Mandeep Dhaliwal has always been a fan of competitive cooking shows on TV.
The chef and general manager of the newly opened Secret Resto Lounge in Newton has also been interested in making food donations to charities, but was always restricted by law from making use of leftovers at the restaurants and hotels he worked for.
Now he’s cooking up a plan to do both: A dash of competing top chefs and dollop of helping the Surrey Food Bank.
On Oct. 25, Secret Resto Lounge (12025 72 Ave.) will hold its inaugural Surrey Canned Gourmet, a fundraiser where two celebrity chefs will improvise their own culinary delights using canned food donated at the event – without knowing in advance what will be brought in by visitors.
The event will have three judges and what Dhaliwal hopes will be an enthusiastic crowd.
“It’s entertaining when people cook, right?” he says.
The first chef Dhaliwal has snagged for the event is Dominique Dien, the executive chef of Sysco Vancouver (a restaurant food supplier), a former worker at Maxims, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Paris, as well as a chef or executive chef at four Toronto hotels over the last three decades: Four Seasons Inn on the Park, Sutton Place Hotel, Bristol Place Hotel and Park Plaza Hotel.
Dien is also said to have been a personal chef to the Shah of Iran.
A second chef, expected to be an acquaintance of Dien, will be announced at the event.
Surrey Canned Gourmet, which begins at 6 p.m., will include a silent auction for hotel stays, gift certificates at restaurants, chiropractic and massage services and donated items from Molson Canadian.
Admission is free, but donations of canned goods – for the competition, as well as the Surrey Food Bank – and money are encouraged.