Winner of BC Chefs Association and Canadian Culinary Federation contest goes on to national event
Diva at the Met Executive Sous Chef, Jeff Kang, has been named “B.C. Chef of the Year” after winning the annual Roasted Competition at the BC Foodservice Expo. The event, held on January 30, was presented in partnership with both the BC Chefs Association and the Canadian Culinary Federation.
The Roasted Competition is a knock-out black box event for up-and-coming chefs, with all competitors preparing appetizers, but only top contestants going on to prepare main courses and, ultimately, desserts. Chef Kang impressed judges with his skill, creativity and quick thinking, going on to win the final round over Chef Dan Craig from the Delta Burnaby (2nd) and Chef William Tse from The Sandbar (3rd). As the winner of this event, he will head to Halifax in June to compete in the national competition. As an added bonus, this year’s top two finalists will also travel to Toronto in March to take part in the “Discovered Chef Competition” at the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s national show.
For each round, the chefs received a black box with two ingredients that had to be used in that course. The first round saw Chef Kang use the supplied yellowtail and mussels to produce an olive oil poached yellowtail with mussels, served with a ginger scallion mayonnaise foam and a garden salad.
The main course black box items were sirloin and crocodile, with which he prepared a dish of pan-seared beef, black garlic parsnip puree, heirloom carrots, garlic foam and crispy crocodile.
With quinoa, walnuts and vanilla as his back box ingredients, the final round, dessert, saw him win the event with his blueberry sorbet and microwave bread, served with candied quinoa, walnut crumbles and white chocolate vanilla tuile.
“In this case, the quinoa and crocodile were definitely the ingredients that tested me the most,” said Chef Kang. “But with a black box competition like this, the biggest challenge is the mental one-having no idea of what ingredients you’ll be given to cook with, and then worrying about it for the full 30 minutes of each round! But this is why I am doing competitions like this, to try things I’ve never done before and to test myself.” Chef Kang was also the winner of the 2011 Fetzer Great Beginnings Appetizer Challenge at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.
The Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver and Diva at the Met restaurant have been known for a strong mentorship and culinary arts program, and actively encourage all members of the kitchen team to compete in events. “Taking part in competitions is important in keeping our team challenged and at the top of their game,” said Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver Executive Chef, Hamid Salimian. “Competing is a fantastic way to build confidence, exercise creativity and sharpen skills. Jeff is a very talented chef, and he did a lot of practice for this event. All of the members of the team get to see how that pays off.”
About Metropolitan Hotels
Metropolitan Hotels operates three luxury properties: Metropolitan Toronto, the Soho Metropolitan and the Metropolitan Vancouver. With more than 750 rooms, Metropolitan Hotels is committed to providing luxury accommodation for business and leisure travellers seeking an independent choice. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Metropolitan Hotels strives to provide superior service with distinctive accommodations. Award-winning restaurants at Metropolitan Hotels include Hemispheres and Lai Wah Heen (Metropolitan Toronto), Senses (SoHo Metropolitan), Diva at the Met (Metropolitan Vancouver) and Lai Toh Heen (mid-town Toronto).