What do you get when you put a Californian, a hula hoopster, and a culinary graduate who finished at the top of their class, together? You get a world-class chef with the title, ‘Top Chef Saskatchewan’, apparently.
Dana Chadorf, the aforementioned acclaimed chef originally from New Jersey, snagged the coveted title at the Farm and Food Care’s ‘Chef’s Series’ stage July 22nd at this year’s annual Conexus Taste of Saskatchewan. Chadorf is the Junior Sous Chef and right hand to the highly touted–and new member of the Canadian Culinary Federation Honour Society–Executive Chef, Anthony McCarthy of The Saskatoon Club. Talk about a kitchen with bragging rights, right?
The Chef’s Series is an annual cooking competition in Kiwanis Park, featuring 12 top Saskatchewan chefs. The culinary battle occurs throughout the week, based on mystery ‘black boxes’ filled with Saskatchewan-grown ingredients left to the chefs to make use of. The winner advances to the next round, with a final showdown for the name of “Top Chef Saskatchewan”–a title not too many would scoff at.
When she’s not stirring and straining in the iconic club’s (shiny new) kitchen, she’s working out, hula hooping, or teaching cooking classes at the local kitchen. She’s also a serial philanthropist and runs classes throughout the year to fundraise and build awareness for MS. A big heart and a good cook–we get how she got where she is.
It was only 29 years ago that the 108-year old Saskatoon Club was a mens-only club. Today, it continues to stand as a member’s only establishment, but hosts a variety of ticketed events so non-members too can relish in world-class cuisine it so proudly boasts. Prairie Food Faire, as mentioned in our previous blog, was one example and the pre-show Wine Premiere Dinner on September 20th (the third year in a row the Club is hosting) will be another (click here for more info). By the way the wonder-working chef describes the preparation involved in this gourmet feast (with exquisitely-paired wine), patrons will be wined and dined to the nth degree, leaving undeniably satisfied and probably a couple buttons looser.
In a kitchen with fun as the key ingredient (really though, with Anthony McCarthy leading the way, would you expect anything else?), Chadorf says it’s not hard to stay inspired and constantly evolving. “Anthony loves to have fun in the kitchen,” the culinary queen beams. “And you have the room to do that when you’re as skilled and talented as he is.”
And we don’t see Ms. Chadorf too far behind him. With her stacked resumé and jet setter adaptability (did we mention she met her Saskatchewanian husband in the streets of Las Vegas and moved here from San Diego?), she’ll undoubtedly be one of the most sought after chefs in the country and we bet she won’t even have to jump through too many (hula) hoops to get there.