November 7 - 10:30 am
Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms
Just entering her thirties, Chef Ivana Raca has already achieved unparalleled success in what has traditionally been a male dominated field. In her early teens, Chef Ivana was accepted into the Humber College Cuisine Apprenticeship program and by seventeen found herself working in the kitchen at North 44, Chef Mark McEwan’s celebrated North Toronto restaurant. Within three years, Chef McEwan had promoted Ivana to the position of saucier, the first female to hold that position in any of McEwan’s kitchens. She continued to rise through the ranks, eventually finding herself as sous chef on the team that opened ONE Restaurant and at the tender age of 24, appointed as the first female Executive Chef of the food emporium McEwan Foods.
Her passion for food and her stellar reputation brought more opportunities. She had an urge to travel and to expand her culinary experience so she headed to Australia’s Gold Coast where, for two years she worked under Two Star Michelin Chef Paul Froggatt at the Palazzo Versace.
Back in Canada and determined to challenge herself to test her talent and artistry against her peers, Ivana entered one of the first Underground Chef Battles in Toronto designed to showcase up and coming chefs and allow well known and established chefs the opportunity to defend and maintain their street credibility and reputation. To no one’s surprise, Ivana made it to the final round.
Most recently she competed on the American Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped Canada” and will be a competitor on Top Chef Canada- Season #5 airing in April 2018.
In 2015 Ivana opened her own restaurant, Raca Café in Parkdale which was nominated best new restaurant in 2016 by Now Magazine, and ranked 88th by Canada’s Hundredth Best magazine. Now she has become a partner in the universally acclaimed pescatarian restaurant UFFICIO at 1214 Dundas West. There is no stopping this extremely talented, ground breaking, female Executive Chef.
Ivana’s next restaurant- a partnership with Food Network Canada’s Brad Smith- Resto Boemo which opened in Toronto in the winter of 2018.