After graduating from The Culinary Institute of Canada, Irwin began his culinary career in Switzerland and Germany, returning home to PEI in the early 1990’s. He became the head chef at Joseph’s Restaurant (later Papa Joe’s) and has worked there with the Jabbour family for more than 27 years. Irwin has mentored dozens of interns and students from The Culinary Institute of Canada and has helped many up-and-coming chefs find their own culinary voices. He has travelled globally to promote Island seafood and is well known among farmers, producers, and artisans as a pioneer of the “use local” movement on PEI. He has also led many PEI-focused initiatives, including Forage and Fall Flavours. Irwin and Papa Joe’s have been finalists in the Taste our Island Award for the past decade, winning the Award in 2011. In 2017 Chef Irwin became the winner of the Taste our Island People’s Choice Award. In 2015 and 2016, Irwin was named the Best of Sea Chic Chef of the Year and placed 3rd in the Garland International Chefs Challenge as part of the PEI Shellfish Festival. Irwin is President of the Prince Edward Island Association of Chefs and Cooks. He was named PEI’s Chef of the Year in 2001 and again in 2017. In 2018, he was awarded the Culinary Federation’s Eastern Chef of the Year and then went on to be awarded the 2018 Canadian Culinary Federation’s National Chef of the Year. As winner of the 2018 Regional Canada’s Great Kitchen Party competition in Moncton, NB, Irwin travelled to Kelowna, BC, where he represented the region of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island at the 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships. In 2018 Holland College awarded Irwin with the Distinguished Alumni Award.