Candice Ekonomakos

Candice Ekonomakos

Cook, Ritz-Carlton
National Junior Rep for the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) for the Central Region
Culinary Management, 2012

By night, she cooks at the Ritz-Carlton; by day, she helps prepare meals at homeless shelters across the city of Toronto. Devoted to helping the less fortunate, Candice Ekonomakos recently launched a new initiative, called “Cooks with a Mission,” which aims at alleviating hunger and poverty across Toronto.

Ekonomakos grew up in a foodie family. Instead of stories, her mother read her recipes before bed. After a brief stint in business, Ekonomakos decided to pursue what she loved most, enrolling in the Culinary Arts program at humber College in 2010. While at Humber, the Canadian Culinary Federation, Canada’s national association for chefs and cooks (CCFCC), made her its Junior National Representative for Ontario.

Upon graduation from Humber, Ekonomakos was accepted for a prestigious internship at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Restaurant, and then was hired full-time. Inspired by her experience as a volunteer, she launched “Cooks with a Mission” in 2014, which provides low-income and homeless communities with healthy meals. The meals are prepared by volunteer junior cooks using food and equipment donated by restaurant owners from across the city. Ekonomakos was asked to represent the North American Junior Chefs and to speak about “Cooks with a Mission” at the World Association of Chefs Societies Conference in Oslo, Norway, in July of 2014.