Canada’s Great Kitchen Party

elevates and celebrates Canadian food

Canada’s Great Kitchen Party is this country’s premier national culinary competition. Held for 18 years in as many as 12 cities across Canada, it is a night where guests and food industry professionals gather to enjoy the best food that their city’s chefs have to offer.

The chefs come to elevate their craft, they come to share their passion, they come to make a difference, but ultimately, they come to win!

The Invitation


Chris Johns: author, award-winning food writer and our new national head judge and culinary advisor, oversees the selection and judging process of the more than 70 competing chefs, each vying for that coveted trophy in their city. The selection and invitation process for the regional competitions occurs in the spring of every year by senior judges overseeing panels representing the best, most knowledgeable and respected food professionals in their cities. Each year, the judges seek out the best and brightest chefs in the country and invite them to compete for a gold medal.

If a talented chef slips under our radar, we encourage any head chefs interested in competing, or anyone who knows of a brilliant head chef they would like to see compete, to reach out to However, to be considered to compete, the chef must occupy the highest position in a restaurant. We will consider all nominations, but can’t guarantee a spot in the competition. Nonetheless, we look forward to hearing from you.

The Competition

Selected chefs are invited to create their ultimate dish and pair it with a premier Canadian wine, beer or spirit. The chefs hone their creations and beverage pairings over many weeks, utilizing the best ingredients their region has to offer, refining and perfecting each element until they are satisfied they’ve created something that is ready to present to our exacting guests and judges. Dishes are scored out of 100, with points given for taste, visual presentation, texture, technical achievement, beverage compatibility and wow factor.

Guests of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party test their own palates against those of our esteemed judges as they vote for the People’s Choice winner. The results are often surprising.


The National Championship

Regional winners from each city are then invited to the Canadian Culinary Championship, held in the nation’s capital, where they compete in a grueling two-day, three-event grand finale that decides the year’s national gold medal winner.

To be invited to compete at a regional level is a notch in the belt. To stand on the podium is to be recognized as one of the very best this country has to offer. To win: a career-defining achievement!

THE IMPACT: Hundreds of Canada’s finest chefs have competed over the course of 18 years with only a select few taking home the national gold medal. Today, many of those chefs, winners at both the regional and national level, are sharing their experience and knowledge with a new generation of competitors. The result, as both guests and judges can attest, is that the level of culinary excellence is at an all-time high.

Podium shot

The Head Judges

Drawn from a selection of the finest chefs, culinary educators and food writers in the country, each head judge, in collaboration with their own highly esteemed local judging panel, is responsible for seeking out the best, most talented chefs in their city: from unsung heroes to hometown favourites. Our judges spend countless hours and consume a heroic number of calories seeking out the best food from across their region. Each February, they gather from across the country to cast their votes during the two-day, three-event national championship competition where the year’s ultimate champion is crowned.