Toivo Heyduck

Sweet & savoury chef competition helping support vulnerable women

Westshore women’s service club hopes event appeals to foodies

Who can say no to a fundraiser featuring the flavours of chocolate?

On April 18, Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore is hosting the first Flavour of Chocolate culinary event, where six chefs will compete for votes on their special creations of small savoury dishes that all incorporate various forms of the cocoa bean.

Competitors include Michael Nightingale, sous chef at the Four Mile Pub in View Royal, Mark Wadsworth, executive chef at Westin Bear Mountain in Langford, Don Moloney, owner of River Road Specialty Chocolates in Sooke, Shirley Lang, executive chef at Distinction Catering Services in Langford, Pat Hogan, chef de cuisine at 4 Beaches Bed and Breakfast in Sooke, and Toivo Heyduck, a former Chopped Canada semi-finalist and head chef at Bitter Creek Café in Stewart, B.C.

If that’s not enough to tempt your taste buds’ craving for chocolate, renowned chef Matthias Conradi, the pastry chef at Sooke Harbour House, will be on hand to prepare a decadent dessert.

Soroptimist club spokesperson and event co-chair Deb Alcadinho said her group raises funds for projects locally and internationally that support women, girls and their children.

“We are excited to launch Flavour of Chocolate as an annual event to raise awareness for our organization, and support worthy projects on the West Shore,” she said.

Proceeds from the event, which takes place at Westin Bear Mountain on April 18 starting at 6:30 p.m., will help support Anney’s Closet, a free store providing household items for women at risk, and Imagining Possibilities, a one-day conference for women age 16 to 24 that teaches life skills, provides career opportunities information and mentorship.

“We have the ability to create where we recognize a need on the West Shore,” Alcadinho said. “Proceeds will also go toward future projects and financial awards for deserving women in a number of different categories.”

Presenting sponsor Diana Frizell, an advisor with RBC Wealth Management-Dominion Securities, said she is a firm believer in the work Soroptimist International performs in the community.

“Women supporting women not only helps women reach their full potential, it also benefits their families, communities and society as a whole,” she said in a release.

“This event gives me a way to thank the women who have mentored me and worked beside me.”

For more information or to purchase tickets at $75 each, visit There are also a limited number of sponsor tables available at cost of $1,000 each.

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