North Delta native cracks the top 10 on MasterChef Canada

Trevor Connie says that if he wins the $100,000 prize, he'll use if to open his own restaurant in Vancouver or Hong Kong.

North Delta’s Trevor Connie competes on the fourth season of MasterChef Canada.

North Delta’s Trevor Connie competes on the fourth season of MasterChef Canada.

Trevor Connie has done what many people dream of, but few achieve: make a mark on television doing something they love.

The 26-year-old North Delta native is one of 24 contestants on MasterChef Canada, a cooking competition that pits home chefs from across the country against each other.

The experience, he said, happened “on a whim and out of the blue” and has changed his perspective on cooking. “You’re almost in a little bubble,” he said, “constantly talking about the passion of food.

“[The show has] opened my eyes up to a lot of different cooking relationships and techniques, but also friendships.”

Connie first started cooking, as many people do, at home with family.

“My grandmother [and] my mother were very hands- on in the kitchen with me at an early age. That’s definitely where the passion started,” he said.

That passion was evident throughout his schooling. In Grade 11 at Burnsview Secondary, Connie’s home economics teacher, Mrs. Sharpe, saw that he had something special.

“[She] pushed me into the direction of taking cooking possibly as a career,” he said.

She recommended he transfer to Seaquam for its culinary program, which he did in Grade 12. He joined the Delta School District’s career program ACE IT, which gave him industry training in the culinary arts.

Connie had jobs in various kitchens during high school, but he didn’t continue with professional cooking once he graduated. Instead, he got started in the construction industry, eventually moving to Edmonton to pursue plumbing.

“I always fulfilled my passion for cooking at home,” he said. “I’ve always thought to myself, ‘I can do that challenge. I can do that.’”

Connie is one of the top 10 contestants on the show. If he makes it to the end and wins, he’ll be the recipient of $100,000.

Connie’s ultimate goal is to open his own restaurant, and if he wins MasterChef Canada, he would probably put some of the prize money towards that. But where and what it will be is still up in the air.

“Prior to the MasterChef Canada experience, I was very dead set on Italian food,” he said. “Very tunnel-visioned. But now it’s like, I can’t say what sort of restaurant I would open.”

He suggested that he might move back to B.C. and open his restaurant in Vancouver.

“But maybe if it’s not in Vancouver, maybe I move to Hong Kong or something and it’s some crazy adventure over there.”

For now, Connie’s focusing on the lessons he’s learned during the show.

“By far, the best thing I learned was to be humble about your food and not be arrogant,” he said. “Food is a lot more complex than I originally imagined before going on the show, and I definitely got put in my place a couple of times.”

Overall, Connie said, the experience has taught him to put himself out there.

“I very strongly believe now that if somebody wants to do something…just go for it. Follow your dreams. Follow your passion.

“That’s sort of where I’m at after this whole thing.”

MasterChef Canada airs every Thursday night at 9 p.m. on CTV.