wine & dine

Road to the Royal Chef Challenge


This year, we took The Royal on the road, and expanded the Royal Chef Challenge by re-kindling a historic connection with regional fairs across Ontario.  Four fairs from different tourism regions in Ontario served as the host venues for qualifying local restaurant chefs to a Finale to be held at The Royal on Saturday November 2nd.   In a condensed version of the original event, the Chefs will be asked to create two dishes in 45 minutes using “secret ingredients”—locally grown or produced food products from The Royal’s agricultural competitions. 




Finale: Saturday, November 2 – 2PM

The Royal Culinary Theatre – Heritage Court

Hosted by Bob Blumer & Ben Mulroney

Competing Chefs:

Flight #1: Chef Andrea Legacey vs. Chef Justin Downes

Flight #2: Chef Bryan Simmons vs. Chef Justin Miller

The Champion will be crowned at the end of Flight #2, after final scores have been tabulated.

Free with general admission. Patrons are reminded to arrive early as seating is limited. The action takes place at The Royal Culinary Theatre, Heritage Court.



Host Ben Mulroney

Anchor, CTV's ETALK


A veteran of entertainment reporting for more than a decade, Montreal-born Mulroney is an expert in his industry and is regarded by many Hollywood stars (north and south of the border) as a friendly face, a respected journalist and a pro at his job. Mulroney got his start as the Quebec City Correspondent for talktv's The Chatroom in 2000, before becoming co-host on the interactive show in July 2001. He then moved to a new role of entertainment reporter for CTV’s CANADA AM in October 2001. Mulroney was also the host of CANADIAN IDOL for six seasons, which was, and remains, the most successful English language show in Canadian television history.


Recently celebrating his 10th anniversary on ETALK, Mulroney delivers entertainment news daily from the ETALK studio in Toronto, and travels the world to interview the biggest stars – reporting from the biggest red carpet events, including the OSCARS®, GOLDEN GLOBES® and JUNO Awards. He also adds radio airwaves to his repertoire as host and co-creator of ETALK 20, a weekly two-hour radio show that airs on 11 Bell Media Radio stations across Canada.


Host Bob Blumer

World's Weirdest Restaurants


Culinary adventurer, chef, artist and seven time Guinness World Record holder Bob Blumer is the host of Food Network's The Surreal Gourmet, Glutton for Punishment, and World's Weirdest Restaurants. He is also a cook book author and illustrator – the most recent being Glutton For Pleasure: Signature Recipes, Epic Stories, and Surreal Etiquette.  Blumer was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, but now calls Los Angeles, California his home.  When he is not traveling for work or pleasure—which is most of the time—the transplanted Canadian cycles daily in the canyons near his home in the Hollywood Hills, doing his best to stay in shape for his next big adventure.


Guest Judge Chef Jonathan Goodyear

Top Chef Canada - Season 3 Finalist




Round 1: Sunday, June 2nd – 12PM

The Brooklin Spring Fair 

Hosted by Christine Rivard-Denty

Chef Bryan Simmons – Chatterpaul's

Chef Kyle Smeelen – The Great North American Grill by Hilton

Chef Sonia Turkewitsch – kb

Chef Michael McKay – Shrimp Cocktail

Winner:  Chef Bryan Simmons


Round 2: Sunday, September 1st – 11:30AM

Paris Fair 

Hosted by Chef Ted Reader

Chef Andrea Legacey - Devlin's Country Bistro

Chef Matt Lee - The Cedar House

Chef Geoff Clarkson - Wildcraft Grill Bar

Winner:  Chef Andrea Legacey


Round 3: Sunday, September 15th - 11:30AM 

Niagara Regional Exhibition 

Hosted by Christian Pritchard

Chef Justin Downes - Vineland Estates Winery

Chef Matt Hemmingsen - Windows on Rockway by Rockway Vineyards

Chef Darren Stoute - Stoute Catering

Winner:  Chef Justin Downes




Round 4: Sunday, September 22nd – 12PM

The Great Northern Exhibition

Hosted by Dean Hollin 

Chef Philip Tarlo - Collingwood Cooking Academy

Chef Simon Bailey - Georgian Manor Country Club & Resort 

Chef Justin W. Miller - Cabin Bistro 

Winner:  Chef Justin W. Miller





The Royal Chef Challenge continues to be partially funded by the Government of Ontario.  The views expressed in this publication are the views of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.