VCC instructor awarded Certified Master Chef status

Vancouver Community College (VCC) instructor Tobias MacDonald has become Canada’s second Certified Master Chef (CMC). Chef Tobias was the only one in his class to successfully pass testing and receive the highest culinary designation in Canada.

Proud of his achievement, Chef Tobias is excited to share his experience with his students. “I endured many sleepless nights to see this through,” said MacDonald after receiving the distinction. “I'm so happy to be finished and bring this honour back to Vancouver to pass on all I have learned to the great students we have at VCC.”

To receive the Certified Master Chef distinction, MacDonald completed an intensive two-year program that was developed by industry master chefs and faculty from the Canadian Centre of Culinary Arts and Science at Humber College. After completing the eight areas of study, students had to complete five days of practical examinations where they were judged on plated desserts, handmade chocolates, artisan breads, cake, a buffet platter, a five-course gastronomic menu and a vegetarian three-course meal complete with a nutritional analysis.

The judging panel included a food scientist, Certified Master Chefs from across North America, as well as some of the pioneer Canadian chefs.

MacDonald adds this credit to a long list of culinary achievements. In 2005, he joined Culinary Team Canada to compete in Basil at the Salon Culinaire Mondial where they received two gold medals and first place in the hot kitchen. In 2006, the team competed in Luxembourg, where they won three gold medals and fourth overall.  Then as captain of the team, MacDonald went on to win gold medals in every Culinary Olympics since. In October 2010 he competed for the right to represent Canada in the WACS Global Chef’s Challenge, winning the semifinals for North and South America; in 2012 he placed third in Korea for the Title of WACS Global Chef.

“The opportunity to study culinary with a Certified Master Chef is an opportunity most won’t have in their careers, “says Collin Gill, culinary arts department head. “VCC and our students are incredibly fortunate to have such talent to guide our aspiring chefs.”

Award-wining chef-instructors train students in all aspects of culinary creations in VCC's five student-run restaurants:JJ's, Four Corners, the VCC cafeterias, and the Asian food counter.

VCC’s graduates are sought after by the restaurant and hospitality industry locally and internationally. Intakes for Culinary Arts programs start monthly, prospective students can find information at

VCC celebrates 50 years of inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals, offering post-secondary training in 125 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades and performing arts.

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