
Instagram: cbcfcookforthecure #KitchenAid4Cure
Facebook: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Lead image by John Tan. Photos below by John Tan and Nick Lee.

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John Tan

John is an avid traveller, but equally loves being a tourist in his own city. With camera in hand, he enjoys discovering the sights, sounds, tastes, and everything else that Toronto has to offer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@iam_johntan) to see what he's been up to lately.