Grace was 21 when she competed alongside David Wong in 2009. Fascinated by culinary competition, which she viewed as an excellent way to progress both professionally and personally, she had taken part in the Canadian selection round for the Bocuse d’Or with another candidate who had not been chosen for Lyon. Having noticed her work, David Wong offered her the chance to accompany him in the venture.
She had also done voluntary work for the Canadian culinary team, and was able to acquire valuable experience for preparation of the Bocuse d’Or.
After the best commis chef prize, she followed up with a series of experiences, including a two-month internship at Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier and two days in the company of Anne-Sophie Pic in Valence, two days that she considers to have been the best professional experience of her life.
After six years of uninterrupted work, among others as a teacher (she loves education, passing on knowledge…), she took a break and devoted her time to studying holistic cuisine to find out everything she could about the links between diet and health.
Nowadays, she has found the job of her dreams. She is administrative coordinator at The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver! Her role is to welcome culinary students, work the front desk reception, assist the Chefs with administrative assistance and help the catering, marketing and office teams. She is delighted to work in this particular Culinary Arts School!
She has found a balance, because she has learned to work a lot but efficiently enough to be able to share in her child’s meal in the evening. Life has taught her that it isn’t necessary to act the way she did when she started out, in a world where everyone wanted to become Gordon Ramsay believing that the more tired you were, the better it would be!
Her advice for commis chefs at the Bocuse d’Or: “Remember that it’s an honour to be where you are. What’s important is the experience itself, what you will learn before the big day. Absorb everything you can. Don’t just think about what you know how to do todyt, but what you’ll be able to do tomorrow thanks to this experience. And stay humble and kind…”