Auberge du Pommier’s Executive Chef Marc St. Jacques Wins Gold at Toronto Gold Medal Plates Competition
On September 24th, eight of the city’s top fine-dining chefs pulled out all the stops to compete in Toronto’s Gold Medal Plates 2012 competition, a prestigious annual qualifier for the much-anticipated Canadian Culinary Championships. Amongst the talented group was Marc St. Jacques, Executive Chef of Canada’s pioneering fine-dining establishment, Auberge du Pommier, who took home Gold for his expertly-crafted foie gras terrine dish.
Toronto is the first of ten cities across Canada to have its chefs compete for a spot at the celebrated Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, B.C. this February.
The meticulous judging process took place at each competing chef’s restaurant, featuring small private tastings with James Chatto and his traveling team of judges – Sasha Chapman (editor, The Walrus), Christine Cushing (celebrity chef) and Anita Stewart (culinary activist). Chef Marc’s outstanding Gold Medal win was officially announced yesterday morning via Gold Medal Plates’ Twitter account: http://bit.ly/Oo4he7.
Chef Marc was inspired to create a dish representative of Toronto’s people and culture more than ingredients alone. With a strong passion for food and flavour combinations, St. Jacques presented a knock-out dish representative of his passion for regional Canadian cuisine: Québec foie gras terrine with dashi gelée, matsutake purée, sliced matsutake, pine nut streusel, nori powder and toasted brioche fried in nori butter.
Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé (VQA Niagara Peninsula, non-vintage) proved the perfect match, as selected by Canoe Sommelier, Will Predhomme. A very umami-based dish with no fruit or acidity, Predhomme instinctively turned to a pairing with a hint of sweetness. “I wanted to lift the tastes but not overwhelm the rich, savoury characteristics. The acidity in the wine brings out the foie gras, dashi gelée and matsutake, but then fades and lets the flavours continue to travel,” says Predhomme, who recently placed second in Inniskillin’s Best Canadian Sommelier competition.
Chef Marc joined the Auberge du Pommier team in 2011 following four years as Executive Chef of Michael Mina at the Bellagio Las Vegas, where he earned top distinctions such as the New York Post’s Top 10 Restaurants in Las Vegas, Forbes Travel Guide’s Four Star Award and the Michelin One Star Award. He was born in Belgium but grew up in Montréal and Toronto, then receiving formal chef training at the Culinary Institute of America.
Chef Marc’s Gold Medal dish will soon be featured on Auberge du Pommier’s à la carte menu for those who wish to experience it firsthand. Look for Chef Marc as well in the fall VISA Infinite Dining Series.
About Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
Oliver & Bonacini is recognized as one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant companies, operating 12 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario. Operations include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining and special events. Unique concept restaurants include Canoe, Jump, Auberge du Pommier, Biff’s Bistro, Luma, O&B Canteen and Bannock. The company also operates a midrange casual dining concept, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, with locations in Toronto, Blue Mountain, Oakville and Waterloo. The company’s private dining and events division, Oliver & Bonacini Events, manages a number of large scale event facilities, including the Toronto Board of Trade, Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Windermere House on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka and the newly revitalized Arcadian. Oliver & Bonacini credits its success to the development of a strong corporate culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else. For more information, please visit www.oliverbonacini.com