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Congratulations to Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Chef de Partie and VCC culinary arts alumnus Connor Sperling on winning the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship culinary competition.
After emerging as a finalist in the Vancouver regional heat earlier this year, 26-year-old Sperling went on to wow the judges at the national final held Oct. 14 at George Brown College in Toronto.
The scholarship competitors tackled a black-box challenge, in which they were required to produce a main course and dessert from lobster, rack of lamb, rutabaga, banana, maple syrup, buttermilk, and pine mushrooms.
Sperling’s winning dishes included parsley crusted lamb, butter poached lobster, farro lobster risotto, and vanilla grapefruit parfait with buttermilk emulsion and maple banana purée. Sperling's grand-prize efforts have earned him $10,000 and a stage (culinary internship) at an acclaimed international restaurant.
About Connor Sperling
Sperling’s culinary career began as a teenager washing dishes and helping in various Vancouver kitchens. Deciding to further his career, he enrolled in culinary school at Vancouver Community College where he won the Culinary Arts Student of the Year Competition in 2013 and graduated with top honours. That same year, Sperling travelled to France to support Vancouver’s Chef Alex Chen, who competed in the 2013 Bocuse D’or in Lyon.
He then completed an apprenticeship at La Belle Auberge under the legendary Chef Bruno Marti, and went on to work for Chef Hamid Salimian at Diva at the Met.
As part of the opening team of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster, Sperling has played an integral role in the success of the Vancouver restaurant since 2014. “He’s a dedicated and passionate individual who has great poise and focus. He leads by example and has a very bright future ahead of him,” describes Chef Roger Ma, Chef de Cuisine of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, who attended the national finals to show his support.
Come see where great chefs start. Sign up now for an upcoming info session and kitchen tour by VCC culinary arts.