After numerous quick and elimination challenges, season 10 offound an exciting conclusion on the Cayman Islands. It all came down to Trevane 'Tre' Sanderson from Toronto, ON and Deseree 'Dez' Lo from Vancouver, BC. In the end, Tre reigned victorious, becoming the first black winner ofTop chef Canada.
From the start, Tre proved that age is just a number by winning the first elimination challenge with his jerk shrimp. Throughout the competition, he continued to showcase his culinary skills while staying true to his Jamaican style and flavors.
The ultimate rapid-fire challenge was to take a fresh local fish and cook it over a wood-burning grill while you grilled aTop chef CanadaQuality dish Tre received Ballesta, a scaly white fish with a sweet taste. We watched him fight as this was a fish he had never used before, but he rallied and made it to the final challenge.
In an "Old School vs. New School" battle, Dez and Tre were challenged to serve a five-course tasting menu for theTop chef CanadaJudges Assisted by fellow competitor Camillo as his sous chef, Tre served up a menu inspired by his childhood with influences from his Jamaican heritage.
His second entree, a chicken breast with curry, yams, Jamaican mashed sweet potatoes and meatballs, didn't wow the jury as much as he'd hoped. Judge Mark McEwan also believed Tres Dessert, a spiced rum cake topped with glazed caramelized bananas and cashew cream, was somewhat safe at the end. However, his other dishes, including a red snapper escovitch with caramelized shallots and roasted mashed peppers, blew her mind, and Tre ended up earning the title of Top Chef Canada.
Related:Top Chef Canada Season 10: Meet the host and the judges
Following his win, we caught up with Tre to reflect on the season and find out what's next for this talented young chef.
Congratulations on winning! How do you feel?
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Honestly, so many different emotions and stuff like that, it's new to me. It's almost overwhelming, but it's also satisfying.
A milestone and historical moment for your victory is that you are the first black winnerTop chef Canada. Congratulations on that too. How does it feel?
It's so historical. You look at the industry and...to me I've been doing this for over 10 years and to be the first black chef to win this competition is iconic, it's historic...memorable...and it's inspirational! This means a lot to me and I'm very excited for what's to come next, for the next generation. I hope I can inspire younger black chefs who want to be top chefs like me.
What was the most difficult part of this competition for you?
I think the hardest part was not knowing what was coming next. Every day we were challenged, faced with new challenges and cooked somewhere else. It was tough, you never know when or who would be going home next.
But you just have to keep going and keep pushing and adjusting and adjusting.
On the other hand, apart from winning, what was the best thing about the competition?
I think the most rewarding part was getting in the top four and flying to an island. I'm an island boy at heart so cooking there to compete for the title was very rewarding. I almost felt like the season was meant for me in a way.
Have you felt more comfortable cooking on the island?
Honestly yes. I think because of [of] some of those ingredients... I grew up on those things. Having it [in] a fresh form, like fresh fruit, akee, red snapper, literally caught on the day... it's so fresh, it's so good, it's so beautiful. A place packs a punch when the ingredients are fresh. So I was very excited and felt more comfortable on the island.
Did you feel like there was someone who was your biggest competitor all season?
Not honest! When I entered this competition, I wanted to give everyone a chance. We are all here for a reason and we all have a story to tell. The 10 chefs were my competition.
Related:Top Chef Canada Season 10: Meet the contestants
In the last episode you competed against Camillo and Deseree.. Were there any skills that made you nervous about making it to the final?
The only thing that worried me was that these chefs had a bit more experience than me. These are chefs performing. [Deseree] works in Michelin star [restaurants] in New York. Camillo won numerous cooking competitions before becoming a top chef under the tutelage of the Season 8 winner. That's huge! They know what they're doing and they have a plan, but that didn't scare me. You know I'm on the island, I'm cooking [the] food I know!
How did it feel having Camillo as your sous chef for the final challenge?
Ideal. I think before that, when we were the two youngest, we both wanted to compete against each other. But the fact that he helps me execute my menu just shows that he's talented, that he knows what he's doing. He has a great attitude towards food and I respect him very much. Cam, who was my sous, was ill. It was definitely something to remember. I would definitely like to work with him in the future.
He also enjoyed some time chatting with Executive Chef David Zilber. What was one of the best pieces of advice he gave you?
One of the best pieces of advice Dave gave me was to stay true to yourself. You know, don't do anything crazy. A lot of the food I already cook is as high as a Michellan level because of how flavorful it is. So don't try to do anything crazy or out of the ordinary. You just stay true to yourself.
That seems like something you've been doing all year. competence.You were true to yourself and your taste.
Yes, that's the thing! This is food I know and grew up with, so I wanted to take some of the techniques and flavors I've learned along the way from different cuisines and different chefs and really try to make it my own. I think a lot of chefs like to imitate or copy and paste. For me [I want] to give my own name to my food and cooking.
Related:Meet NewTop Chef Canada judge David Zilber
You said yourself that before this competition you had the least experience. Do you think that gave you an advantage?
I don't know if it gave me an advantage, but it made me hungry. It made me push hard. We were all chosen to be on the show and fight for the title. It definitely helped me because I had a chip on my shoulder and it really pushed me.
I really tried to prove the skeptics wrong. I don't need small steps to get to the top. I don't have to take my time when I'm learning different things. I'll bet on myself and show what [I] can do at a high level against some of Canada's best talent.
In the Cayman Islands, he mentioned that chef Kerryann Burnett inspired him because she runs a fine-dining Caribbean restaurant. Who else inspires you in the culinary world?
Adrian Stark. Adrian is in [Top chef Canada] and to see him become so successful and have his own cookbook. He paved the way for many of us young black chefs and is an ambassador for the future of Jamaican cuisine. It has definitely inspired many of us like-minded chefs like me, taking Jamaican cuisine to a higher level.
Your last 5-course meal was inspired by your childhood. If you had to serve one dish that represented this Top Chef Canada journey, what would it be?
It would be the classic Jamaican burger, but in the Wellington format. I would take a steak and eat it on a brioche turmeric spice cake with a nice Jamaican mashed sweet potato.
You are from Toronto. What are some of your favorite restaurants in town?
What advice do you have for any chef looking to move on?Top chef Canada?
The advice I would give you is to be yourself. Don't try to settle down and do things you've never tried before. Believe in you. Believe in the cuisine and food you know and just cook with your heart. That got me through the whole competition. I know what my style is. I know what I want to do and I know what I'm striving for and that takes Jamaican cuisine to another level.
Be creative. Have fun. Having fun is the most important thing! It was [the funniest] ever. I screamed with all my might!
What's next? What will you do now?
Right now I'm planning pop-ups all over town with local chefs. In the near future, In The Palace will come to life. This is a restaurant! Funny, exciting, varied, different. I really want to change up a bit what the food scene is like in Toronto [with a] different type of space and restaurant. Showcasing various talented chefs across the city. take care of yourselfThree! See what he does below.
This interview has been edited and abridged.
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