Canadian Mountain Holidays’ Chef Paul Moran won his first cooking competition 14 years ago at the age of 14 with a stuffed tomato dish. He developed an early interest in cuisine at school and with some maternal influence, “My mom helped me out a lot,” he said in an interview with the Arrow Lakes News. Moran is originally from Kelowna but works seasonally in Nakusp.
He’s currently employed at the K2 Rotor Lodge as the Ski Chef, preparing sumptuous gourmet menus for the international heliski set. Entering cooking competitions about once a year based on the time commitment, Moran has a long list of winning titles and has worked around the world. This year he happened upon the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 while browsing social media. This competition divides the globe into 20 areas, and Moran has just returned from Toronto where he nabbed the top honours for Canada and the chance to compete on the global playing field. He been selected from 10 Canadian chefs as the winner and earned the chance to compete in Milan from June 25-27 for the world title.
His goal is to one day own “a couples’ getaway” boutique hotel with his fiancee, Stephanie Noel, also a chef. They are getting married in March, after which Moran will begin campaigning for his win. He has a series of dinners planned in Toronto, Kelowna and Vancouver. Some of these will act as fundraisers to help him with the expense of competing. “The competition pays for about half of my expenses. The rest is up to me,” said Moran.
A total of 20 chefs from around the world will compete in Italy in June for the S. Pellegrino Talent Awards. The judging is on the finished dinner entree only, giving the chefs total freedom and control to produce whatever entree they wish.
“That is something unique to this competition,” Moran said, “A lot of them judge on kitchen skills among other things, but this one is just based on the finished product.”
An international jury of seven chefs, including Gaston Acurio, Yannick Alleno, Massimo Bottura, Margot Janse, Yoshiro Narisawa, Eric Ripert and Joan Roca will select the ultimate S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015.