Sydney Hamelin made a name for herself on July 21st after being crowned Top Chef at the Farm and Food Care Chef’s Series at Taste of Saskatchewan. The Chef’s Series is a challenging cooking competition that brings some of our province’s top chefs together to compete for the elusive title. Within the competition, the 12 chefs face off throughout the week with mystery ‘black boxes’ that are filled with Saskatchewan grown ingredients. The winner of each round moves on to face a new competitor until the final chef standing is crowned the title of ‘Top Chef Saskatchewan’. “Winning the Top Chef title is a dream. It is just absolutely amazing, getting to compete against the chefs from Saskatoon. It was a great experience. I learned so much and had lots of fun doing it,” Sydney said.
Hamelin, who grew up in Martensville, is a Chef at Picaro/Cohen’s located on 20th Street East in Saskatoon, and competed against Saskatoon chefs from popular restaurants such as; Browns Socialhouse, Ayden Kitchen and Bar, The Irons Kitchen and Patio, and many more. Hamelin began the battle against Kirk Ermine of World Trade Center Saskatoon at Prairieland Park and moved into the Quarter Final against Dominic Evans of Bar Gusto. From there, Hamelin made her way into the Semi-Final against Chris Corkum of Delta by Marriott Saskatoon Downtown, which took her to the final challenge against Todd Clark from Boffins Public House.
From here, Hamelin will be competing with the Culinary Youth Team Canada at the 24th IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany in February 2020. Hamelin will be competing among 2,000 chefs from more than 50 countries around the world.
Currently, the young chef is in Prince Edward Island learning more about the art and honing her skills for the big competition in February. “I am most excited about going to Germany next February. It is a lot, but it will be an amazing experience and I cannot wait.”
The love of cooking came to Hamelin in grade 10 after she got her first kitchen job through the Sask Youth Apprenticeship program. “I love creating and cooking food. It brings people together. It really is my passion and there’s nothing else I’d rather do,” she explained.
When asked what her advice would be for those wanting to pursue cooking, Hamelin simply replied, “Go for it! Being able to cook well is something you will be able to use for a lifetime.”
Photo caption: Ron, Lyette and Sydney Hamelin