Vancouverite wins 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship

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It’s another WIN for Vancouver at the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship, as Connor Sperling of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar takes top honours in the prestigious annual competition.

Sperling became the fourth BC-based chef in five years to take the coveted prize spot, besting his seven culinary competitors in an exciting “Black Box” mystery ingredient challenge in Toronto this past weekend.

David Hawksworth Connor Sperling Young Chef Scholarship
Photo courtesy Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship/Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Having won the Vancouver heat in the spring, Sperling, 26, took on the winners of the Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal heats, as well as the other Vancouver-area finalist.

Sperling’s winning dish, as judged by a panel of 12 esteemed food biz veterans, including the contest’s namesake and founder, Vancouver superstar chef David Hawksworth, was a Parsley Crusted Lamb and Butter-Poached Lobster Tail, Roasted Rutabaga, Braised Kohlrabi, Farro Lobster Risotto with Lobster Foam.

Connor Sperling Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship
Photo courtesy Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship/Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

For his dessert, the Boulevard Chef de Partie made Vanilla Grapefruit Iced Parfait with Buttermilk Emulsion, Maple Banana Purée and Raspberry Coulis.

The prize: $10,000 and, of course, bragging rights.

Sperling’s 2017 win follows in the footsteps of 2016 winner Alex Hon of Vancouver. At Boulevard, Sterling works with award-winning chefs and mentors mentors Alex Chen (Executive Chef) and Roger Ma (Chef de Cuisine).