Gold Medal Plates: Canadian Culinary Championships
Winnipeg chefs Michael Schafer (left) of Sydney's and Cameron Huley (right) of 12 Resto Bar flank 2011 gold medal winner chef Michael Dacquisto. Photos courtesy of Gold Medal Plates.
Intense, stressful and very, very tasty.
Those are just a few choice words to describe Gold Medal Plates, a duel pitting Winnipeg’s top chefs in an elaborate cook-off.
The event, which attracts anywhere from 450 to 800 guests, runs Friday October 26 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. (Tickets cost $350 per person.)
The Winnipeg event is one of 10 cook-offs across Canada, culminating in the Canadian Culinary Championships February 8 and 9, next year in Kelowna. Gold winners from each region will square off at the national competition.
The Kelowna-based championships include a black box challenge with mystery ingredients, a wine pairing and food event, and a one-hour race to cook two signature dishes for 10 to 14 judges. All the food competitions across the country feature local and regional ingredients, and Canadian wines.
“It’s high intensity, high drama and great for the guests,” says Karen Blair, the Toronto-based co-founder of Gold Medal Plates. (The events all raise money for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.) Competing chefs in each region are chosen by renowned food writer and critic James Chatto and local food experts.
In Winnipeg, competing chefs will have to create dishes at cooking stations to serve during a cocktail gathering. Later, a dessert course, paired with wine, will also be served. Judges will evaluate the food before crowning bronze, silver and gold winners.
Last year, Chef Michael Dacquisto, formerly of Dacquisto, won the gold for Winnipeg with his lemon, lime and orange-spiked scallop ceviche, and his ribbons of raw, ruby-coloured tuna with pasilla pepper sauce.
This year’s competing chefs in Winnipeg include:
- Kelly Cattani of Elements and Diversity Foods (www.elementsrestaurant.wordpress.com)
- Darryl Crumb, Billabong Gastropub (www.billabongbarandbistro.com)
- Adam Donnelly, Segovia (www.segoviatapasbar.com)
- Tristan Foucault, Peasant Cookery (www.peasantcookery.com)
- Terry Gereta, Mise (www.miserestaurant.com)
- Melissa Hryb, Bridges Golf Course (www.bridgesgolfcourse.com/contact-us/44-melissa-hryb)
- Osten Rice, Wasabi Sabi (www.wasabigroup.com)
- Michael Schafer, Sydney’s at the Forks and Rudy’s (www.sydneysattheforks.com/web)
- Jamie Snow, Amici at Niakwa (www.niakwacountryclub.ca/Amici-at-Niakwa.aspx)
Who do you think is going to take home gold in Manitoba? Leave your predictions below or tweet us at @PegCityGrub on Twitter.