Good Food Innovation Awards Jury

The totally daunting task of sifting through and judging the Good Food Innovation Awards has been undertaken by these three fearless culinarians. 

In 2017 Chef Michael Allemeier CMC was named a Certified Master Chef, the toughest and highest culinary designation in Canada and one that is internationally recognised in the industry as a Master of the Craft.

Chef Allemeier has traveled the world and Canada learning his craft. Prior to joining SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) as a Culinary Instructor, Chef Allemeier has run some of Western Canada’s most exciting kitchens. While in Vancouver BC, Chef Allemeier was Executive Chef at Bishops Restaurant, then Teatro Restaurant in Calgary, AB. Allemeier’s passion for food and wine pairing was realised with the call to man the stoves at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley, BC.

One of his highest profile meals was cooking for Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin during their Vancouver Summit Meeting. His career has received many awards and accolades the most notable occurring while he was Executive Winery Chef at Mission Hill Family Estate, where he was awarded the honour of leading one of the “Top Five Winery Restaurants in the World” by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

As a proven communicator, he has had many opportunities to be on television. His most notable work being one of the principle hosts of Food Network’s – Cook Like a Chef. Chef Allemeier hosted twenty of these very popular syndicated shows. Other guest appearances include: The Thirsty Traveler, Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag, Chef at Large, Great Canadian Food Show and Canadian Living TV to name a few.

A published author, Michael co-authored the book Bishop’s – The Cookbook. In addition to this he has contributed recipes to several cookbooks such as: Anita Stewart’s Canada, Pacific Northwest – Wining and Dining, Cooking with BC Wines, Barbecue Secret Deluxe, Planking Secrets, On Cooking, Vancouver Cooks, High Plains – The Joy ofAlberta Cuisine, Cook Like a Chef, Food and Wine – annual cookbook 2005 and Fresh Canadian Bistro.

Lynn Siegal has been intimately involved with Hilite Foods, her family business, since the inception almost forty years ago. In 1997 she took the sales and marketing portfolio and ever since has been working with chefs; developing strong, trusting relationships and helping them source the freshest fruits and vegetables for their kitchens. Few understand the pressures of running a professional kitchen like Lynn.

Hilite was promoting Ontario growers long before it was cool to do so. Purchasing from the best growers in the province was a matter of pride. In many cases they are dealing with the sons and daughters of the farmers who originally started to do business with Hilite forty years ago.

Lynn has carved out a unique role as Specialty Buyer sourcing ethnic ingredients and becoming a skilled urban forager. She’s a regular in Toronto’s Chinatown, Kensington Market and Little India.

She is the Recipient of The Ontario Hostelry Institute’s 2014 Gold Medal (Supplier); a sponsor of Toronto’s Underground Chef Company battles providing the produce pantry and “secret ingredient”; sponsor of Nella Cucina’s Discovered Chefs Competitions, again, providing produce pantry and black box ingredients. She works closely with chefs participating in Gold Medal Plates and the Bocuse D’or selections and is the Preferred Produce Supplier for the MasterChef Canada shoots.

Ross Macfarlane is the Senior VP – Operations of Les Marmitons International, Inc., an international gentlemen’s cooking club founded in Montreal in 1977. The club now has 17 chapters throughout North America; their motto is “From Friendship to Gastronomy.” Ross is the Founding President of the Niagara Chapter, and has been cooking with the best chefs in the Niagara Region since 2005. He has also enjoyed cooking with local guest chefs at all of the Canadian chapters of Les Marmitons, from Calgary to Quebec City, and looks forward to cooking soon with the newest chapter of Les Marmitons in Halifax. Ross led a group of Marmitons on a whirlwind road trip to New York City earlier this year, to enjoy an evening with Food Day Canada Chefs at the historic James Beard House.

In 2014, Ross was the primary organizer for “Around the Canadian Table,” a spectacular celebration of local food and wine held on Food Day Canada at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery. The event was in support of the Les Marmitons Niagara Bursary Fund, which supports students at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. In the past, he has been a Director of the Niagara Food Festival, and for many years organized and judged the Festival’s Apple Pie Baking Contest. He has appeared as a guest on episodes of “Fresh with Anna Olson” and “You Gotta Eat Here,” both on Food Network Canada.

Ross spends most Saturday mornings at the century-old Welland Farmers’ Market with family and friends, and has no greater pleasure than cooking with his two sons.

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