Step 1 Email

If you haven’t already, email Dave Vrolyk at confirm your intent to be a chef.


Step 2 Plan Your Dish

Plan your dish, including how best to serve it. Prepare 100-200 small portions (about 2 bites worth). You will be stationed at an 8 foot table shared with another chef, around the perimeter of the hall. Guests will come to you - you can serve directly on their plate, or use small bowls provided for you at your station. See photos of chefs in action here! You are encouraged to bring what you need to store or make final preparations of your dish at your station, such as slow cookers, coolers and cutting boards. If absolutely needed, a chafing dish can be provided for you.


Do plan to keep preparation on site to a minimum, such as final assembly, garnish, or flash frying. Note that your dish should be able to hold up at safe hot, cold or room temperature for 1.5 hours between drop-off and serving time (see also, timeline below), when you will be in the Chef VIP room eating, drinking and mingling!  You will be issued a charitable receipt for the ingredient costs of your dish.


Celebrity judges and guests will vote on award winning dishes in categories such as apps, soups/salads, mains, desserts and vegetarian. The number of desserts may be limited, so that there are not too many. Award winners receive a chef’s jacket and bragging rights ;-). Award winning dishes have included Rouladen, Thai Coconut Soup, Smoked Duck Bao, Tuna Ceviche, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and more. Those may sound fancy, but many crowd pleasers are much simpler – sliders, curries, pasta dishes, ribs, ethnic street foods, and casseroles all go over well. Plenty of other photos of the event, dishes, and chefs can found at under “Legacy Events”.


So, what makes a winning dish? Put your heart into it. Get ideas from family and friends. Search Pinterest, Allrecipes, or SeriousEats.  Chef organizer  David Vrolyk thinks the key is the right combination of decadence and crowd appeal, a twist of your own, and good presentation. Feel free to invite him for a pre-event tasting!


Step 3 Attend Chef Orientation

Need ideas on a dish?  Have questions?  Want to meet fellow chefs and organizers?  Come on out to this event.  New chefs are especially encouraged to attend:


      March 3, 7:00 pm
      St. George Banquet Hall, 655 King St. N, Waterloo
      Enter at main doors on front of building


Please click here to RSVP with a quick yes/no. 

For the first hour, we will review safe food handling, chef station setup, what makes a winning dish, judging/prizes, event flow, and tour the event location. Thereafter we will mingle together, including with the event planning team. New and returning chefs are all encouraged to attend.


Step 4 Public Health Guidelines

Organizers work closely with Waterloo Region Public Health to ensure safe food handling at the event. Chefs are required to carefully review and adhere to the guidelines in the following two documents (click each one):


Food Safety Requirements for Special Events


Food Safety Special Event Vendor Checklist



Step 5 Registration FormDue March 11th

Once you have planned your dish, you’re ready to complete the Top Home Chefs Registration Form.


Step 6 Public Health FormDue March 11th

After above, complete the Public Health on-line form using the information below where indicated:


Event Name: Top Home Chefs

Event location/address: St. George Hall, 665 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J 4G8

Expected attendance: 450

Event Start/end Date: 18/4/2020

Booth name: Use the name of your dish.

Type of set up at event: “Temporary booth/BBQ”, Indoor

Will a certified food handler be on-site?: “Yes”

Food Menu Items: List ingredients in your dish here (eg. flour, eggs, pork, …) and source (e.g. Sobeys), using “Add a menu item” for more lines. Items from same source can be grouped together on the same line.

How will food be reheated prior to service?: Describe your technique. If needed, note that we can store your dish in the kitchen at hot/cold holding temperature.

Please describe your handwashing station set-up: “Fixed Sink”

How will you ensure a clean supply of service utensils?: “Extra utensils”

What method of sanitizing will you be using?: “QUAT”


Step 7 Event Day Timeline - April 18

Pre-event: Prepare dish at home.

4:00-4:30 Transport your dish directly to St. George Hall, back entrance (use insulated containers to maintain required temperature). Setup serving station thereafter, if needed.

4:30-5:30 Chef VIP Room: “Serbian” style dinner with beer and wine (provided). Chance to mingle, meet celebrity judges.

5:45-6:00 Chefs don aprons (provided), assemble, parade to stations.

6:00-7:30 Serving

8:00 Chef Awards, Live Auction, Speakers

9:00 Live band (TBD) and dance party



Post Event

 Submit your food ingredient receipts in order to recieve a charitable donation receipt.  Use this form.

Chefs in Action