Young Island chef gets taste of fame on Chopped Canada

Published on March 21, 2016

Cobey Adams, chef de cuisine of Fireworks in the Inn at Bay Fortune, tends to the restaurant's massive wood-fired oven in a picture taken last summer. Adams finished runner-up on Saturday's "Cooking with Heart" episode of Chopped Canada. 

©Submitted photo by Cobey Adams

A young P.E.I. based chef got his first taste of the spotlight this weekend.

Cobey Adams, the 24-year-old chef de cuisine of Fireworks at the Inn at Bay Fortune, came close to winning the Chopped Canada "Cooking with Heart" episode that aired Saturday night.

Ultimately, Adams finished as runner-up in the $10,000 competition after losing in the dessert round.

Adams, who impressed the judges with both his speed in the kitchen and flavours of his three dishes, described the experience as both stressful and extremely valuable.

"It was the most intense day of my life by far, but it really was an honour to be part of the whole process," said Adams, who is originally from Mississauga, Ont. "Now that I can look back and really see my experience from another perspective, it was a great learning tool."

Adams is currently cooking at The Mexican Corner in Whistler, B.C. during the off-season for Fireworks.

 Adams' intro in the Food Network episode also listed him as the sous chef for Nectar Restaurant in Dartmouth, since the episode was actually filmed before he began working for chef Michael Smith at Fireworks last summer.

The competition consists of three rounds, with chefs having to use a number of mystery ingredients revealed just before each new round.

Dishes in the appetizer round had to include chicken hearts, seasoned pumpkin seeds, chocolate pie dough and sherry vinegar.

The entrée round had to include maple cookies, a spicy pepper base, cod fillets and baby fennel, while the dessert round ingredients were Canadian brie, fresh ginseng, sponge toffee and chocolate graham crumbs.

Adams said he tried taking some big risks in his dishes, which included creating a "chicken heart mousse," "maple cookie crusted cod," and a "brie and ginseng ice cream."

"It may have been detrimental in the end, but I'm definitely proud," said Adams, who described re-watching the experience as surreal. "It was nice to get a reminder of how I felt in the moment... it was interesting to see how it was all pieced together, I felt it was very genuine."

After completing what Adams described as a "humbling experience," he said he's now looking forward to returning to Fireworks in late May for the restaurant's second season.

Adams began as a breakfast cook last summer before working his way up to head chef at the restaurant, which is characterized by its massive wood-fired stove.

"I think we're all very excited to get back and show what we've learned over the first season," said Adams, noting the restaurant's focus on Island produce. "It's equally as much about passion as it is about creativity and finding ways to use the techniques we all know about but in a style nobody else around here is doing."