Tag Archives: Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Amanda Ray from O & B Canteen in Toronto Heads to the Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Amanda Ray from O & B Canteen in Toronto

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Chef Amanda Ray from O & B Canteen in Toronto.

amanda ray edited photo by cindy la (002)

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Canteen is a casual restaurant by Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, located in the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Canteen is all about offering globally inspired dishes using locally sourced ingredients. I love to travel and draw on those experiences for the menu. I’ve done a lot of fine dining and French cuisine (most recently as Chef de Cuisine at Biff’s Bistro, also an O&B restaurant) in my career, but I really enjoy drawing inspiration from the multicultural landscape of Toronto, its fresh take on world cuisine, and that passion for the city’s diverse cultures.

Where do you eat in your city? 

Lots of places! I love to support friends who are chefs with their own places. Connecting with colleagues in the industry is huge, as well as sharing that sense of community.  I love different ethnic cuisines that the city has to offer.  I have a huge love for Vietnamese food, especially after travelling throughout Vietnam a few years ago. I have a few favourites spots for pho and bun cha. I also have an El Salvadoran place I’ve gone to for years. Just depends on my mood and what I crave!

biffs bistro steak tartare

What would be your ideal food day? 

Going to the market and creating a killer meal at home with amazing friends, opening up some wine, and listening to good music –that’s it.

What trend do you wish would die?

Burgers and tacos. Everyone jumping on that bandwagon.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

I think we need to be more seriously looking at food waste, which is not really a trend but more a way of life, and changing our thoughts on what is and isn’t acceptable. I’d also love to see more support for farmers, and providing the option of locally sourced food to all, including low income families.

biffs bistro steak tartare

What ingredients do you always have on hand?

Good oil, cheese, coffee, hot sauce, pasta, avocado, butter and bread.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Many things, but mostly a Rational, a Pacojet, and a Thermomix.

What gift would you suggest  for your foodie friends this year?

A Slap Chop, or maybe an incredible Japanese knife.

biffs bistro octopus chorizo salad

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

It’s not a secret! I will be preparing a milk-braised St-Canut Porcelet with curd and whey, hay smoked Tamarack Farm black futsu squash, and cotechino with apple saba turnip and crispy sauerkraut.

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Cave Springs Riesling – “The Adams Steps”

Who is coming with you?

Sous Chefs Kevin Ramasawmy & Justin Kabel

Chef Garrett Thienes of Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market in Regina Heads to Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Garrett Thienes of Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market in Regina

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Chef Garrett Thienes of Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market in Regina.

Chef Garrett Thienes

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We decided to open a 45-seat eatery and fresh market in rural Shanavon, SK.  (pop.  1,700) and focus on creating dishes that were familiar yet new and exciting.   If I had to give it a name, I would call it gourmet comfort food.

Where do you eat in your city?

No matter where I go in the world I have to have fried chicken.   There’s not a lot of options in our town for high end dining, so often the best meals we have are at a friend’s for dinner.   We have started a small dinner group once a month where everyone brings a course based around a theme.   We drink way too much wine and laugh until our sides hurt.   That’s the feeling we are trying to create at Harvest.

Chef Garrett Thienes

What would be your ideal food day? 

It would include BBQ, sushi, Vietnamese Banh Mi, wood fired pizza and a splat teeing of fried chicken and rotisserie chicken. It would end with the meat sweats. If I had to take one dish. Porchetta from the wood fired Rotisserie at Notable in Calgary.

What trend do you wish would die?

Food shows about people who can’t cook being yelled at by people who don’t cook anymore. That and intolerances. You either have an allergy or you don’t.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Less focus on the million dollar room and more focus on developing and paying the chefs. Too many restaurants with beautiful rooms and mediocre food. That includes menus that read better than they taste.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Duck fat.   ALWAYS.   And butter.   Lots of delicious unsalted butter.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Grilled Cajun pork chops with loaded baked potatoes and tons of broccoli.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

A dishwasher.   Like one that I pay so I don’t have to wash the dishes anymore.

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

The Flavor Bible.   Every great chef needs a reference book until he/she learns to balance and create flavor contrasts and compliments on his or her own.

Chef Garrett Thienes

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

We are using bone marrow and lamb belly.   But it will be light and playful to echo the first peeks of spring we will be starting to see.

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

We are proud to be serving Dirty Laundry Kay-Syrah

fb img 1485969292439 Chef Garrett Thienes

Who is coming with you?

My wife Kristy, who is the reason I am here today, will be handling our social media, my mentor and now catering/contract chef Ryan Clark and my pastry chef Elynne Poisson.

Chef Joe Thottungal Coconut Lagoon Ottawa Heads to the Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Joe Thottungal Coconut Lagoon Ottawa

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Chef Joe Thottungal Coconut Lagoon Ottawa for a few pre-competition questions.

Che Joe Thottungal

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Coconut lagoon is an Indian restaurant specialize in Kerala Cuisine opened in 2004. We were the first to bring Kerala Cuisine into the main stream and do authentic dishes without comprising the taste. We serve a lot of seafood with different layers of flavors and let our cooking spices will do the talking. We grew up with most of the spices around us and coconut is a big part of our cuisine.

Where do you eat in your city?

Love Chinese food visit and make a point every month visit  Mekong  with the family and occasionally a good Burger from OCCO Kitchen.

What would be your ideal food day? 

Creating a new dish or a food  festivals.

What trend do you wish would die?

To reserve  only at 7 pm on weekends and I wish there was less  phones on while dining .

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

More authentic vegetables and staples coming into our supply system. A more personal touch with the guests than ordering through the internet, with third party deliveries, which will loses the personnel touch we keep with our loyal guests. Less chain restaurants and more unique restaurants with different themes. I always wish people would plan more parties and eating out on weekdays, so we don’t get grilled only on weekends and instead have have a steady week.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Garam masala

Che Joe Thottungal

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

Grilled  Striploin marinated in Garam Masala and Yukon Gold Potato Lyonnaise

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Blast chiller so that when I make 20 litres of sauce or soup, it would chill it down very fast .

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Ottawa Cook Book By Anne DesBrisay.

Che Joe Thottungal

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Pacific  sustainable Halibut with mutli layer of flavors that come from my roots.

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Huff Estate Winery Riesling Off Dry 2015

joe thottungal

Who is coming with you?

My Sous Chef Rajesh Gopi who I’ve worjed with for the last 13 years  and Sudeep Jose.

BIOGRAPHY

Joe Thottungal was born in the State of Kerala in South India. He received his Hotel Management and Catering Diploma from a culinary institute in nearby Madras, and began his career with the five star property of Leela Kempinski in Mumbai, as a Kitchen Executive Trainee. He then moved to Saudi Arabia to take a Chef de Partie position at the 5 star exclusive Oasis resort under the guidance of Chef John R. Stevens and Chef Goivanni Telles.

In 1998, He immigrated to Canada.  Joe started his Canadian culinary journey at Centro Bar and Grill in Toronto and then moved on to the Royal York Hotel to work under their famous Master Chef, George McNeil, CMC, After completing two years at the Royal York, he pursued an opportunity at the newly opened Park Hyatt Hotel and helped to open the new Annona Restaurant as a Sous Chef.

His career progressed further when he moved on to Casino Windsor to accept an appointment as Restaurant Chef at Café Cache, its exclusive fine dining restaurant where he displayed his talents to the crème de la crème of Casino Windsor patrons.

While working at Casino Windsor he received and accepted an opportunity to work with Chef Wilhiem Wetscher, CCC at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa as a Restaurant Chef.  He was quickly promoted to Executive Sous Chef.  While working at the Crowne Plaza he completed his Chef de Cuisine certification from SAIT Calgary and became a Certified Chef de Cuisine in May 2003.

His passion for cooking and serving guests gave birth to the Coconut Lagoon Restaurant. This is his own venture where he displays his talents and showcases the exclusive cuisine of Kerala with a modern twist. The Coconut Lagoon  is the first of its kind in the nation’s capital. After opening its doors in May 2004,  the Coconut Lagoon received many positive reviews and became the talk of the town.

Joe is active in the community and is a member of the Ottawa Chapter of Les Toques Blanches, and the CCFCC .In 2008 he was award the Chef Of the Year by CCFCC.

He was the creative mind behind the impressive annual Onasadhya vegetarian feast at the restaurant, as well as leading annual culinary tours to South India.

Joe and the Coconut Lagoon were featured in the recent, widely acclaimed book “Ottawa Cooks”, and in 2015 was invited to participate in the prestigious Gold Medal Plate competition where he won the bronze medal.  In 2016, Joe’s dishes were awarded the gold medal.

He is always willing to lend a hand to different charity events like Bon Appetite (for hunger and poverty relief), Savor the Moment (for the Children’s Wish Foundation) , and the Can Go Afar Foundation, as well as giving cooking classes at different venues throughout the city.

Coconut Lagoon Restaurant
853 St. Laurent Boulevard,
Ottawa, ON K1K 3B

 

Chef Scott Torgerson the Executive Chef Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar Heads to Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Scott Torgerson – Executive Chef Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships is taking place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Chef Scott Torgerson the Executive Chef Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar.

Chef Scott Torgerson

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

My cooking style is Scandinavian/French with Asian influence. At the hotel we try to highlight prairie ingredients with classic techniques and modern attributes.

Where do you eat in your city?

I eat mostly Vietnamese and Chinese when I dine out. I also like to support local Chefs at places like Ayden kitchen and bar, the Hollows, etc.

What would be your ideal food day? 

My ideal food day is spent at home cooking/baking with my children and my wife.

What trend do you wish would die?

“Photo made” food, I believe that there is absolutely a place for photos to showcase food, but it is becoming too easy for photos to take priority over food. Customers today are also concerned with taking photos of the food rather than tasting it first.

Chef Scott Torgerson

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Make the food that you enjoy eating.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

My Sous Chefs would say that I have an attachment to Lavender but I would say Kombu

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Swedish Meatballs

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

I am extremely fortunate in my kitchen, but a green egg charcoal grill would be nice.

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Perfection in Imperfection

Chef Scott Torgerson

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Elk and Highland Beef

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

See Ya Later Ranch 2015 Unleashed Pinot Noir

Who is coming with you?

Two of my extremely talented Sous Chefs Christopher Corkum and Nicholas Smelland. There are no better chefs to have along side me in this competition.

I also surveyed my Facebook followers (many are chefs as well) as to what questions they would like answered by chefs when I interview them.

Colleen McClean What inspires you in your daily work? Working with food and the pursuit of food knowledge is constantly inspiring. Being challenged daily to find new ways to do things and new flavours to work with is why I do what I do.

Colleen Tsoukalas Is there potential for school garden programs and chefs to collaborate? Ideas? Absolutely, there are many culinary schools that have incorporated product growth and development into their programs. I believe that there is a place in every kitchen for chefs to be involved in gardening and product generation no matter how small of steps are taken.

Heather Watson What’s your “ketchup”? (I don’t mean literal ketchup, I just mean the one ingredient you use most often.) Pickling Liquid is my ketchup

Chef Scott Torgerson

Scott Torgerson started in the Food Service Industry at the age of 14. He received his professional training in the Culinary Arts program at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From there he worked in some of Manitoba’s premiere kitchens including St. Charles Golf and Country Club. Scott was the Executive Chef of the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club, before moving to Saskatoon in his role as Executive Chef of the Radisson Hotel and Aroma Restaurant. Chef Torgerson has received numerous culinary awards on Provincial, National, and International levels and was a member of National Culinary Team Canada 2016. He maintains a strong working relationship with the producers of Saskatchewan, highlighting local ingredients with flavors influenced by his Scandinavian background.

Chef Mark Gray from Halifax’s Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery Heads to the Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Mark Gray – Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery in Halifax

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Halifax’s Chef Mark Gray from Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery for a few pre-competition questions.

Chef Mark Gray

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery is a casual eatery, with bar style seating and a playful, bar centric menu that changes 4-5 times per year.

Where do you eat in your city?

Field Guide would be my favourite spot in the city to eat.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Fermentation / Pickling / Preserving / Curing ( it is currently on its way back )

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Sriracha

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

A simple white fish, with rice and green vegetables (my daughters favourite)

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Rotary Evaporator

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Food & Beer by Daniel Burns

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

For the 3rd competition I will be recreating my dish from the Halifax competition.

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

I have crafted my own beverage, Kombucha (or fermented green tea), which has a mixture of white, green and black fermented teas that had an additional fermentation over wild NS apples & french oak chips. It will then be “seasoned” with Ironworks Gin.

Who is coming with you?

My sous chef this year will be Chef Stephanie Ogilvie from The Brooklyn Warehouse (our sister restaurant).

I also surveyed my Facebook followers (many are chefs as well) as to what questions they would like answered by chefs when I interview them.

Karen Wipf Van Vloten If you could only have one small kitchen appliance what would it be? Vitamix Blender

Colleen McClean What country/city would you travel to just for the purpose of eating? Prague

Chef Mark Gray

Sean Haffey What’s your favourite dish, at home or out? Oysters or cured meats

Heather Watson What’s your “ketchup”? (I don’t mean literal ketchup, I just mean the one ingredient you use most often.) Sriracha

Nigel Clarke Do you follow Bourdain….. Yes or No. Yes

Chef Jinhee Lee From Foreign Concept Calgary Heads to Canadian Culinary Championships

Jinhee Lee – Executive Chef Foreign Concept

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships is taking place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Calgary’s Chef Jinhee Lee and are cheering her and all the chefs on as they battle for gold!
jinhee lee sous chef at hotel arts raw bar
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR RESTAURANT AND/OR STYLE OF COOKING

Foreign concept is modern pan Asian restaurant celebrating ingredients and flavours from countries such as  Vietnam, Korean,China and Japan. My cooking style is clean, uncomplicated and flavorful food that is driven by Technic and ingredients.

foreign concept

WHERE DO YOU EAT IN YOUR CITY?

Anju!! one of my favorite restaurant in Calgary. Anju is a Modern Korean Tapas. Nice ambiance, great food and good service.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL FOOD DAY?

Sunday Korean BBQ with some of my closest friends.

WHAT TREND DO YOU WISH WOULD DIE?

The overuse of micro green for garnishing

WHAT TREND/S DO YOU WISH WOULD BE NEXT?

More ethnic food.

WHAT INGREDIENT DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND?

Onions and green onions. I love playing with green onion and onion and like to confit, roast, grill, sous vide, puree, braise or char them. One of my favorite menu that I created for Foreign concept is charred onion with doubanjang sauce.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO RECIPE WHEN YOU’RE EATING AT HOME?

Stir fry vegetable or meat with Gochujang sauce (Korean fermented chili paste). Of course with rice.

grill

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD IN YOUR KITCHEN?

Binchoten grill. Binchotan is high quality charcoal from Japan. It create high temperature(about 1000 degrees Celsius) then ordinary charcoal so  it creates really good charcoal flavour and smell.

 

WHAT COOKBOOK WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR A GIFT FOR YOUR FOODIE FRIENDS

THIS YEAR? I fell in love with Vietnamese flavors. Slanted door is a great cookbook to assist cooks in understanding Vietnamese flavors.

ANY HINTS ON WHAT DISH YOU WILL BE PREPARING FOR GOLD MEDAL PLATES?

“Cha Ca La Vong” This dish is about my travelling experience in Vietnam and specifically my visit to Hanoi. I found a restaurant that served one dish and I fell in love with it and its flavors. I will bring that experience to my dish.

WHAT WINE/BEER/LIBATION ARE YOU PAIRING WITH THIS YEAR?

Bartier Brothers 2014 Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley,BC

 WHO IS COMING WITH YOU?

My biggest mentor in my culinary career is Duncan Ly. I helped him Culinary Championships 2014. We brought the Silver medal home. This year Duncan will be my sous chef. It means a lot to me.

img 3523

More About Chef Lee

With fierce passion and a natural talent for cooking, Chef Jinhee Lee inspires the innovative culinary creations exciting her dinners where ever she goes. Hailing from South Korea, Jinhee first moved to Calgary with sights set on a corporate profession before finding herself in SAIT’s professional cooking program.

Over the years of her cooking career, Jinhee has impressed many with her inventive and refined approach to food where she continues to draw from the cuisine of her heritage as well as other Asian influences. Known for creative flavours and thoughtful dishes, she earned a spot on Avenue Calgary’s Top 5 People to Watch in Calgary’s Food Scene in 2016.

Collecting numerous accolades, Jinhee was the winner of the 2012 Calgary Stampede Dueling Chefs competition and the 2013 Art Gallery of Calgary Cooks critics’ award. Notably the only female chef at the 2015 Gold Medal Plates competition, Jinhee took home an impressive silver and recently took home gold at the 2016 Gold Medal Plates. Her style is clean, uncomplicated food combining exceptional ingredients to develop incredible flavors that respect tradition.

Jinhee had been a chef de cuisine at Raw Bar over 3 years. During the time, Raw Bar had earned a spot on Avenue Calgary’s Best Top 10 Restaurants 2015 and 2016. She is set to take over as executive Chef of Foreign Concept. A new modern Pan-Asian restaurant Set to open this December of 2016.

Read more about the newly opened Foreign Concept on Daily Hive here. Or on the Calgary Herald here.

Canadian Culinary Championships In Kelowna Feb 3-4

Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships (CCC) will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017 and I am heading up there on Thursday to cover the competition once again!

Eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance and we’ll have some pre-competition interviews up shortly. Each of the eleven chefs competed in their home city/province at a Gold Medal Plates event in the fall of 2016 and took the top spot in there.Canadian Culinary Championships

On Thursday, chefs will be welcomed at the CCC’s opening reception where they will each receive a bottle of a mystery wine. The next morning they are tasked with the challenge of shopping locally for ingredients and ultimately creating a dish that will complement the mystery wine.  They will have been given only $500 for the ingredients and must create a dish that will impress the national judges and the 400 guests in attendance.  The guests will enjoy the dishes from each of the 11 competing chefs while sipping on the Mystery Wine.  “It is always so amazing to see the variety of tantalizing dishes that have been created, and yet each chef had the same wine to work with,” says David Lawrason, the Gold Medal Plates national wine advisor.  “This is an event not to be missed!”Canadian Culinary Championships

The second competition is the black-box competition where the chefs are secluded into a room until it is their turn to compete. Chefs are called one at a time and are presented with a box of 7 ingredients sourced from across Canada. Each chef has 10 minutes to determine what dish they will create using the 7 ingredients and then he or she has 50 minutes to prepare their dish and present to the judges.Canadian Culinary Championships

The final competition is the Grand Finale where the chefs will create their ultimate dish to wow the judges and the guests paired with a Canadian beverage.  Most of them have shipped the ingredients with them as they traveled across Canada to Kelowna. The finale closes with the announcement of the top three medal winners being called to the podium and the bragging rights for one to be called the Canadian Culinary Champion. The winner will also walk away with a 2 year lease on a 2017 BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe!

There are limited tickets available for the Mystery Wine Pairing and can be purchased online at www.goldmedalplates.com or by calling 778-883-3448; the Grand Finale on Saturday is sold out.Canadian Culinary Championships
Last year’s winning chefs. Ottawa’s Marc Lepine took the Gold.

The judging will be led by James Chatto, Gold Medal Plates’ National Culinary Advisor and Head Judge and includes the following participating Gold Medal Chefs:

Chefs Competing at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships:

BRITISH COLUMBIA:   Jesse McCleery – Pilgrimme, Galiano Island
EDMONTON:      Eric Hanson – Prairie Noodle Shop
CALGARY:          Jinhee Lee – Foreign Concept
REGINA:             Garrett (Rusty) Thienes – Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market
SASKATOON:    Scott Torgerson – Radisson Hotel Saskatoon & Aroma Resto Bar
WINNIPEG:         Jesse Friesen – Pizzeria Gusto
TORONTO:         Amanda Ray – Canteen Restaurant
OTTAWA:            Joe Thottungal – Coconut Lagoon
MONTREAL:       Sophie Tabet – Chez Sophie
HALIFAX:            Mark Gray – Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery
ST. JOHN’S:        Ruth Wigman – Oppidan

Event information:
Official Website: www.goldmedalplates.com
Official Twitter and Instagram: @GoldMedalPlates
Official Hashtag: #CCC2017

About The Canadian Culinary Championships
Net proceeds from the Canadian Culinary Championships are provided to the Canadian Olympic Foundation which supports Olympic athletes and high performance programs. Since 2004, Gold Medal Plates has generated over 12 million for Canada’s Olympic athletes.

Gold Medal Plates – Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian excellence in food, wine, athletic achievement and entertainment and has raised over 12 million for elite Canadian athletes.  For more information, visit the Gold Medal Plates website www.goldmedalplates.com

Canadian Olympic Foundation –The Beneficiary:  The Canadian Olympic Foundation is a national charitable organization that generates support to meet the technical, scientific, medical and coaching needs of Canada’s athletes across all Olympic sports. Proceeds from Gold Medal Plates are given to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support high performance programs such as Own the Podium. To learn more about the Foundation and the programs it funds, please visit www.olympicfoundation.ca.

Chef Jan Trittenbach – Soltice Seasonal Cuisine Edmonton Gold Medal Plates Chef

One more day until Kelowna where the mystery bottle of wine is revealed! Chef Jan Trittenbach has been here before and he’s back. Now at Soltice Seasonal Cuisine in Edmonton, his answers follow.

jan5

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.  

We are a small boutique restaurant with 40 seats. We change our menu every three month with the focus on seasonal ingredients.

What would be your ideal food day? 

For breakfast fresh croissants from the bakery around the corner with home made jam, cheeses and dry cured meats. For dinner a cheese fondue with friends and family.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Butter, garlic

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

I eat a lot of pasta dishes at home

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Rational oven

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

My business partner bought me “Manresa” by David Kinch. I also like the “eleven madison park” by Daniel Humm.

jan

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Something similar to the regional competition dish

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

I’m pairing with Sandhill “small lots” three

Who is coming with you?

Jamin Sharp and J.P Leblanc

What country/city would you travel to just for the purpose of eating? 

I travelled to NYC with my business partner to eat at eleven madison park, per se and WD-50. It was incredible.

What is in your home refrigerator? When did you last cook at home?

My fridge is pretty empty. Usually some milk, butter, cheese and jam. I only cook at home on my day off on Sunday. That’s the only day my fridge is filled with food.

Chef Stuart Cameron – Byblos Toronto Gold Medal Plates Chef

Just a few days before Gold Medal Plates in Kelowna. Next interview? Stuart Cameron from Patria, Byblos (Miami & Toronto) and STORYS.

chef 11

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking. :

Patria is a Spanish tapas restaurant that follows the traditional flavours of Spanish cuisine. At this restaurant, we focus on importing only the best ingredients directly from Spain with a marriage of local produce that Canada is known for.

Byblos represents a marriage of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine with strong influences from both traditional and local ingredients. At this restaurant, we focus on using classic cooking techniques and modern methods from the Middle East.

Both restaurants are served family style with sharing plates to create a fun and exciting sharing experience

Where do you eat in your city?

I love to eat everywhere in Toronto, we are lucky to have an amazing food scene. I especially love Pai right now for Thai food and also Bar Isabel for a delicious late dinner.

What would be your ideal food day? 

My ideal food day would be a day somewhere in Spain eating from local restaurants and vendors.

What trend do you wish would die?

All trends die eventually, I can wait!

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

I can’t tell you J … just kidding. The trend I wish would be next would be Italian!

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Spanish Paprika.. always!

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

My go-to recipe at home is Späetzle. It’s always fun to make and can pretty much go with anything.

140413 byblos 2

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

The black plunger that goes with the Vitamix. Every kitchen always looses that one piece and it drives me crazy.

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

I own and buy so many cookbooks. My favourite cookbooks for authentic Spanish food is MORO or MOVIDA.

For Middle Eastern home cooking, my favourite cookbook right now is from Australia – MAHA by Shane Delia.

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

I’m a little last minute …. to be honest, I’m still trying to decide 100% which dish I should choose!                      

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Benjamin Bridge 2013 Nova 7, Nova Scotia

byblos 46high.res

Who is coming with you?

I am bringing with me two of my sous chefs to assist me with the

If you could only have one small kitchen appliance what would it be?

Definitely a BLENDER …. VITAPREP 3

Who is your favourite supplier, and why? 

MIKUNI WILD HARVEST. They have incredibly awesome products, and I have a great relationship with their rep.

Secret to perfect scrambled eggs?

A double broiler of course!

Chef Matt Batey The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar Gold Medal Plates Chef

Chef Matthew Batey is no stanger to Kelowna and will certainly be at an advantage when sourcing ingredients for the mystery wine pairing, but we’re sure he’ll share his secrets! He’ll be up there again on February 5 and 6 to compete in the Gold Medal Plates in the Canadian Culinary Championships.  Here’s our interview from Chef Matt Batey from The Nash Restaurant in Calgary.

nash2

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar features two concepts in a stunning setting in a 1907 historical building, the former National Hotel.

The Nash is our dining room, contemporary Canadian cuisine with a cornerstone of the program being coking over hardwood and charcoal. Off Cut Bar is a 20’s/30’s prohibition era cocktail bar that the food program is centered around the use of ‘off cuts’ such as offal meats, secondary cuts or lesser known proteins.  Both programs are set in comfortable and approachable settings, the quality of the service, food and beverage product are akin to finer dining but with out the pomp and circumstance that can make such programs  less enjoyable than your neighbourhood haunt.

My training is primarily founded upon classical French technique, with a huge focus on respect for ingredient quality and technical execution. Stylistically,  I would say my approach is modern possibly more contemporary but always recognizable.

Where do you eat in your city?

So many places! I love eating out and Calgary is a wonderful city to dine in, some of my favourites: Ox & Angela, Shiki Menya, With Out Papers, Van Son

mathew batey

What would be your ideal food day? 

Sourcing/foraging/shopping with my girlfriend, who is also a chef, grabbing a couple bottles of wine and then cooking together for family. I believe food is the medium that truly unites us.  Possibly in the south of France in a quaint villa……

Cooking with Marco Pierre White in his prime, learning regional cuisine from Marcus Samuelson and cooking over fire while doing so

What trend do you wish would die?

corner cutting cooking

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

economic viability of sustainable cooking at every level of restaurant

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

butter, finishing salt, good olive oil, eggs

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Frittata, quick breakfast, an easy to pack lunch, add salad for a late night post service dinner. Its quick, delicious and healthy eating.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen? at home or work?

At home – a larger range and a cryo vac

At The Nash Restaurant we are very fortunate to have a well-appointed kitchen

mathew batey1

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Dan Barber’s The Third Plate

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

For the finale? a dish that speaks to my experiences to date as a culinarian based on the regions I  have cooked in

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc

inglewood
CALGARY, AB; NOVEMBER 18, 2014 – Michael Noble and Matt Batey pose in their new restaurant, The Nash, in Calgary on November 18, 2014. (Christina Ryan/Calgary Herald) For Living story by John Gilchrist. Trax #00060477A

Who is coming with you?

I’m fortunate to have a great team. My core team includes our Executive pastry Chef Matt Wilson as well as our PM Saucier, Landon Schwarz. In addition to these two amazing cooks, I am lucky to have great family support. My parents Ian and Anne Batey, girlfriend Erin Pickering and mentor Chef Michael Noble are all making the trip to Kelowna with us.

From our Facebook friends.

Colleen McClean What inspires you in your daily work?

dedication to craft, providing our guests a emotion evoking dining experience, a good one of course ….

Karen Wipf Van Vloten If you could only have one small kitchen appliance what would it be?

sharp knives, long before there were electronic machines……..

Ross Derrick Why do you cook? Fame? Love? Pleasure?

cooking allows me the great opportunity to combine many parts of who I am as a human. I enjoy the collaboration with the team, the pressure to perform, the business side of cooking and most importantly taking care of our guests.

Colleen McClean Who is your favourite supplier, and why?

all the hard working farming families / producers whom with out their tireless efforts we wouldn’t have the amazing local products to work with and frankly the ability to do what we do.

Colleen McClean What is the one dish you never tire of making?

whole roasted chicken, butter and garlic under the skin, fresh thyme and rosemary, sliced truffle (on special occasions) sea salt finish.

Colleen McClean What country/city would you travel to just for the purpose of eating?

Wow, tough one, so many places for such different reasons. I love eating in San Fran and NYC but those are places I’ve been so I know what I am looking for. Now I’m more so looking for that new discovery. Japan as a broad destination is at the top of the list.

Teejae Conwi Why do you work 14-16 hour days, get paid peanuts, get cuts, bruises and burns but do it all over again everyday like a champ wink emoticon

dedication to the craft, amazingly rewarding opportunity and frankly cooking isn’t as bad as some would like to make it out to be to glorify. Tough? sure. Climbing the culinary ladder come with some challenging moments, of course.  Do I have $100 bills falling out of my over-stuffed Gucci bill fold, no. Yet, the sheer pleasure of this business is more rewarding than anything else I can imagine.

Chris Whittaker What do you think of yelp?

While the internet is clearly an amazing tool, I also believe that it is (or more so the review like sites) are the modern day version of the bathroom wall, faceless and at times hurtful without repercussions for the author. That being said, if you have a positive lens, you can always use every tool to better your program. How many times have you been out and when the server quality checks you, the answer is “yes everything is fine”, even though its not. I speak with my wallet.

Colleen McClean What is the craziest thing a customer has done in your establishment?

the crazy I’ve seen wasn’t a guest and those other stories are just…….stories

Sean Haffey What’s your favourite dish, at home or out?

I have to chose? wow tough one. I love eating pho. it’s a total go to.

Liesa Billings How do you find the work ethics today of young cooks just getting out of culinary school compared to 10-20 years ago?

The seasoned cook in me wants to make some self prophesising comment about how my generation is harder working, more dedicated and less entitled. The employee of today is different in most if not all professions though, the key is taking the time to find the right fit for our brigade. Remember our parents generation walked barefoot in the snow to and from school……

Mireille Sauve Where are you guiding your diners, in a worldly sense?

no one destination per say, more so to anywhere that challenges their comfort zone.

Leeann Froese What is the trick you use in the kitchen that is a hack or if it saves you the most time?

cutting corners really isn’t our thing. Tricks of the trade? peeling ginger with a spoon

Colleen Tsoukalas Is there potential for school garden programs and chefs to collaborate? Ideas?

indeed there is, certainly in Vancouver and the Okanagan the program Growing Chefs does a great job. I’d love to see that program expand even further East into Calgary.

Colleen Tsoukalas Is there a specific, Canadian menu you would plate up for Hillary Clinton when she becomes the next US President. Describe.

I appreciate your political views, it certainly will be interesting to see the results south of the 49. The items I would highlight for such an occasion, orchard fruit from the Okanagan, spot prawns from the BC coast, bison from the Prairies, Saskatchewan chanterelles, cheese from Ontario, duck from Quebec, potatoes from PEI and scallops from the east coast fishery

Colleen Tsoukalas What would be in your documentary about Canadian Chefs? Title?

How diverse our food culture and influences are, farmers/purveyors, hidden gem bi-lines, personalities of food.

Paul Godidek What are some of your more memorable mistakes and lessons as you were learning your craft?

thinking the chef was wrong, biggest mistake ever.

Cassidy Jones What do you think are some of those most under-appreciated ingredients and how have you used them to transform a plate?

Eggs. so versatile, not just a breakfast item. The seconday and Off Cuts of animals. Transform my cooking? Im the chef of a bar that specializes in such cookery.

Karen DW What is in your home refrigerator? When did you last cook at home?

Eggs, cheese, deli meats, lots of vegetables and condiments…… I cook at home everyday.

David Brooks Most difficult ingredient you ever worked with?

eel. live eel.

Wendy Taylor How has the local wine culture influenced your menu decisions?

massively. I now cook the food for the wine rather than the typical reverse. The wine will always be more delicate and affected by the wrong flavour pairings.

Natasha Schooten Best Advice as a Chef worst advice you got as an apprentice

Best advice as a chef (given to me or I give?) never chase the money. Tough to answer, I never really got bad advice as an apprentice. I had great mentors who I listened to. smartest thing I ever did was be quiet and listen.

Heather Watson What’s your “ketchup”? (I don’t mean literal ketchup, I just mean the one ingredient you use most often.)

If it is a condiment, its going to be Franks Hot Sauce, ingredient – butter.

Connor Butler Who is the most underrated chef that you admire in the world today?

every #2 in a top tier restaurant who is just biding their time to get their shot at being the #1

Pola Schacter what recipe you invented by accident ,  that was a KEEPER!

don’t have one.

Nigel Clarke Do you follow Bourdain….. Yes or No.

Yes, I love his new show.

Colleen McClean What inspired you to get into this industry?

cooking with my father. He is not a chef by trade rather he used cooking as a stress reliever from his executive job. Once I got into the industry I really appreciated that a culinary brigade is very similar to a tight knight sports team, similar to the ones I was on growing up.

Colleen McClean Who has had the most influence on your development as a chef?

I’m very fortunate to have had great influences and mentors throughout my career. The instructor team at VIU, Chefs Bruno Marti, Michael Noble and of course my parents.

Colleen McClean Do you have a mentor, and what is the best advice you have received from them?

as above

Alexandra Staseson Secret to perfect scrambled eggs?

correct pan, butter, correct temperature and pre whipping the eggs.