At just 21 years old, Siobhan Detkavich is the Chef de Partie at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in Kelowna, British Columbia. She also happens to be the youngest chef to ever compete on Food Network Canada’s hit show Top Chef Canada. As one of Canada’s youngest Red Seal certified chefs, she already has an impressive culinary resume, including winning a bronze medal for cooking at the Skills Canada National Competition
When I have done competitions, I’ve typically been the youngest competitor,” said Detkavich. “Throughout my career, there have been times when people have doubted me because of my age, especially coming from an Indigenous background. Growing up with that, it just fuels something from deep down. It’s a huge deal for me to be on Top Chef Canada, not only because I am representing a younger generation, but I am representing a young Indigenous nation.”
Detkavich’s family lineage traces back to Hawaii. Her family (still to this day) stretches across the Big Island, O’ahu, Lanai and Kaua’i. She is a descendant from a long line of chiefs with records dating back to the royal family. “It’s been nothing but honourable to know who we stem from,” she said. “Once the journey was made from the Hawaiian Islands to the shores of Vancouver Island, that’s when the next part of our story began.”
Originally, Detkavich’s family came to be within Tseycum First Nation, and it wasn’t until her great-great grandmother asked for a transfer that they became part of Cowichan Tribes. “We are part of the Thunderbird and Fish Head Clans,” explained Detkavich, “and we share the history of the Hul’qumi’num Peoples, and the trials and tribulations they endured.”
Unfortunately, Detkavich did not grow up with her island family, but has made it her mission to gather information about her ancestors. “It’s been an amazing journey finding out who we were piece by piece, where we’ve come from, and what I can do to take us to where we will become and share what was once lost.”
With season nine of Top Chef Canada underway, Detkavich is looking forward to bringing her A-game as she competes against 10 other talented professional chefs from across the country, all with diverse backgrounds and culinary styles. Detkavich’s ultimate goal—“to rise to the top” and win the $100,000 grand prize.
Detkavich’s passion and fierce determination is admirable—a true role model for women, Indigenous youth and aspiring chefs. When she isn’t competing in world class cooking competitions or working as the Chef de Partie at Mission Hill Winery, Detkavich is attempting to master Indigenous cuisine in hopes of feeling more connected to her roots.