Victoria amateur chef off to Toronto to film TV food show finale

Stephen Childs donates part of his first-round winnings to local charity

The cooking is done for Stephen Childs of Vic West

Victoria amateur cook Stephen Childs, whose chipotle chili bites captivated the taste buds of TV judges on Recipe to Riches, heads to the Big Smoke this week as he vies for the top prize of $250,000.

However, there’ll be no cooking involved for the season finale in Toronto, which airs next week on Food Network Canada.

Online public voting, starting Wednesday (Dec. 5) and ending Friday, will determine the overall champ amongst the seven category winners.

Through the whole process of going on TV, having his likeness appear on a President’s Choice package containing his now-marketed food creation, and qualifying for the big prize, Childs said he’s been taken back to his childhood.

His father passed away from cancer 10 years ago, and Childs has found himself transported back to experiences of going to diners together with his dad and cooking in the kitchen as a kid with his parents.

“I have some wonderful memories around the family and food,” he said, noting that he is creating new food memories with his wife and young daughter.

Last week Childs extended his good fortune into the community, donating $3,000 of the $25,000 he won on October’s savoury snacks episode of Recipe to Riches to the Mustard Seed food bank.

“That sort of came out of the first idea, of both my wife and I entering this year, us asking ‘What would we do if we won?’” he said. “It’s money out of nowhere and you don’t get that very often in life.”

He pointed out that every dollar donated to the food bank can buy $3 worth of food.

“That’s a pretty significant investment and return for them.”

Regardless of how the final turns out – he admitted it really is largely out of his hands – he hopes to encourage more people to look at donating to charity at this time of year.

Online voting can be done at between 9:01 a.m. PST Wednesday to 1:59 p.m. PST Friday (Dec. 7). The final episode airs on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

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