06/11/2013 11:47 EDT

Matthew Stowe, 'Top Chef Canada' Winner, Cooks For Cactus Club

Cactus Club

A cook at one of Vancouver's most prominent franchise restaurants has been crowned Canada's 'Top Chef'.

Matthew Stowe, a product development chef at Cactus Restaurants Ltd., won "Top Chef Canada" in the show's third season after beating out 16 other culinary artists from across the country.

"It has been a privilege to represent both my hometown of Cloverdale and to have been part of a talented group of chefs representing British Columbia," he said in a Monday news release.

Stowe becomes the second "Top Chef Canada" winner from B.C., after Dale MacKay took the title in Season 1 and Trevor Bird came second in Season 2, The Georgia Straight reported.

Stowe told CBC's Early Edition that he came out on top because he's a well-rounded chef with a strong background in pastries and desserts.

"You look at where we cooked, at a zoo, on a tarmac, you have to have a lot of experience to thrive under those circumstances and I think I was the most consistent competitor all the way through," he told host Rick Cluff.

Stowe traced his interest in cooking all the way back to his time at Surrey's Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School, where he took a cooking course in the hope of being able to make food for himself when he finished school.

But instructor Guy Ethier took note of his ambition and work ethic, and encouraged him to keep cooking, he told the radio show.

From there, Stowe trained at the Culinary Institute of America before starting his career at New York's Lutèce restaurant.

Today, as product development chef at Cactus Club, he helps design menu items alongside "Iron Chef" winner Rob Feenie.

"Chef Stowe is a talented and passionate member of our culinary team and I am thrilled for him and his family," Feenie said in the Cactus Club news release.

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