"I'D LIKE TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO THE CULINARY COMMUNITY."
KELOWNA – The cooking world will soon get a taste of what Kelowna cuisine has to offer.
Evelynn Takoff is the head chef at Micro Bar and Bites and was recently named one of 13 Canadians selected to appear on the hit Food Network show Top Chef.
“I think I’ve always had a passion for cooking,” says the 28-year-old Takoff.
Although she has only been cooking professionally for six years, she says her love of cooking started at a young age.
“I was exposed to a lot of good cuisine growing up,” she says. “My family would always cook dinner and I got to be a part of that.”
Takoff is the first Okanagan resident to make it onto the show, which is the highest-rated on the Food Network.
“I think it’s important to show younger women who are successful in their career,” she says. “It’s nice to see women succeeding at the top level.”
Now that the show has finished taping, Takoff says she is eager to see how it comes across to the viewers.
“I tried to just be myself,” she says. “No matter what anybody else thought I was just myself. It’s so stressful and crazy all the time, if you’re not yourself or you try to act like somebody else, you just wouldn’t be able to do it.”
To get on the show, Takoff had to fill out an online application and submit a video explaining why she’d be a good contestant. She says her passion is in using local ingredients, which she also learned from a young age.
“I really enjoy using local produce but I also like incorporating a Mediterranean style into the cuisine that I cook,” she says. “Growing up on a farm I really got a good understanding of where food comes from.”
She says if she wins the $100,000 prize, she wants to use the money to help others in her field.
“When I originally applied for the show my idea was to put the money, if I won, towards a scholarship program to help young cooks who want to become better and further their education.”
“I was very fortunate that I had a lot of opportunities in my early stages of my career and I’d like to give something back to the culinary community.”
Top Chef will air March 10 at 10 p.m. PST.
This is Evelynn Takoff's audition tape, which she produced with the help of several friends in the film industry.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250) 718-0428 or tweet @AdamProskiw.