The 2016 Road to The Royal is underway! The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is kick-starting The Royal fun by hitting the road with a chef competition that will pit top local chefs against each other at several regional Ontario events.

The Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal Chef Challenge will take place at six local fairs and festivals across the province.

“The Road to The Royal Chef Challenge is a great competition that showcases the talents of local chefs while highlighting fresh, local ingredients grown by Ontario farmers,” says Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal.

The competition’s first stop is the Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Ontario, on Sunday, June 5. Three top local chefs, Chef Amanda Nichol, Chef/Owner of the Black Sheep Cannery, Chef Elliot Reynolds from The Hubb Eatery and Lounge and Chef Matthew DeMille from Drake Devonshire Inn, will go head to head in two rounds of 30 minutes to create both an entrée and dessert using “secret ingredients” provided to them at the beginning of the competition. The “black box” will contain a selection of products and ingredients from local area farmers.

The winners of each regional competition will vie for the title of Royal Chef Challenge Champion during a final round at The Royal at Exhibition Place in Toronto on Saturday, November 12.

The confirmed schedule for The 2016 Road to The Royal Chef Challenge is as follows with one location to be finalized:

• Great Canadian Cheese Festival (Picton) – Sunday, June 5 at 1 pm
• Barrie Fair – Saturday, August 27 at 1 pm
• Paris Fair – Sunday, September 4 at 1 pm
• Port Hope Fair – Saturday, September 17 at 1pm
• Markham Fair – Sunday, October 2 at 1pm

“Regional fairs and festivals give smaller communities the opportunity to come together to celebrate everything that makes them unique,” says Johnstone. “The Royal recognizes the importance of local fairs and festivals and continues to support them through events like The Road to The Royal Challenge.”