The third annual KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown in support of Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation held its launch party at Cirillo Academy last week.

Chef Corbin and Chef John Cirillo KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown
Chef Corbin and Chef John Cirillo

The Culinary Showdown main event takes place Saturday, November 14, 2015, at the Westin Harbour Castle, where the top 50 fundraisers are matched up with 5 Food Network‘s chefs in a competition to prepare winning dishes.

Last year’s showdown raised over $650,000.00 for Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The winner for last year was Chef Lynn Crawford ‘s team, and she returns to compete along with Chef Corbin Tomaszeski, Chef Ricardo Larrivée, Chef Elizabeth Faulkner and one more mystery chef. On the day of and prior to the Showdown competition, each team member attends chef school to learn techniques from their team leader.

At the launch, Anthony Miceli of Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation spoke about how significant the upcoming event is.

Every year 1/9 women get diagnosed with breast cancer, and it is the most prevalent cancer among women. He emphasized the importance of the education about risk factors. Over the past 20 years, survival rates from breast cancer have increased. Funds raised do make a significant difference.

Chef Corbin Tomaszeski, who was the evening’s host, discussed the reasons for his involvement. “My best friend Val was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer four years ago. I remember how tragic it was. First time it hit me so close to home. I said, you have the support and you can beat this. That’s why I support this event. It’s about fighting and winning and not letting it get to you. Food is what we all have in common. It helps to heal people physically and emotionally and brings people together.

Tina Walters was introduced as having raised over $9,000.00 from selling her own cookbooks. With tears, she explained that her mom had survived 15 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer and had recently passed away. Her desire to make a difference led her to creating her own cookbook with all proceeds to CBCF. Chef Corbin then announced that Tina would be the first official team member.

Chef John Cirillo led everyone into different teams to compete in a mini culinary showdown. Each team was given a basket of surprise ingredients to quickly create a dish to be judged. Everyone scrambled and after a short while, their dishes were presented for judging. The two winning teams were then given free registration to the Culinary Showdown.

Cirillo Academy chefs served attendees delicious quinoa balls, shrimp, arugula pesto with balsamic honey dressing on flatbread, Asian sour chicken meatballs, and mango salsa with seared duck breast with orange caramel.

(photos by Sari)

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