Sooke’s own competes on Top Chef Canada

Carl Heinrich is wowing the judges and showing his passion for cooking

Passion for cooking came early to Carl Heinrich

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

When Carl Heinrich was 12 years old his single mother, who had a debilitating condition limiting the use of her hands, got the three kids to cook two meals a week each. At Edward Milne Community School he enrolled in the Culinary Arts program and at 17 he enrolled in the prestigious Stratford Chef School in Ontario and by 18 he was cooking in New York.

Back in 2003, when Heinrich was still in high school, he said, “I’m going to become a chef,” and that is exactly what he did. He has always credited those who supported his early ambitions, including Chefs Edward Tuson and Pia Carroll  both of whom previously worked at the Sooke Harbour House. Carroll is currently one of the chefs for EMCS’ Culinary Arts program.

Now, 26, Heinrich is one of the competitor chefs on Top Chef Canada, a weekly television show airing on MOnday nights on the Food Channel. If he wins he will take home $100,000 and a $30,000 kitchen.

Not bad for a small town kid from Sooke.

We last talked to Carl in 2007 when he first got to New York and was working for Daniel Boulud’s at DB Bistro Moderne.

We talked to Carl last week via email.

 

Q: The last time we heard of you, you were in New York. I understand you are now in Toronto. Why did you leave New York?

 

CH: I left NYC in 2008.  Daniel Boulud was opening in Vancouver and it gave me the opportunity to take a promotion, help open his new restaurant and move closer to family.  If I were to stay in NYC I would have had to do another three-year visa, which didn’t interest me at the time.

 

Q: Where are you working now?

 

CH: My full time job right now is finding a restaurant to buy and run as chef/owner. So, I guess I’m not working anywhere but I’ll let you know when I find the right spot!

 

How did you get on Top Chef Canada?

 

CH: How? I applied and sent in an audition video. I was one of their picks. It was a very straightforward process.

 

Q: What has the competition/show been like so far?

 

CH: I think they did a fantastic job producing and editing the show. Very fast-paced, lots of action, good challenges, and most of all the calibre of cuisine have been high so far. Because it was shot last year it has been very exciting anticipating what the end result would look like and how each competitor would be portrayed.  It’s nice to finally watch it and it’s hard to wait for Monday nights!

 

Q: What is the hardest dish you have had to make and why?

 

CH: That first elimination challenge was a tough one.  We didn’t have a lot of time and everybody was just scrambling around. New kitchen and we didn’t know where anything was… the pots were here but the stove was over there and oven over there and the fridges this way… where’s the salt?  where’s the oil? …and the clock is ticking faster by the minute. I was late getting to the fridge and ended up with quail-a fun protein but certainly not my first choice for a dish that represents my home town! In the end I was just glad to make it through that first round.

 

Q: What would you like to impress the judges with?

 

CH: I would like to just put together good plates every day. The best plate will always win and the worst plate will always loose. In the end I don’t mind not winning, I just don’t want to end up on the bottom. I guess what I’d like to impress the judges with is consistent high quality food.

 

Q: Who is your favourite colleague/co-competitor?

 

CH: We all get along very well. Some of us know each other or have heard of one another. My roommate is Curtis and he is just a great guy, talented too. Kunal was great, Jonny was great, Trista was great, Dave was great, Trevor was great. They were all good people.

 

Q: Have you learned anything from the show?

 

CH: Hmmm. Big risk equals big reward. If you want to succeed sometimes you have to risk losing it all.

 

Q: What would you do if you won?

 

CH: Oh, I don’t know. I’d probably dump a lot into RRSPs to save some cash and maybe take a little vacation… I’ve never been anywhere tropical and Julia, my girlfriend, and I are long overdue.

 

Q: Do you miss Sooke and the West Coast at all?

 

CH: All the time. My parents still live on Sooke River Road and I just never make enough time to be there. I left Sooke in 2003 just after graduating from EMCS and only visit once or twice a year. Toronto is my home now and I love it here, but I would always consider moving back to the West Coast.

 

Q: What would you like to tell those who may know you in Sooke?

 

CH: Top Chef airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. and if you miss it you can watch full episodes on line through Food Network’s website (www.topchefcanada.ca).

My parents also have a viewing party at the Victoria Executive Centre every week.  It’s a great show and a ton of fun to watch.

For those of you wanting to be a competitor on the next season: go for it! It’s a pleasure to represent Sooke, hope I do you proud.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Patience requested from drivers as work begins on realignment of Highway 14 in Sooke

Construction between Connie and Glinz Lake roads expected to take 1½ years

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

As cyclists and pedestrians pass by at Humboldt and Government streets, a garden of blooming black-eyed Susans brightens up the northwest corner of the Fairmont Empress Hotel property on a partially sunny November afternoon. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Keep your umbrella handy for the next while around Greater Victoria

November has lived up to its reputation as one of the rainiest months of the year

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Most Read