Canadian Pizza Magazine

Canadian Pizza magazine Chef of the Year judges announced

By Canadian Pizza   

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We are honoured to have Diana Cline emcee our Chef of the Year Competition and three expert judges on board for Chef of the Year: Francisco Migoya, renowned chef and co-author of Modernist Pizza, Seattle, Wash., Babette Kourelos of Babette’s Bread in Langley, B.C., and Peter Jacobs, Certified Master Baker and consultant/owner of The Baker’s Workshop in Newmarket, Ont.!

Champion pizza chef and owner-operator Diana Cline will emcee the competition – which she has judged multiple times and won herself twice back in 2005-06.

Meet our emcee!

Diana Cline, Owner and Partner, Diana’s Cucina and Lounge, Winnipeg, consultant to pizzeria owner/operators

Award-winning pizza chef Diana Cline is a two-time Canadian Pizza magazine Chef of the Year champion, three-time winner of “Canada’s Best Pizza Chef” at international pizza competitions and a judge for international pizza culinary competitions in Las Vegas, Italy and France, and for the Canadian Pizza magazine Chef of the Year competition. Diana is partner with Diana’s Cucina & Lounge in Winnipeg and a consultant to other pizzeria owner/operators in menu development, creating operational systems and marketing to help operators grow their business strategically.


Meet our judges!

Francisco Migoya, Chef and Co-Author, Modernist Bread and Modernist Pizza

Francisco Migoya is the Modernist Cuisine head chef and co-author of Modernist Bread (2017), and Modernist Pizza (2021). Modernist Bread has won many awards, including: James Beard Foundation, International Association of Culinary Professionals, and Gourmand cookbook awards. Together with Nathan Myhrvold, he directs culinary research, including the development of new techniques and recipes. He has been recognized as a top U.S. pastry chef and chocolatier, with accolades that include the Medal of Master Artisan Pastry Chef (2013) from Gremi de Pastisseria de Barcelona. Migoya owned Hudson Chocolates in New York and worked at both The French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery as executive pastry chef. Prior to joining the Modernist Cuisine team, Migoya was a professor at The Culinary Institute of America, where his areas of instruction included bread, viennoiserie, pastry, and culinary science. Migoya’s book The Elements of Dessert (John Wiley & Sons, 2012), won a 2014 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award in the Professional Kitchens category.

Peter Jacobs, Certified Master Baker, Bakery Application Consultant at The Bakers Workshop, Newmarket, Ont.

An RBA Certified Master Baker, Peter Jacobs has worked more than 40 years in the bakery and food production industry in North America and Europe. His passion for baking started in Europe in the 1980s where he earned dual diplomas as journeyman baker and pastry chef by the age of 20. He moved to North America in 1990 where he became proficient in bread, bun, cake and pastry production. Since then he has built his skills, training and wide network in a variety of positions in the baking industry.

Peter is the owner of The Bakers Workshop, a bakery-specific consulting company that provides such services as production optimization, efficiency evaluations, formula adjustments and collecting data during the baking and freezing process using an oven M.O.L.E. He is passionate about helping bakeries and pizzerias develop products, improve their production-line efficiencies, develop formulas and mentor new recruits.

Babette Kourelos, Cookbook Author and Owner, Babette’s Bread, Langley, B.C.

Babette Kourelos lives in beautiful British Columbia with her husband, Vasili, and their two Smooth Fox Terriers, Tango and Cash. She was born in South Africa and is of Afrikaans, Greek and Italian descent. She holds a BA and LLB degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. After graduating from Law School, Babette travelled to Vermont to apprentice under the late French Master Baker Gerard Rubaud. Babette ran her own artisan bread bakery and baking studio in Johannesburg for several years before relocating to Canada in 2020. She has introduced hundreds of beginner bakers to the art of bread baking and has been featured in numerous media publications. She has been a guest speaker at several Women in Business events, including many Lionesses of Africa Lean-In Talks. Babette is a two-time Cherie Blair Foundation Mentee Alumni and she was a judge at the World Bread Awards USA in Las Vegas in September 2022. Her debut bread cookbook is due for release in Canada and the U.S. in 2024.

Did you know?

Any pizza maker who meets eligibility requirements may compete for Chef of the Year West! You don’t have to live on the west coast – as long as you are eligible and haven’t won Chef of the Year in the last three years, we welcome you to enter!


See you at the show – two shows in one!

Join us at the Canadian Pizza Summit and Chef of the Year Competitions at Bakery Showcase May 14-15, 2023. Summit sessions and demonstrations happen on Sunday, May 14, and the competition takes place on Monday, May 15. Don’t miss this chance to watch top chefs in action, sample their pizza, pick up ideas for your own pizzeria and meet other operators!


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