Culinary apprentice honoured at international competition in Manchester

Mackenzie FergusonA Red River College apprenticeship grad was recognized at a prestigious culinary competition in England last week.

Mackenzie Ferguson, who in 2011 completed RRC’s Apprenticeship Cook (Level II) course, won in the “best kitchen” category at the Concours International des Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs in Manchester. Ferguson’s award was based on his overall skills, appearance, presentation and cleanliness.

The black box-style contest — in which chefs must create and prepare a three-course menu using a mystery basket of seasonal ingredients — is open to competitors under the age of 27. This year’s event drew entrants from 22 countries and featured 12 international chefs as judges.

Now a Red Seal chef, Ferguson serves as the dining room chef at St. Charles Country Club, where he works under the guidance of world-renowned Chef Takashi Murakami, the inaugural recipient of RRC’s Top Chef Award.

Ferguson has racked up an impressive number of culinary awards over the years, including a bronze in the 2008 Skills Manitoba competition, gold medals at Skills Manitoba and the Culinary Arts Salon Competition in 2009, and a bronze at the Skills Canada contest the same year.

He earned the right to compete at the Canadian National Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs by winning the Manitoba competitions in 2014 and 2015, and took top honours at the national level last year.

Photo credit: chainecanada.org (La Chaine des Rotisseurs Bailliage du Canada)