Meet the Chef: Aaron Ivanoff

Aaron Ivanoff began cooking as a child with his parents, and now he's competing for the Culinary Apprentice of the Year Award.

Aaron Ivanoff grew up in the kitchen. As a child, his hobby was cooking with his parents, but he didn’t view it as a career until he was working his first job as a dishwasher. 

“After I saw so many amazing and colourful dishes being created, I knew I wanted to cook professionally,” said Aaron.

Aaron is one of a select few participants from across B.C. who will be putting their skills to the test during the Culinary Apprentice of the Year competition on November 2. 

He currently works at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Prince George and sees the upcoming competition as an opportunity to advance his skills and help him continue to work his way up through the profession. 

“Competitions like this provide the opportunity to network with so many different people in the industry,” said Aaron. “As well, the recognition of your work from experienced chefs and industry leaders is of huge value to up-and-coming chefs.”

Aaron sees cooking as a creative outlet and looks forward to seeing what the other competitors create. “Each chef has their own style, technique, and skill set. Seeing how everyone turns their dishes into works of art will be very inspiring.”

When asked how he’ll prepare, Aaron said he’ll look to his network and seek opinions from chefs as well as research and practice different cooking methods. “The chance to challenge myself is a great motivator,” he said. 

His passion for creating dishes that make people happy is what he wants to continue to do. Within 10 years Aaron sees himself starting his own business in the food industry. What drew Aaron to view the culinary arts as a career is what continues to inspire him. 

“The endless amount of knowledge to gain, the mix of adrenaline and excitement, and the creative outlet that the industry provides has given me the ability to turn my passion into a career.”

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.

Want to start your career as a professional cook?

Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?

The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!