Fanshawe student competes to be the next “Favourite Chef”

Artwork of a chef cooking in a kitchen surrounded by equipment and fooid. CREDIT: CALEIGH REID
Voting for the Favourite Chef competition opens May 20 and one Fanshawe student is seeking support.

Fanshawe culinary student, Michelle Erb is putting her cooking skills to the test.

Presented by celebrity chef, Carla Hall, the winner of the Favourite Chef competition will win $25,000, a chance to cook with Hall herself, and an appearance on the cover of Taste of Home magazine.

“My parents gave me a subscription to Taste of Home magazine, and my partner actually saw the contest first,” Erb explained. “So he told me about it, and I signed up.'

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There are two titles up for grabs, the People’s Choice and Carla’s Choice. Voting for the People’s Choice opens May 20. Carla’s Choice, meanwhile, offers competing chefs the opportunity to showcase their plated presentation skills to be recognized by Food Network star Carla Hall.

“[I feel] fairly confident,” Erb said. “I've been cooking since I was young and it's something I really love to do.”

Erb is a student in the culinary management program at Fanshawe and is currently pursuing her dreams of becoming a Red Seal Chef. Together with her partner, she hopes to open her own Smokehouse and Wine Bar one day. If she wins, Erb said she’d make good use of the $25,000 prize.

“The money is always good!” she said. “But also to be able to have time with Chef Carla Hall would be great. I would also love to use the money for a culinary world tour, or to attend culinary school in another country...ideally Italy. “

Erb also acknowledged her instructors at Fanshawe College, noting the ways they’ve helped her prepare for this competition. 

“My chef instructors have been amazing and teaching me how to plate things more professionally and also challenging me to do continually improve,” Erb said.

Visit for more information on how to vote, or, if you’re an aspiring chef, there is still time to register! Erb will need all the support she can get, as the voting process involves several steps, from a top 20, to a top 10, right down to the top five.

“To win this would be such an amazing experience for me, not only to learn from other chefs but to be able to get my own name out there as a rising Chef in the culinary industry,” she said. “The contest is actually a fairly long process through voting and different levels, so every vote throughout the contest would really help me continue to the next level.”