“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”Julia Child
I love baking.
I remember my first time baking. My mother let me loose in the kitchen with a packet of cupcake mix, 1/2 dozen eggs and her one & only, scratched (and chipped!) Pyrex mixing bowl. Magic was about to happen- this was alchemy! The feeling of excitement as I waited for my prize to emerge from the oven – the thrill of the bake! The butterfly flurry of imagination as I thought about how to decorate the cupcakes. Packet instructions be damned- I was exploring new worlds! Alas, the cupcakes emerged burnt and I resorted to licking the surplus mix from the spoon. But as they say, “If at first you don’t succeed…” and so here we are.
Meet Gavan Knox, Toronto’s very own, award-winning baker, writer, food collaborator, and semi-finalist on Food Network’s Great Chocolate Showdown.
Award-winning Irish baker (now residing in Canada), chocolate aficionado and LGBTQ+ father of two, Gavan Knox is the only competitor from Eastern Canada to appear on the third season of Food Network Canada’s The Great Chocolate Showdown — and made it all the way to the semi-finals. Knox is known for his unexpected flavour combinations – from his Black Garlic Ice Cream Sandwich recipe to his Chocolate Vinegar Cake. His baking philosophy is to always create a talking point using unexpected ingredients and flavours.
“I try to think outside the box – both in terms of flavors and ingredients. I’m all about bringing the unexpected! Quirky, interesting flavors and ingredients are something that I feel very passionate about. I want to make cakes and bakes which are more than just a sweet treat – I want to give the judges an unexpected talking point.”Of his time on Food Network Canada’s “Great Chocolate Showdown”
Although Knox always loved experimenting in the kitchen, his love of baking and confectionery really blossomed in 2014, when he decided to leave his job as a building specification writer to raise his children. His technical background allows him to examine and deconstruct recipes to think about what ingredients or methods could be substituted to add extra layers of interest, creating unique and delicious combinations.
Knox has been featured as an on-air baking expert by CP24 and CTV Calgary making his delicious Earl Grey and Lemon Shortbread, CTV Your Morning making his Chocolate Vinegar Cake, CHCH making his 2 Ingredient Chocolate Soufflé and more. Most recently Gavan was feature on The Marilyn Denis Show Pride Special, competing in, and judged as winner, of the “Loud ‘N’ Proud Bake Off. He has also been interviewed by Dahlia Kurtz on Sirius XM and the Kelly Kutrara Show on Global News Radio 640. In the UK, Knox was featured as an on-air expert by The Great British Bake Off’s Mel & Sue with his limoncello frosted blueberry, black garlic and coriander seed cupcakes. He has been a contributor to The Guardian, Delicious Magazine, Gay Times, and Attitude and has worked on recipe collaborations with Station Cold Brew Coffee Co., Hope & Greenwood and has co-created Beary Cherry Sour beer with Toronto’s Indigenous-owned Red Tape Brewery.
“I’m all about the unexpected!”Gavan Knox
Gavan can also be found at