Photo credit: Salt Food Photo
A GOLD MEDAL CANADIAN CULINARY ACHIEVEMENT
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Kelowna B.C. – The competition was fierce, the determination was evident, as eleven of Canada’s best chefs competed for top honors during the coveted Canadian Culinary Championships on February 5 and 6, 2016 in Kelowna, B.C.
The new Champion Marc Lepine of Atelier in Ottawa, won Gold for the second time, making Canadian Culinary Championships history with his smoked steelhead trout with miso-molasses glaze, cured pork belly, barley and corn porridge, corn cob broth paired with Les Clos Jordanne Vineyard 2012 Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench from the Niagara Peninsula. “I am truly speechless, and still in shock. The competition was fierce and I was only able to do this with my team, my sous chef should be standing here next to me as this truly takes a team” Chef Lepin’s reaction when he realized he won.
Amid high fives, cheers, applause, and tears the winners of the bronze and silver medals were announced. Chef Alex Chen from Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver and representing British Columbia took the bronze with his truffle-scented chicken, celeriac fondant, Foie gras stuffed celery, “umami” consommé, paired with the Foxtrot Vineyards, 2009 Pinot Noir from Naramata, BC and the silver was awarded to Chef Mathew Batey from The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar in Calgary who presented Alder Smoked Sablefish, Pacific Octopus Compression, Northern Divine Caviar, Yukon Gold Potato, Sabayon paired with the Road 13, 2011 Sparkling Chenin Blanc from Oliver, BC.
The Grand Finale at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre saw the eleven chefs competing in an all-out, slam-down competition. Dishes were partnered with their chosen Canadian wine or beer. The evening was simply delicious, with the very best of Canada’s culinary scene fully evident.
James Chatto, Gold Medal Plates’ National Culinary Advisor and Head Judge, was very impressed with this year’s competitors. Experienced veterans, six repeat Canadian Culinary Championship competitors and eager young bloods battled for the recognition to be called the best in Canada. He said, “Wow, what a weekend, this was an amazing culinary triathlon and every dish was a champion in its’ own city and a potential champion here. The Mystery Wine Competition saw three chefs ahead and a couple lagging, this mornings black box brought them all close together, some chefs found new energy, including this years’ frontrunner. In the end, our 2016 Gold Medal Champion was the winner in all three of our competitions.”
Stephen Leckie Co-Founder of Gold Medal Plates said, “I commend Kelowna and all of the Okanagan for supporting all three of our events. The contributions of the Okanagan wineries was also incredible. This event shines the spotlight on Kelowna and we are thrilled to see the Canadian Culinary Championships thrive here. A huge salute to the many volunteers, committee members and chair Judy Burns for leading such an excellent Championships!”
This memorable two-day event will be held in Kelowna until 2020, with proceeds from Gold Medal Plates and the Canadian Culinary Championships given to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support high-performance athletes. To date, nearly $11 million has been raised.
If you find yourself in Kelowna, B.C., stay at The Royal Private Residence Club to fully take advantage of the Okanagan Wine Valley. Rooms are suites featuring full kitchens so guests can have the flexibility to eat in or out during their stay. Although, the hotel does feature a can’t miss restaurant like OAK & CRU Social Kitchen & Wine Bar which boasts local wines and cuisine fresh from the region.