Canada’s Top Chef might just come from West Kelowna - InfoNews

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Canada’s Top Chef might just come from West Kelowna

Paul Moran, who grew up in West Kelowna, is in the running to win Top Chef Canada on the Food Network.
Image Credit: From the Top Chef Canada web site.
May 10, 2019 - 7:00 AM

WEST KELOWNA - Paul Moran is a Tofino chef with deep roots in West Kelowna and he has a good chance to win $100,000 plus other prizes if he becomes Top Chef Canada on the Food Network’s premier show.

There are only five of the 12 chefs left in the competition with two episodes to go. The show wraps up its seventh season on May 20.

Moran, a chef noted for foraging his own wild food for his kitchen at Tofino Resort and Marina, was born in Vancouver but grew up in West Kelowna, according to his brother Scott, who still lives locally. Paul wasn't available to chat with us, so we asked Scott Moran if he could fill us in. 

"Some people hunt, some people fish,” Scott told “We pick mushrooms.”

While the Top Chef Canada website bills Paul as a fifth-generation forager, Scott only harkened back a couple of generations for his family doing some sort of foraging.

Scott wrote a column on foraging for for a couple of years and currently sells wild herbs, mushrooms and foods at Kelowna Farmers’ Market (under the Everything Wild banner) and teaches about 10 chefs in restaurants from Osoyoos to Lake Country how to cook with wild foods.

He headed out today, May 9, to Castlegar to hunt for one of his favourite things, morel mushrooms, but will be back in time for Saturday’s farmer’s market.

Both brothers journeyed to Europe a few years back to hone their skills, Scott more in foraging and Paul in cooking.

Now, Scott says, Paul free dives off Tofino for seafood and teaches apprentice chefs to hunt wild mushrooms.

So, does that give Paul an edge when it comes to fighting for top spot amongst a dozen of the best chefs in Canada?

Scott thinks so.

“These (wild) ingredients are becoming a lot more popular,” he said. “It seems that every episode of Top Chef has some kind of wild mushroom available.”

Being familiar with all kinds of wild foods definitely gives Paul an edge when it comes to selecting what to cook on the show, Scott said.

Top Chef Canada airs every Monday at 10 p.m. on the Food Network.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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