After raising more than $2,500 in the Cook for the Cure campaign, Prince Albert resident Desiree Hesson, 25, is off to Toronto on Thursday to compete in the Culinary Showdown.
Cook for the Cure is a nation-wide fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for which Hesson has raised $2,750 to date through various initiatives
including baking and selling cookies throughout her workplace.
“I made probably 20 to 25 dozen cookies,” said Hesson who is “pumped” to participate in the Showdown, where she will meet five celebrity chefs, including Chuck Hughes and Lynn Crawford.
“They (Hughes and Crawford) are my all-time favourites,” Hesson said. “I am going to get to meet them and I am going to just die! I hope they are the same person they appear to be on TV.”
Along with Hughes and Crawford, Hesson will meet celebrity chefs; Mark McEwan, Vikram Vij, Corbin Tomaszeski and Dean McDermott at the event hosted by Tyler Florence.
Hesson along with the other top-50 fundraisers throughout Canada will meet the chefs and receive a 30-minute instructional session with each of them to learn their “tricks of the trade.”
Following the sessions, participants will be randomly assigned to one of the five chefs, forming teams to compete in the Culinary Showdown.
Hesson, who describes herself as a “homemade” type of cook, is unsure as to the details of the competition, but predicts that due to the events proximity to Christmas, there will be some kind of a holiday theme attached.
“I love to bake but if it’s a race against the clock, I hope it’s not baking,” Hesson laughed. “I guess we’ll see how it goes. Steak, burgers, fish, chicken, that’s the kind of stuff I lean towards.”
According to Hesson, who moved from Saskatoon to Prince Albert to work in corrections, she is the second highest fundraiser in the prairie region.
Hesson will head for Toronto on Thursday where she will compete in the Showdown at the Fairmont-Royal Hotel on Saturday.