Welcome Back Chef John A. Berry!

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Some of you smart cookies will remember Chef John A Berry as the fabulous auctioneer we had last year at the cook off. This year we are so please to have him back as a judge!

If you are unfamiliar with him, have a read of his interesting and varied bio!

For over 30 years John Berry has been a Canadian Broadcaster and Writer with a cooking problem: He just can’t seem to stay out of the kitchen!

In 1975 he met his mentor and friend, Mr. Martin Yan at CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ontario. Mr. Yan was taping “YAN CAN” at the television station and graciously took some time to show John some “Ancient Chinese secrets” and inspired John to pursue his culinary dreams.  After mastering the wok, John decided to share his skills to help those less fortunate, by offering gourmet dinners for Live Auction at numerous fundraising banquets.

In 1996 John was invited to be a demonstration Chef in Gilroy, California for the World Garlic Festival. There he was introduced by Mr. Yan on stage, and was featured on ABC-TV, KGO Radio Network and the local newspaper. The summer of 1998 saw John invited to return to Gilroy to cook in the World-famous Gourmet Alley.

John has been invited into some of the top kitchens in Canada and has had the pleasure of working along side several Gold Medal Chefs. He has displayed his culinary talents at Edmonton’s Hilton Hotel, Canadian Pacific’s Jasper Park Lodge, Marmot Lodge, Jasper; Delta Hotel South in Edmonton, the prestigious Edmonton Center Club and numerous restaurants in Alberta and British Columbia. He also appeared with Martin Yan at the Edmonton Home and Garden Show in 1996. He has catered meals at the Echo Valley Conference Center and
Off-Broadway Bistro in Fort Qu’Appelle Saskatchewan, the Palm Springs Golf and country Club for a group of snowbirds.

John was also featured as the “Celebrity Chef ” for the Edmonton Woman’s Show (4 yrs.), Cheers ’99, the Wine and Spirits Show, Home and Garden Show, Farm Fair International, The Canadian Boat and Sportsman’s Show for the past 5 years, the Red Deer Fishing Show for 3 years, Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Show, and the Wine Fair in Nisku for the past 4 years.

John returned to school in 1996 and received his “Food and Hospitality Management” Certificate and opened his own successful “In-Home Catering” Company, “John Berry’s Celebrity Kitchen.” In 2000 John was hired by The Edmonton Sun to write a bi-monthly, one full page on food and culinary trends in the Lifestyle section. John’s column ran for 4 years.

John and Chef Judy Wu entered the Canada a la Carte cooking competition in Edmonton in 2001 and walked away with first place. They competed in the Canadian Championships at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver and placed second.

2002 saw John hired by Travel Alberta International to do six cooking demos and help promote Alberta Beef and Tourism in Alberta in several major cities across North America.  Included in the stops were San Francisco and Pasadena California, where he cooked at the Ritz-Carleton Hotel and Sunset Publications Travel Fair, Seattle and Toronto, where he appeared for two segments on Canada AM. He was the featured food writer on the web site: TheEpicurean.com, in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, Ontario and Quebec from 2000 to 2004. He also prepared 13 two-minute radio segments on outdoor and summer cooking for “Let’s go Outdoors” with Michael Short on The Team 1260 Radio in Edmonton. John joined “Edmontonians Magazine” in June 2004 to be their food writer on their “Lively Lifestyles” page.

The fall of 2004 John was invited by Chef Dennis Cummings to be on his team for the Gold Medal Plates competition in support of Canada’s Olympic Athletes. The Culinary Team placed second in the event. In 2005 John was asked back to participate in the challenge that pitted City
against City. Edmonton’s was a Gold Medal performance!

In 2006, Team Billingsgate captured their second Silver Medal. John is currently the Executive Chef at the Lions Seniors Village in Castledowns.

John’s motto: “Good food, fine wine and true friends culminate in the culinary experience of a lifetime!”