Canadian Pizza Magazine

Selim Louis Dahmane named Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year West at Canadian Pizza Summit

By Colleen Cross, Canadian Pizza   

News Features Business and Operations Trends chef of the year pizza pizza dough

Photo: Colleen Cross, Canadian Pizza

Port Coquitlam, B.C. – Selim Louis Dahmane has been named Canadian Pizza magazine’s Chef of the Year at the Pizza Summit West on July 8!

Dahmane, a first-time competitor in this event, is head chef at Gastronomy Gastown in Vancouver and has worked for renowned chef Alain Ducasse at le Meurice 2* Michelin Star in Paris, with chef Normand Laprise in Montreal and for the Hawksworth Group before taking on his current role two years ago.

His winning pizza, “Passioni,” featured a mixture of four flours, among them whole wheat red fife flour, Caputo Nuvola (“cloud”) flour and diastatic malt powder, fermented for 18 hours at 18 C at 45 per cent hydration. It was topped with lardo, watercress pesto, crushed almonds, whipped ricotta and truffle pecorino and aged balsamic drizzle.

Our top chef used a method inspired by Chef Piergiorgio Giorilli’s technique to achieve a precisely balanced flavour.


Dahmane wins a trip to Las Vegas Pizza Expo in March 2025 and will be featured on the cover of Canadian Pizza magazine.

Fabrizio Busso earned second place and $300 with “Connubio,” representing a marriage of contemporary Neapolitan pizza with a double-baked, maple-wood-smoked dough, and topped with mashed russet potatoes with mozzarella cream, sausage flavoured with balsamic vinegar from Modena and gorgonzola cream.

“Pickled Rhubarb and Nasturtium” by Devon Thor, owner of Vagabond Pies in Victoria, took third prize ($200). Thor’s dough included 10 per cent sourdough and her thin-crust pie was topped with cultured cream, fresh thyme, nasturtium leaves, fior di latte, schinkenspeck, goat cheese, lemon zest, black pepper and pickled rhubarb and colourful flowers.

Esteemed judges for the event were Marzia Molatore, cookbook author, instructor and founder of Bella Cibo, Martin Barnett, executive director of the Baking Association of Canada, and Ilaria Baldan, executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West.

Learn more about our judges here.

At midday editor Colleen Cross led an informative and interactive Q-and-A sponsored by TD Insurance: “Best Practices to Manage Risk in Your Pizza Business.” Gagan Grover, Regional Business Development Manager Business Insurance, and Laurice Hinn, Regional Relationship Manager Business Insurance, TD Insurance, shared best practices to manage risk in your pizza business. Our speakers emphasized the importance of having protocols and training in place for staff to be prepared in the event of an emergency situation, of being clear on the extent to which you’re covered for business interruption and of revisiting your current insurance policy regularly.

The exciting industry trend event for pizzerias culminated in a fun Great Pizza Box Fold-Off in which Justin Tanada, co-owner of Cowabunga pizzeria of far-flung Hamilton, Ont., bested a lively group of competitors by folding 10 large boxes in 59. 86 seconds to win a $100 gift certificate from Annex (Pizza) Bookstore. Tanada showed great sportsmanship by providing pizza boxes to competitors!

We extend a heartfelt thank-you to Sysco as our host and Platinum Sponsor – and especially Michael Audet who oversaw the event and managed the kitchen for competitors. We are grateful for the support of Saputo Foodservice as our Gold Sponsor, TD Insurance as our Session Sponsor, Lactalis Canada Foodservice as our Silver Sponsor and Stanislaus Food Products as our Site-Sponsor, as well as dedicated exhibitors Handtmann Canada and Seaside Paper Products!

And thank you to all competitors, attending pizzerias for bringing your energy and ideas to this annual event!

Watch for coverage in upcoming issues of Canadian Pizza, on our website and here in our Facebook photo gallery. Meanwhile, enjoy our Facebook photo album:

Tag yourself and someone you connected with during the Summit!

See you Oct. 21, 2024, at the Canadian Pizza Summit East at Faema Canada’s showroom and culinary academy!

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