A Gold Medal Canadian Culinary Achievement Kelowna B.C. -
The competition was fierce, the determination was evident, as eleven of Canada’s best chefs competed for top honours 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 two-day event started with a Friday evening Mystery Wine Competition where chefs prepared a dish they felt perfectly suited the mystery bottle of wine they had received less than 24 hours before. The wine was unveiled as Tawse Winery, Gamay Noir from the Napa Valley, Ontario Chefs were given $500 to shop for ingredients to provide a small plate nosh for the 400 guests in attendance. Invited guests were able to taste the chefs' creations and cast their own ballot. Emerging as the People's Choice for this single event was Alex Chen of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar from Vancouver and the Chef representing British Columbia.
The Black Box Challenge held at Okanagan College gave all eleven competing chefs one hour to prepare one dish using seven mystery ingredients presented in a black box: • Two Rivers Elk • Squid • Peanuts • Lentils • Salsify • Nova Scotia Seaweed • Capers
The Grand Finale at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre saw the eleven chefs competing in an allout, 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.”
The Grand Finale event at the Delta Grand Okanagan was the most glamorous ticket in town. Playing to an audience of 600 wine and food enthusiasts were the legendary Barney Bentall, and John Mann, Geoffrey Kelly and Matthew Harder from Spirit of the West along with base player Rob Becker. Olympians in attendance included: Curt Harnett, Four Time Olympian, Olympic Silver and Two-Time Bronze Medallist and Chef de Mission for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Cycling – Track Gillian Apps, Three Time Olympic Gold Medallist, Ice Hockey Sandra Jenkins, Olympic Bronze Medallist, Curling Kevin Hill, Olympian, Snowboard Curtis Myden, Three Time Olympian & Three Time Olympic Bronze Medallist, Swimming Jeff Pain, Three Time Olympian & Olympic Silver Medallist, Skeleton Kristi Richards, Two Time Olympian, Freestyle Skiing
The evening’s Emcee, Curt Harnett had this to say about the event: “Tonight was a great finale to end off all of the events that take place across the country. It’s all possible because of three great people that bring this all together. This project has raised nearly eleven million dollars and is an amazing achievement. We should all be very pleased with this weekends celebrations for the Canadian Culinary Championships 10th Anniversary and we can all say that we can feel the energy in the room.”
As well as indulging in amazing food and wine, Saturday night guests were able to compete for items during the live auction. Some of the items up for bid were experiences hosted by Olympians and celebrities and included a magical experience in the Highlands of Scotland with John Mann, Geoffrey Kelly and Matthew Harder of Spirit of the West with Juno Nominated Singer, Songwriter, Royal Wood and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Moyse and Exploring Lisbon and the Douro Valley in Portugal with Canadian Music Legend and Actor Alan Doyle, Multiple MMVA and Juno Award winner Sam Roberts, Juno Nominee Danny Michel, Canada’s Premier Wine Expert David Lawrason and FourTime Olympic Gold Medalist Caroline Ouellette!
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.
About Canadian Culinary Championships:
The Canadian Culinary Championships is the finale of Gold Medal Plates - the ultimate celebration of Canadian Excellence in cuisine, wine, entertainment and athletic achievement. Celebrated in eleven cities across Canada in 2015, Gold Medal Plates featured superb wines and the premier chefs in each city in a competition to crown a gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team in each city, and subsequently nation-wide at the Canadian Culinary Championships. Founded in 2003, the goal of Gold Medal Plates is to raise substantial funds for Canada’s high performance athletes, while celebrating Canadian excellence. Since 2004, this event has received tremendous support and accolades all across Canada, and generated a combined net total nearly $11 million for Canada’s Olympic athletes!
For more information, visit the Gold Medal Plates website www.goldmedalplates.com
The Canadian Olympic Foundation – Beneficiary of the Events Net proceeds from Gold Medal Plates are given to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support athletes through high performance programs such as Own the Podium. To learn more about the foundation and the programs it funds, please visit olympicfoundation.ca.