Cowichan Valley chef Dan Hudson ‘Chopped’ champ

Dan Hudson celebrated with friends and supporters Saturday night, Oct. 1, as he could finally share his delight at winning $10,000

Valley chef Dan Hudson celebrated with friends and supporters Saturday night, Oct. 1, as he could finally share his delight at winning $10,000 on an episode of Chopped Canada.

The episode, entitled “Cooking for Love” saw John Michael MacNeil, 33, from Calgary, Romain Avril, 29, from Toronto, and Jillian Broadley, 47, from Bowmanville, Ont. pit their skills against Hudson in an episode of the popular cooking contest’s third season.

The chefs had to shuck their way through the appetizer round, which gave them baskets containing such items as west coast oysters, hot dogs, Chinese fish paste and kale salad mix.

That saw Broadley eliminated when her oriental style salad rolls fell short, according to judges Roger Mooking, Lynn Crawford, and Antonio Park.

So, it was three guys who enthusiastically tackled combining double smoked bacon, banana ice pops, sunchokes, king oyster mushrooms and partridge for an entree.

Hudson prepared his partridge two way, with his mushrooms drawing raves from the judges while John MacNeil prepared for an early departure to Calgary.

Finally, Hudson and Toronto chef Romain Avril were facing off over a basket containing cinnamon bark, artichoke bitter aperitif, macadamia nuts and oranges.

This was the round where Hudson really showed his prowess, finishing three minutes ahead of the deadline and even making the cheeky decision to take time out for a bottle of beer.

Who doesn’t like a chef with an attitude?

The judges loved his dish, too, awarding Hudson the $10,000, which he says is going towards his daughter’s education.

“I’m so happy. I’m over the moon,” he said afterwards. “A massive shout out to Romain Avril for a hard fought battle.”

Chopped was not Hudson’s first time on a TV cooking program. He was one of the contestants during a season of Top Chef Canada a couple of years back, but didn’t quite make it to the finals.

“It was great to finally get some redemption,” he said, following his Chopped victory. “I’m one of the top chefs in Canada and it’s proof that I’m good at what I do. It was a lot better this time than Top Chef because I knew more what to expect. I was a lot more at ease this time.”

Hudson also said he had been able to talk to some friends who had competed on Chopped, and that they’d been able to give him some good tips on how best to cook for the judges.

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