IACC Americas Connect 2019


Copper skillet logo

Don't miss the finale battle LIVE during IACC Americas Connect

Thursday, April 11, 2019 | Vantage Venues, Toronto

Chefs from across the globe have been competing in regional heats all year in pursuit of the coveted Copper Skillet. Who will prove themselves worth of the coveted Copper Skillet and named Conference Venue Chef of the year? Tune in to find out.

Canada's own Chef Michael Smith joins us as a judge

Chef Michael Smith Cropped 

May the best chef win!
Our 2019 finale lineup:


  Competing Chefs in the Junior Category:

Jr. Chef - Niclas Jansson Photo - Europe Chapter



Niclas Jansson | Europe Chapter 

Niclas Jansson is the Head Chef at restaurant SKOG at Sigtunahöjden Hotel & Conference in Sigtuna, north of Stockholm, Sweden. He is 26 years old and has worked as chef for the last 8 years. He has a wide experience from different restaurants and conference centers around the Stockholm area. Niclas really enjoys the challenge in participating in different chefs competitions. He has, among others, been in the Swedish copper skillet competition 3 times before and twice in "Sweden’s meeting chef of the year”. – “When I cook I choose ecological ingredients partly for the taste but mainly because I believe in a sustainable way of living and that we have the leave (pass on) the earth to next generations in the best of ways.”

Since he won the IACC European final in Lisbon last year, he is really thrilled to compete in the world final of IACC and travel to Toronto for the first time in his life!

  Jr. Chef - Shane Hawkins Photo - Americas Chapter

Shane Hawkins | Americas Chapter 

Shane started his professional life in the kitchen at age 17 as a buffet attendant at Stonewall Resort. He quickly climbed the ranks and ended his tenure there as a Sous Chef. Having competed in past Copper Skillet events, he has been the US junior champion for the last 2 years, one of which making it to the world championship. Recently, he has started a new endeavor as the banquet chef at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, which required a 1,000 mile, cross country move. He hopes to continue to grow professionally with this new adventure.


Australia-Asia Pacific Chapter

To be determined by February 27, 2019

  Competing Chefs in the Senior Category

Sr. Chef - Emil Jonsson Photo v2 - Europe Chapter

Emil Jonsson | Europe Chapter 

Previously worked on Michelin star –restaurants i Stockholm,Shibumi, Oaxen Skärgårdskrog, Oaxen Krog and Slip.

He is a calm, meticulous and well experienced chef.

Since two years he is now working at Steningevik.

Interests: Sports and exercise and cooking.

Curiosa: He is a two time finisher of Ironman Kalmar, Sweden and he is fast.

Sr. Chef - Sebastien Layen Photo - Americas Chapter

Sebastien Layen | Americas Chapter 

Sebastien Layen was appointed last March 2016 to Executive Chef at Benchmark Hospitality International at Deloitte University. Chef Layen where he oversees all aspects of food preparation for the hotel’s restaurants, and its banquet space.

Chef Layen came from the Omni Dallas Fort Worth where he was since May 2011. Chef Layen oversee all aspects of food preparation for the hotel’s restaurants, and its 70,000 square feet of banquet space.

Chef Layen began his career with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in December 2002 at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort and Spa, located in the Palm Springs area, where he served as Executive Sous Chef. There, he was responsible for all food and beverage operations for the hotel’s two restaurants and 85,000 square feet of meeting space. In 2005 Chef Layen was promoted Executive Chef at the 250 rooms and suites Hyatt Coral Gables in Miami. Where he managed all aspects of food and beverage preparation for the hotel’s outlets, and its 20,000 square feet of banquet space. In March 2008, Chef Layen was once again promoted to the Hyatt Regency La Jolla where he has served as Executive Chef. Located in San Diego’s upscale resort community of La Jolla, known as the “Jewel of the Pacific,” Hyatt Regency La Jolla is an architectural masterpiece inspired by Michael Graves. The property tempts business and leisure travelers with its sophisticated blend of 419 newly renovated guest-rooms, including 24 suites, more than 34,000 square feet of function space, a popular collection of food and entertainment outlets, the 32,000-square foot atrium style Sporting Club and Spa, an Olympic-size lap pool and an array of business and leisure services and amenities

Prior to Hyatt, Chef Layen worked for Le Meridien Hotels where he sharpened his culinary talents in various locations including Tahiti, New Orleans and Brussels. As a native of France, Layen received much of his training in Europe where he received advanced degrees in hotel management from L’ecole Hoteliere de la Citadel de Namur in Belgium. He specializes in classic French and continental cuisines. Layen spend all his free time with his wife Valerie and three children, Elliot, Camille and Justine.



Sr. Chef - Ajay Mishra Photo - Australia-Asia Paci

Ajay Mishra Australia-Asia Pacific Chapter 

Previously worked at Amber -San Francisco, was included in Top 100 restaurant of Bay Area by SF Chronicle. Ajay made Sydney his home in 2015 and now cooks at Karstens Australia. Also the chef/owner of renowned modern Indian restaurant Hawker Fare in Sydney which he runs with his wife/partner Daisy. Ajay spend his time when not cooking with his 13 month old baby Ryan and loves playing golf and fishing.

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