Epic Chef Competition Coming to Celebration Square This Summer


If you love food, summer, and events, there’s something epic happening in Mississauga this summer that you’ll want to mark your calendar for!

Japan Festival Canada (which was initially called Japan Day Mississauga when it first came to the city in 2016) is coming back this summer—and it will celebrate 90 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan (meaning there will be some extra special events to look forward to).

The two-day festival will run from Saturday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Aug. 26 at Celebration Square.

As part of the festival, you can expect a Canada-Tokyo Chef Competition on Aug. 25 on the mainstage!

What does the competition entail?

Well, anyone who is passionate about food can come out and create a special dish that’s inspired by Japanese cuisine or experience. That’s right - professional and casual chefs are invited to take part.

So you don’t have to run a restaurant to come up with exciting, one-of-a-kind menu items. 

According to event organizers, the recipe has to be specially created for this event, celebrating the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations.

Finalists will have half an hour (plus two hours of prep time) onstage to create their unique dish. 

Only two finalists will take the stage, but event organizers are currently accepting applications for chefs who want to participate. 

The application process consists of a few rounds. The first audition deadline is approaching on July 1 for a written application, and shortlisted candidates move on to the second audition where the deadline is July 15, for a one-minute video clip.

For the two chefs who compete on the mainstage, a panel of food critics will actually taste your dish, and the winner will be announced then and there. 

Sound exciting? 

It gets cooler.

The winner gets a round trip Airline ticket to Tokyo, and a tour in Tokyo to experience and enjoy Japanese food and culture, according to the event website.

Just in case you forgot, the inaugural Japan Festival Canada was held at Celebration Square for the first time two years ago and it more than lived up to the pre-event hype. The festival welcomed approximately 40,000 people during its bustling eight-hour run. Naturally, it welcomed even more people (about 70,000) over its follow-up two-day run in 2017. 

The first ever event was held to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Mississauga’s relationship with its Japanese sister city, Kariya. Now, this year’s event is honoring the establishments of their own embassies in Canada and Japan during 1928-1929.

Attendees can expect expanded Japanese food booths, traditional Japanese entertainment, modern Japanese pop culture, state of art technologies and more.

The inaugural event was actually the largest Japanese event ever held in Canada and was organized to introduce “Wa” or “True Japan” to Canadians. The soiree was a huge hit, possibly because it celebrated one of Japan’s greatest and most crucially important exports (food) and was run similarly to a traditional Japanese summer festival (or Matsuri). The day was absolutely packed with spectacles, including drumming, dancing, J-Pop, breakdancing, sake and traditional Japanese food.

As far as food goes, more info on vendors will be released in the coming weeks.

For more information, click here.

Photo courtesy of Japan Festival Canada’s official website

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