Andrew Parsons is the new executive chef for the Canadian High Commission in Delhi, but he wasn't always in the business of feeding people.

Parsons, 24, used to be a welder, but after being laid off several times he found he kept going back to the kitchen.

While working as a dishwasher at Bacalao in St. John's, chef Mike Barsky invited Parsons to cook with him in the Gold Medal Plates competition in 2011.


Chef Andrew Parsons' butter poached shrimp and pickerel with saffron cream sauce. (Courtesy of Andrew Parsons)

"I just started pushing up through the food world and found a great interest for it. I believe that your creative side really shows when you can play with food and understand food."

Parsons said the competition was an eye opener for him.

"I remember when chef (Barsky) gave me my jacket I felt like I deserved it — I felt like I was now a part of his team," he said.

"I felt like, at that point, that it was a career that I could go in to."

He said he went through a two-month interview process for the position, including a "black box test," during which Parsons was given a box with ingredients and had an hour to cook a four portion dinner.

Parsons said he's not very familiar with Indian cuisine, but he's looking forward to learning while in the country.