Sharpen your knives, because Food Network Canada stars are getting ready to battle it out in the kitchen, for a good cause. An all-star line-up of chefs will descend on Montreal on October 29 for the Défi Culinary Showdown, a live competition, dinner and fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Food Network Canada stars Michael Smith, Mark McEwan, Tyler Florence and Danny Smiles will be joined by Kimberly Lallouz for a head-to-head Chopped-style competition. Chopped Canada host, Brad Smith will host the live event, where chefs will prepare meals for an audience of hungry diners. The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour welcoming guests and celebrity chefs, then the competition kicks off at 7 p.m.


But before the knives come out, chefs will spend the day training their team of culinary assistants, made up of the top 50 fundraisers. If you’ve ever wanted to cook alongside your favourite chef, this is your chance to earn your way to this exclusive culinary event. To learn more, visit the Défi Culinary Showdown website here.

Top fundraisers will spend the day learning the tricks of the trade in Celebrity Chef School.  For his class, Mark McEwan is planning to help his team perfect their seafood skills by giving them a hands-on course in preparing fish.

“I find that seafood is something that home cooks are reluctant to tackle alone,” he said, “And teaching them how to properly fillet a fish is a skill that they can carry with them.”

Besides delivering top-notch culinary training, Mark looks forward to raising awareness for the cause.

“I have known many people throughout the years that have unfortunately had to deal with the effects of breast cancer,” he said. “Being able to bring more awareness to the wonderful advancements and continued treatment of this horrible disease is near and dear to me.”

Not only is he glad to support this cause, he’s primed to step out from behind the judge’s table and show off his competitive side.

“Being put under this type of pressure is a challenge for everyone – including myself,” he said, adding that he’s excited to face off against one chef in particular – Danny Smiles.

“Look out, Danny!” he joked.

While only one team will taste victory, the real winners are the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and the Jewish General Hospital, who have partnered together to help fund research and initiatives which will benefit breast cancer patients.

If you’d like to join in this one-of-a-kind event, please visit the Défi Culinary Showdown website to learn more about how you can participate.