When and where can you find two former Top Chef Canada contestants opening a secret basket of ingredients and showcasing their culinary skills?

Easy answer – Wednesday, July 9th @ 5:30 on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage in the Western Oasis, BMO Centre Halls D & E.

It is the start of our Dueling Chef competition as Xavier Lacaze, Concept Chef Briggs Kitchen and Bar goes up against Executive Chef Nicole Gomes, Nicole Gourmet Catering.

Nicole was the last woman standing on season 3 of Top Chef Canada and her passion for cooking and love of food was evident throughout the competition. Nicole was fun to watch on Top Chef Canada and her outgoing personality will be a hit with the Dueling Chef audiences.

Nicole_Gomes edited

Xavier, was in the top 5 of Season 2 of Top Chef Canada and he admits that fat makes everything better so you can imagine how rich and wonderful his dishes can be so he may be looking for a little butter in the Black Box. His wonderful French accent which he says “he can’t hide” is just one reason to come and watch this cook-off.

Xavier Lacaze edited

On Friday, July 11th our next pair of Dueling Chefs will put their cooking and knife skills to the test as Executive Chef Robin Bowen of Rodney’s Oyster House Calgary and Ian Smith, Executive Chef Swine & Sow Wine & Ale House and The Trib Steakhouse do battle on the Kitchen Theatre stage.

Robin is “chef of all things” at Rodney’s Oyster House which will be opening soon in Calgary. He believes that good food comes from the heart and soul and it’s about respecting the ingredients. Chances are there won’t be any oysters in the Black Box but Robin will be prepared for anything.


Ian, of Swine and Sow Wine & Ale House apparently knows his way around a pig courtesy of his apprenticeship at an English restaurant known for its farm to table food. He may win over the mothers in the Dueling Chef audience once they know he credits his grandmother for influencing his love of cooking.

Ian Smith edited

The winner of Wednesday’s competition will meet the winner of Friday’s competition on the Kitchen Theatre stage Saturday, July 12th @ 5:30 to determine who is top Dueling Chef of the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre.

Dave Rutherford will be the MC for all 3 evenings and we have 6 judges who will have the tough job of eating all the delicious food that the chefs will be preparing each night to determine the winner. See the Kitchen Theatre website for further information.

This is a great evening, especially for those who love to watch great chefs cook. Come and experience it up close and personal!