TORONTO — Shawn Whalen, executive chef at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, has received the prestigious Certified Master Chef (CMC) designation — becoming the designation’s fifth recipient.
The CMC professional designation under the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) is the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada. Developed by industry master chefs and faculty from the Canadian Centre of Culinary Arts and Science at Humber College, the CMC accreditation is uniquely challenging. All chefs must be extremely skilled and well-rounded in a multitude of areas within the culinary arts to receive the certification.
Chef Whalen completed the program over a seven-year period, as he completed two years of theory before taking a few years off to focus on his family and began his role at the InterContinental Toronto Centre. The final test was taken in August with five days of intense examinations in areas including: garde manger, baking, gastronomic with wine pairing and nutritional vegetarian lunch menu. Not only are the candidates tested on taste, composition and presentation, but also nutritional balance and overall healthiness of the dishes.
“We are beyond thrilled to have our executive chef attain this culinary achievement. To have the skill, discipline and creativity to complete this exam says a lot about a chef,” says Alexi Hakim, general manager of the InterContinental Toronto Centre. “Chef Whalen’s talents really shine through in our food-and-beverage outlets — from the creation of the menu to the impeccable flavours of each dish, he puts his heart and soul into his work and it doesn’t go unnoticed by the guests who dine with us.”
“There are no words to express, how grateful I am to be a part of this exclusive group of talented chefs who have completed this culinary achievement before me,” says Whalen. “I’m excited to bring my knowledge and experienced gained on this journey to the hotel and will continue to deliver exceptional dining experiences for our guests.”