Meet the Chef: Aaron Hoffman

Aaron Hoffman hopes to find the most effective way to develop flavours during the Culinary Apprentice of the Year Competition.

Aaron Hoffman has come a long way from taking the cafeteria program at his high school to receiving his Red Seal certification from Vancouver Community College earlier this year. And now he’s one of the participants in the Culinary Apprenticeship of the Year competition on November 2.

“In high school, when I took the cafeteria program, I would always be looking to learn more and sign up for catering events,” recalls Aaron, a cook at the Grand Colette Café in Vancouver. “I fell more and more in love with the industry. The connection between food and art is unique in so many ways. I also love the fast pace, and chefs are so passionate about the food they make and the ingredients they use.” 

Aaron isn’t new to competitions—he’s taken part in seven so far. But with each one, he hopes to develop his skills further and push himself to find the most effective way to develop flavours. 

“Competitions make chefs precise with their movements, faster, and more efficient,” he said. “Knowing that your time is limited and you have to make every second count means you can’t afford to make any mistakes.” 

He’s preparing for this competition through “practice, practice, practice” and said all the chefs he’s worked for and come to know over the years have inspired him to push himself and become better every day. 

Aaron believes competitions help young chefs connect with each other, build relationships, and get more exposure to the culinary industry. 

“I find different opportunities that make me want to push harder and harder,” said Aaron. “In the coming years, I want to keep pushing myself to do competitions and work hard in the industry. I want to enjoy what I do as a young chef, day in and day out.” 

The Culinary Apprentice of the Year is sponsored by Chefs’ Table Society of BC, Vancouver Community College, and Industry Training Authority, along with BC Chefs Association, North Vancouver Island Chefs Association, Okanagan Chefs Association, and Victoria Chefs Association. Additional partners include Russell Hendrix, Intercity Packers, Gindara Sablefish, Cacao Barry, Cactus Club Cafe, Cascadia Tableware, Icon Fine Wines & Spirits, Chef & Co, and House of Knives.

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