Hudson’s way: Duncan chef takes to national airwaves in Top Chef Canada Competition

Daniel Hudson -
Daniel Hudson
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It was now or never for Duncan chef Daniel Hudson.

Hudson, 29, just returned from Toronto from filming in the Top Chef Canada competition.

And although he’s been instructed to keep his lips sealed on the outcome of the show, which airs March 18, he’s pumped to tell folks in his community about the experience.

“I had been wanting to do it for awhile,” he explained of the competition that sees the winner take home a grand prize of $100,000, a G.E. Monogram kitchen worth $30,000 and Ceasarstone Quartz kitchen surfaces valued at $25,000.

Fellow chef and mentor, Vancouver’s Dale MacKay, who took the Top Chef title in the show’s first season, put a good word in for Hudson.

Hudson, the owner of Hudson’s On First, had planned to participate in the second season, but had to make a trip back to his home-town in England after his mother died.

When applications for the third season were called, he didn’t think twice about throwing his name in the hat.

“I filled out the application, submitted a video and then I did a telephone interview. They picked me to go to Vancouver where I did a cook-off at the institute and then I waited for about two to three weeks,” he explained.

Hudson was “over the moon” when he got the call to be part of the show.

“It’s pretty surreal to be on TV and to be around all those celebrities and chefs,” he said.

He was one of 16 chefs chosen across Canada to battle it out in the show’s cook-off challenges in front of head judge Mark McEwan, resident judge Shereen Arazm, series host Lisa Ray and a smorgasbord of special guests.

Those guests include WWE female champion Trish Stratus, comedian Russell Peters, Survivorman host Les Stroud, the ladies of The Real Housewives of Vancouver, Juno-winning singer-songwriter Jann Arden, Top Chef: Las Vegas winner Michael Voltaggio, Restaurant: Impossible host Robert Irvine, Chuck’s Week Off chef Chuck Hughes and chef David Rocco.

“It was very big brother-ish, with cameras all the time and celebrities there,” he said. “But it just became part of the daily routine.”

Hudson and his competitors participated in challenges designed to showcase their skills as chefs while impressing with original recipes.

“The comments, the good and bad, you take them on board and my ethic is you got to use them to your advantage,” Hudson explained.

The experience will surely find its place in his day-to-day routine running his own restaurant.

“I wouldn’t have changed anything if I could,” he said.

And business at Hudson’s, Duncan’s newest French cuisine fine-dining, is booming.

“It’s been smoking busy, even before the show,” Hudson said of the restaurant which opened in November and is located on Duncan’s First Street.

Hudson began his cooking career 12 years ago in one of the U.K.’s finest country manor houses, Eastwell Manor.

He trained solely from on-the-job experience, learning and gathering information from head chefs over the years.

He also recently wrapped up a two-year stint with Hilary’s Cheese in Cowichan Bay as an artisan cheese-maker.

Top Chef Canada premieres March 18 at 10 p.m. on the Food Network Canada.

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