Last weekend, ten of Canada’s finest chefs competed in the 2013 Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, B.C; a gruelling three-event competition that took place over two days. The judges selected gold, silver and bronze medal winners based on performances in all three events (each event having equal weight). Guests had the opportunity to taste the dishes presented at the Mystery Wine Pairing Event as well as the Grand Finale.
Here’s a look at the chefs’ signature dishes presented at the Gold Medal Plates Grand Finale.
Chef Östen Rice, Winnipeg ~ Gravlax – A Modern Japanese Approach: Beet Cured Butterfish, Miso Mustard Sauce, Fuji Apple and Golden Beet Slaw, Shiso Compressed Cucumber, Caper Berries and Taro Chip
Chef Darren Craddock, Saskatoon ~ Cannon of Lamb, Braised Lamb Shoulder, Truffle & Chanterelle Croquette, Celery Root Soubise, Green Pea & Mint Foam, Lamb Reduction
GOLD MEDAL WINNER Chef Marc St. Jacques, Toronto ~ Terrine of Fois Gras, White Soy Gelee, Black Sesame Financier, Roasted Lemon Curd
Chef Mark Filatow, Kelowna ~ Bar “M” Ranch Lamb, Charcoal Grilled Loin, Moroccan Braised Belly, “Neck” Merguez, Potato Doughnut
Chef Shaun Hussey, St. John’s ~ Potato Wrapped Salt Cod with Pressed Ham Hocks, Local Braising Greens, Smoked Apple Relish and Apple Cider Brown Butter
Chef Daren Bergeron, Montreal ~ Veal Tenderloin, White Tuna, Sweet & Sour Calamari with a Radish Broth
Chef Nathin Bye, Edmonton ~ Noble Tonic 01 Maple & Triple Smoked Bacon Panna Cotta, Sunny Side Up Quail Egg & Omega Egg Floss, Wild Chanterelle “Pop Tart” & Blackberry Grapefruit Bircher Muesli
SILVER MEDAL WINNER Chef Jamie Stunt ~ Pan Seared Tiraislin Farms Yak, Northern Divine Caviar, Pioppino Mushroom, Spiced Boar Vinaigrette, Herbs, Vinegar
Chef Eden Hrabec, Canmore ~ Brown Buttered Sweetbreads with Apricot Masala, Smashed Baby Potatoes, Wilted Spinach, Preserved Lemon & Chicken Skin Pappadom
BRONZE MEDAL WINNER Chef Milton Rebello ~ Lamb and Goat Cheese Duo: Mustard and Pistachio Crusted Oven Roast Lamb, Green Pea and Mint Puree, Corn and Golden Heritage Potato Hash Cooked in Lamb Jus, Cherry Port Wine and Ginger Reduction; Goat Cheese Dusted with Beet Powder and Encased in Indian Inspired Vegetable and Spices, Paired with Pear Chutney and Lentil Tuile
Watching Canada’s top chefs work under intense pressure and tasting their innovative cuisine was very exciting, as was the opportunity to introduce so many new delicacies to my taste buds. It’s not everyday I get the opportunity to dine on yak, caviar, fois gras and sweetbreads – and I surprised myself by accurately predicting the gold medal winner! (I also picked the silver and bronze medal winners, but in the opposite order, choosing Milton Rebello to win silver instead of Jamie Stunt.) Maybe my palate is just a little more ‘educated’ than I’ve given it credit for.