Jonathan Boerboom, a second cook at Fairmont Pacific Rim, competed against provincial representatives from across the country to win the Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Black Box competition held in Vancouver on October 23, 2010 and with it, the title of Jeune Commis of Canada. As top toque, he will travel to Istanbul, Turkey in September 2011 to represent Canada in the International Chaine des Rotisseurs Culinary Competition.
“This is a proud moment for Jonathan and our hotel,” said Randy Zupanski, general manager of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. “We are thrilled to have him as one of our shining stars in our kitchen.”
The infamous “black box” competition, a pressure cooker of an event in the culinary arena, was the format for the event. Competitors received a box with a variety of items that was used to create an appetizer, entrée and a dessert. In addition to three kitchen judges who oversaw the proceedings and ensured everything was used, there was a separate jury of 12 who adjudicated the taste and presentation of the final product.
Each contestant was provided with Dungeness crab, Qualicum Bay scallops, lamb loin, lamb shank, chanterelle mushrooms and milk chocolate, and had access to a common table of ingredients. Boerboom’s winning menu consisted of: a starter of steamed scallops with a Dungeness crab mousse and Parisienne gnocchi; an entrée of
Roasted lamb loin with mushroom and braised lamb shank cannelloni; and for dessert, a lemon basil panna cotta with milk chocolate macaroons.
Boerboom is a graduate of the International Culinary School at the Arts Institute of Vancouver and was hired by Executive Chef David Wong as part of the opening team at Fairmont Pacific Rim. He nearly ended up behind the lens of a camera rather than behind a commercial stove. Originally enrolled in pharmacy, he decided to pursue his love of film, however when a savvy career counselor inquired about hobbies, it was clear that a career in the culinary field was a recipe for success.
The Chaine is a not-for-profit association that is represented in 70 countries and has over 25,000 members. The group unites professional and amateur gastronomes who appreciate and share an interest in cuisine, wine and fine dining, and is dedicated to the training of future chefs. Each year, a Commis Rotisseurs competition is held to select a winner to represent them at the international final held in one of the member countries.