Andrea Alridge, a Jamaican-Filipina who was born in Canada and raised in Jamaica, will compete in Season 9 of the Food Network’s hit show “Top Chef Canada.” The season begins on April 19, 2021.
Alridge, 30, currently works as the chef de cuisine at the Italian restaurant CinCin Ristorante + Bar in downtown Vancouver. She takes her culinary influences from her background. In a 2019 interview with WestCoast Food, she said that her interest in cooking began when she was eight years old in Jamaica, where she learned the art of butchery from her father and her uncle. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College (VCC) and began her career as a professional chef at the Cactus Club Cafe and the Raincity Grill, where she advanced to the position of sous chef. At CinCin, she began as chef de partie and rose to her current position as chef de cuisine.
Alridge said that food represented a big part of her upbringing. She remembered that her grandmother had once prepared “the most amazing Sunday meal using the whole animal.” She never forgot that meal and from then on realized that cooking was what she really wanted to do because “all my senses were engaged. It was a magical moment,” she said.
In the WestCoast Food interview, Alridge said that her Jamaican heritage was a “tremendous influence” on her career as a chef. In Jamaica, she noted, fresh ingredients are always best, and “the people are proud and intuitive with nature.” Much of the population grows their own produce, and if they don’t, they will search for the best products they can find. This was something that her father stressed. “Our bodies are all we have and we need to treat them with great respect, especially with how we fuel them,” she added.
In the “Top Chef Canada” competition, Alridge will compete against Galasa Aden, 27, of Calgary; Emily Butcher, 30, of Winnipeg; Aicia Colacci, 40, of Montreal; Siobhan Detkavich, 21, of Kelowna; Jae-Anthony Dougan, 34, of Ottawa; Alex Edmonson, 28, of Calgary; Erica Karbelnik, 30, of Toronto; Josh Karbelnik, 30, of Toronto; Stéphane Levac, 41, of Kentville; and Kym Nguyen, 34, of Vancouver.
Photos Source: Andrea Alridge Instagram