Boulevard Chef de Partie Finishes First Amongst Eight of Canada’s Up-and-Coming Culinary Talents to Claim $10,000, Coveted Stage at Acclaimed International Restaurant


From L-R: Boulevard Chef de Partie Connor Sperling, Sperling with Chef David Hawksworth, Sperling's winning dish.

Select the image above to download high-resolution photos.

VANCOUVER, BC (October 16, 2017) — The Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar <>  back-of-house brigade added yet another accolade to its already impressive resume this past weekend when Chef de Partie Connor Sperling <>  took first place at the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship <>  culinary competition finals in Toronto.

After claiming a top spot in the regional heats that took place in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montréal earlier this spring, Sperling, 26, was one of eight up-and-coming chefs from across the country who earned the right to compete in the final leg of the competition before a panel of 12 of Canada’s most respected chefs and culinary critics.

The event was a black-box challenge format where finalists had three hours to incorporate seven mystery ingredients — lobster, rack of lamb, rutabaga, banana, maple syrup, buttermilk and pine mushroom — in a main course and dessert. Sperling utilized his training, passion and talent to create the winning dish of Parsley Crusted Lamb and Butter-Poached Lobster Tail, Roasted Rutabaga, Braised Kohlrabi, Farro Lobster Risotto with Lobster Foam. For the dessert course, Sperling prepared a Vanilla Grapefruit Iced Parfait with Buttermilk Emulsion, Maple Banana Purée and Raspberry Coulis.

“I can’t express enough gratitude to my Boulevard family for giving me the skills, knowledge and confidence to take on what was an incredibly talented field of fellow chefs,” said Sperling. “I could not have achieved this honour without the support and guidance of our incredible team, especially mentors like (Executive Chef) Alex Chen and (Chef de Cuisine) Roger Ma.”

Sperling, who competed against Solomon Mason (La Bussola, Kelowna), Julia Gindra (Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff), Garrett Martin (Bridgette Bar, Calgary), Andrew Lecky (Langdon Hall Country House, Cambridge, ON), Joshua Adamo (Auberge du Pommier, North York, ON), Massimo Piedimonte (Le Mousso, Montreal) and Jon Morrison (Barolo & Co., Moncton) is the fourth BC-based chef in five years to win the competition, following Paul Moran (2013), Michael Christiansen (’14) and Alex Hon (‘16).

The Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation is a culinary arts non-profit created to recognize and inspire young Canadian chefs, whilst promoting professionalism and culinary excellence within the hospitality industry. Through its national annual competition, the program provides a platform for talented young chefs to get a head start with an unparalleled opportunity to work in the country’s leading restaurants. The winner of the competition receives $10,000 and a stage at a selected top international restaurant.

“This competition isn’t just about the food — it’s also a demonstration of the discipline it takes to perform in the kitchen,” said Ma, who made the trip to Toronto to cheer on his colleague. “We can support Connor as much as possible leading up to the competition but it was all up to him to perform under pressure, and it made us very proud to see him look so professional and shine on a national stage.”

Topping the podium in high-pressure culinary competitions is nothing new to Boulevard’s back-of-house team — Chen, who led Team Canada to a top-10 finish at the renowned Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France in 2013, set the gold standard at the 10th annual Gold Medal Plates in Victoria in 2015 and Ma won both the 2015 Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown and the 2016 Curry Cup. Later this month, Chef Chen will travel to Victoria to compete in the provincial leg of the 2017 Gold Medal Plates  competition with the hopes of earning the right to represent BC once again at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, BC from February 2 to 3, 2018. 


October 16, 2017

Effective October2nd, Chris Moreland assumed the newly created role of National Director of Sales for Chesher Equipment Ltd. All Regional Sales Managers, Directors, and Manufacturer’s Rep Agents, now report directly to Chris.

For the past year, Chris has managed Chesher’s Sales Management Training Program. He is credited with doing excellent work to help expand Chesher’s Ontario business, as well as provide culinary development expertise in support of national accounts. Informally, Chris has been Chesher’s ‘go to’ person for training on products and the unique, consultative sales process that takes them to market. Chris Koehler, President, describes this promotion as being a “well-deserved, formal recognition for the outstanding work Chris has already been doing.”

“With almost 400% growth in the last 4 years the time was right to adapt our structure to meet the additional demand.” Koehler said. “Chris has proven himself to be more than ready to assume this role—created to ensure the continued success of our efforts to provide Canada’s best customer service and support to commercial food service operations.” Koehler went on to say, “Now that Miles Chesher has retired from the company, this appointment allows me the time necessary to effectively manage our key business processes (Sales, Marketing, Finance, Admin, Parts and Service) plus spend more time with the top influencers in our market. I’m more confident than ever that we have the right team and strategy in place to meet our goal to double our business over the next two years.”

  • Fipe: 39 million Italians ate out in 2016
  • There has been no crisis in the catering industry, with its 325 thousand enterprises and €51 billion in revenues
  • The catering industry of the future is on display, with hundreds of events featuring famous chefs, celebrity guests, tastings and debates

 Milan, 14th September 2017 - Everything to do with the kitchen: from new products developed by exhibitors to the latest innovations in food equipment, from the most recent food processing and preservation techniques to an in-depth look at the culture of food. HostMilano 2017 will be back at fieramilano October 20 through 24 for everyone who wants to learn more about the catering industry of the future, from young people just setting out in the industry to professionals in search of the latest new developments and new sources of inspiration. With b2b events, meetings with today's top chefs and updates on a continually changing world, the Catering area, along with the Bread, Pasta and Pizza area, promises to be the liveliest part of the Milanese trade fair once again. A place to go for updates, an essential landmark in an industry which has not suffered from economic crisis, either in Italy or abroad.

Fipe: 39 million Italians ate out in 2016

Italians eat out more and more often, with dining out now accounting for over one-third of families’ food expenditure, about 35%, equal to € 75 billion. The figures emerging from a study entitled “Catering, luxury and territory: Drivers of the Italian way of living” (promoted by HostMilano and conducted by Magda Antonioli Corigliano, head of the Master's Programme in the Economics of Tourism at Bocconi University, with Met Bocconi researcher Sara Bricchi) indicate that the industry has started growing again in the past three years, with more than 325 enterprises in operation in the sector (according to Fipe figures for 2016). Italy has more catering enterprises per square kilometre than any other country in the world; more than half of these (53.1%) are restaurants, though the category also includes mobile catering enterprises, such as food trucks. According to the Fipe 2016 Catering Report, 39 million Italians ate out in 2016. Five million Italians have breakfast in a café at least three of four times a week; just under 34 million eat lunch out on weekdays (five million do it all the time), while just under two million Italians eat dinner out at least three times a week. The news is good in Italy’s food production industry too. The latest ANIMA-Assofoodtec figures state that the industry was worth €4.92 million in 2016 (66% of which was represented by exports, worth €3.26 billion); the forecast for 2017 indicates a positive trend, with a value of €5.1 billion and growth in both production (+3.8%) and exports (+3.6%). Speaking of exports, the year 2017 also exceeded expectations in the USA, one of the three target areas that are the focus of this edition of HostMilano, according to the National Restaurant Association. Sales were up over the previous year in the industry as a whole, to $798.7 billion (+4.3%), with 3.5% growth in the tableservice-restaurant segment, where sales totalled $263 billion.

Tomorrow’s catering industry: unique experiences, conviviality, and sharing

In addition to a well-established business platform, HostMilano 2017 will be a true observatory where the whole world can discover the latest trends in new generation catering. In restaurants, pizzerias, bars, delis, fast food outlets, cafeterias and all other food-related businesses, technological innovation and knowledge of new catering models have become essential assets. This is even truer in an age such as our own, in which globalisation has affected individual gastronomic traditions, bringing changes throughout the catering industry and forcing professionals in the industry to address unprecedented challenges. After all, as revealed by the Bocconi study for HostMilano 2017, the very meaning of food has changed: from its primary function of nourishing, everything that is food now plays an increasingly important role in social identification. Styles and choices such as health trends, vegetarianism, and food fads have an impact on “what” we eat and “how” we eat it , though nobody wants to give up the dishes we associate with enjoyment and conviviality. People are increasingly using advanced technologies when they eat out: going onto the Internet or social media to read locals’ reviews when deciding on a restaurant, or using smartphones and new electronic payment methods. Not to mention the fact that new food equipment technologies in the kitchen are permitting creation of recipes that were once unthinkable, thanks to new hi-tech ways of treating, preserving and cooking ingredients. And that’s not all: the decision “what” to eat and “how” to eat it is a part of our culture, and Italian cooking is a true ambassador of the Italian way of living. With the result that these properties make quality dining the ideal international showcase for Italian industry: from farming and food production to furniture and machinery for preserving ingredients and making them into food and wine.

The restaurant of the future, in hundreds of events

Always an essential appointment for anyone working in the catering industry, HostMilano looks at all the latest developments over the past two years with a packed calendar of events in 2017.  Event hosts include APCI, the Professional Association of Italian Cooks, with “Obiettivo Apprendistato” (“Goal: Apprenticeship”), a training project promoted in partnership with AMPI (Italian Academy of Master Pastry-cooks), FIPE (Italian Federation of Public Enterprises), Le Soste and Womentech (Association of Women and Technology). The focus will be on the most talented young people coming out of the country’s vocational schools, selected in a lengthy process which concluded in April in the “A BIT of Taste” area at Bit Borsa Internazionale del Turismo.

Another organisation that will be represented is the National #APCI Chef Italia Team, with five days of cooking shows featuring famous chefs and celebrity guests, tastings and debates. In collaboration with Lavoro & Turismo, interviews will be held with professionals in search of new career opportunities, who will be able to make themselves known and get to know key players in today’s restaurant and hotel industry.

Machinery and items used in kitchens and workshops will take centre stage at Identità Future, HostMilano’s area created by Identità Golose. “The goal is to underline what new things technology can allow us to do, that were very complicated if not impossible before,” notes Paolo Marchi, the man behind the Identità Golose initiative.

Cooks from the Chic – Charming Italian Chef – association will be advocates of sustainable cooking with the utmost respect for our health and the environment for the first time at HostMilano with the ChicRespect brand. All the various production phases within the green approach to the premium catering sector will be analysed, with a focus on waste reduction and ethical consumption.

The Bread Pizza Pasta area will host the European Pizza Championships, organised by Pizza e Pasta Italiana magazine, with the involvement of more than 60 pizza-makers from all over Europe, taking a closer look at the traditional pizza of Naples and the health benefits of one of the world’s most popular Italian foods.


October 12, 2017

Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry

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Made with no artificial colours or flavours, Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry is extremely versatile and so easy to use. Our Pastry Sheets and Patty Shells thaw in minutes and brown evenly during baking. Get ready to impress and delight your patrons!

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CONCORD, N.C., Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As the temperatures begin a slow decline towards teeth-chattering conditions in many U.S. regions, PreGel is turning a spotlight on its cold-weather ingredient flavors. The leading distributor of specialty dessert ingredients has transformed some of fall and winter's most delightful flavors into products that create authentic Italian gelato, classic soft serve, and flavorful ice cream.

Adding to PreGel's amazing line of Super Sprint instant flavored powdered mixes are:

Spiced Apple Cider Super Sprint - 305512 
This instant flavored powdered mix duplicates the invigorating burst of undeniable flavor produced by the pure, unfiltered essence of freshly pressed apple cider enhanced with the dominant tastes of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves.

Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow Super Sprint - 305482 
The trending novelty of frozen hot chocolate just exceeded standard expectations with this new hot cocoa flavored powdered mix. The sweet taste of soothing cocoa enhanced by the essence of real marshmallows make every bite of this irresistible classic a moment to savor.

White Peppermint Super Sprint - 305522 
Invigorating, revitalizing, and accurate to taste, PreGel's new White Peppermint Super Sprint instant flavored powdered mix recreates the appeal of freshly picked leaves from the European evergreen perennial. Though peppermint serves as one of the most popular flavors during the holiday season, its profile proves complementary to other flavors enjoyed year-round.

Fall Flavor Super Sprint Pack - 316010 
If the essence of fall could be bundled into a fantastic group of flavors, it would be PreGel's new Fall Flavors Super Sprints Flavor Pack. Bursting with the sweet tart essence of ripe green apple, mouthwatering salted caramel, irresistibly sweet maple syrup, and the ever-appealing "gourdness" of pumpkin spice, the flavor options boast a selection as crisp and colorful as the season.

Pumpkin Spice Super Sprint - 305402 
Spiced to perfection with a lush combination of clove, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, create America's favorite fall flavor, Pumpkin Spice, with this instant powdered mix.

PreGel's Fall Favorites reMix collection encourages the creation of niche flavors such as caramel macchiato, pumpkin latte, and caramel apple, perfect for the autumn season. Mixing two PreGel Super Sprint flavors easily allows gelato artisans to create an irresistible new menu option. Categories include Coffee House and Fall Favorites.

Outside of the PreGel Super Sprint line, the company also offers the impeccable taste of Europe's famous spekulatius cookie in a quality Traditional Paste:

PreGel is dedicated to supplying outstanding specialty dessert ingredients, as well as unparalleled learning experiences that aid chefs of all skill levels with properly using its products. With state-of-the-art International Training Centers in Charlotte, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and Chicago, IL, and PreGel's 5-Star Pastry Series®, created for advanced chefs, the company lends itself as a dedicated resource for ongoing training, recipe inspiration, and professional guidance. Class registration is available via

Imagery and other marketing material can be found on PreGel America's Resources page.

For more information, visit


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