“I knew time was my enemy so I knew I just had to make it work. I was determined to be fast.”
David struggled with time management during the season – “When I cook I take my time to do it,” he says with a laugh – but he was determined to make the clock work for him while making his finale meal.
To start his winning meal, he prepared sweetbreads with heirloom tomatoes five different ways. “I truly fell in love with tomatoes this year more than any other year,” explains David. “I wanted to highlight it and bring it out enough because you know it’s a tomato, how impressive can you make it? So that’s why I decided to try to do it five ways!”
For his main course, David made confit wildboar and geoduck with carrots and kale. “I wanted to represent my nationality because I had yet to do it in the season so I wanted to bring something Portuguese to the menu but have it be refined and distinctive.”
And for his dessert, David looked to his wife’s favourite dessert and turned it into a lemon parfait cake. “I was certainly proud to be able to represent my wife’s and her family’s favorite dessert in a very refined way,” David says.
And then he got to celebrate his remarkable finale meal, and his entire season of cooking mastery under a shower of confetti.
So how was the biggest lesson he’ll carry with him from the competition? “Never give up,” he says without hesitating. “No matter how difficult the circumstance may be, never give up.”
So what’s next for David?
“I dream of owning my own restaurant,” he says. “I’m always thinking of new foods to make and I want a restaurant to be able to profile my food style.
“It’s truly exciting!” he gushes. “It’s hard to believe this has actually happened to me!”