Next week David McMillan flies to Toronto to defend his title as best griller in Canada for Nando’s restaurants.
The 22-year-old head griller for the Langford Nando’s won the Canada-wide competition last year for his expert grilling and presentation of the eatery’s signature dish – peri-peri chicken – and travelled to Australia to compete against grillers from around the world.
“It was pretty badass to call myself the best griller in Canada,” he says of the whole experience. “My brother thinks it’s the best thing. He’s always saying ‘you’ve got to try his grilled chicken!’”
McMillan says the trip to Australia was a great experience. “They’re all just one big happy family.”
Competitors are judged on everything from the grill marks on the chicken, plating, method of basting and overall appearance.
“It’s the art of the grilling,” says Micaela Smith, patrao (general manager) for Langford Nando’s. “The attention to detail is extreme. It was the attention to detail that won (McMillan) nationals last year.”
The defending champ admits he’s been thinking about how to better his game for the upcoming competition. “I’ve tried to tighten it a little.”
If he wins or finishes second at the nationals, he’ll be flown to the U.K. at the beginning of October for another shot at the company’s world title. He’s excited, but says he’s not stressing about winning international fame.
“As long as I win Canada!” he says, laughing.