February 3rd, 2020

Your scribe is a senior judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships which have been featured previously on this Blog last reported on February 4, 2019 from Kelowna BC. This year they moved everything to a brand new appropriate location of Ottawa Ontario the capital of Canada. Also this is the home forum of last year’s winner from Ottawa/Gatineau of Yannick Lasalle of Les Fougeres and the only two time winner creative Marc Lepine of Atelier. The competition brought together 12 talented chefs from across Canada who already had won their regional event of this Great Kitchen Party. This final held from January 30 to February 1 was very demanding with 3 main events. First starting with a Mystery Wine Pairing (very small budget to choose a menu to match 2017 Closson Chase Vineyard unfiltered Pinot Noir from Prince Edward County Ontario) that brought the use lots of earthy mushrooms, secondly a Black Box challenge using all 7 ingredients (Young elk “eye of the round”, dried plancton, oatmeal, fiddleheads, black kale, parsley root, and haskup berries) and their Grand Finale dish. The overall gold winner was Roger Ma of Boulevard in Vancouver, silver Marc-Andre Jette of Hoogan & Beaufort in Montreal, and Bronze Emily Butcher of Deer + Almond in Winnipeg. However all the chefs did a fantastic job under the pressure cooker conditons of the weekend and the Canadian culinary scene is in good shape. Consider looking up their restaurants on your next visit to their city. Also follow “Putting Canada on the Menu” with Food Day Canada celebrated this year on August 1, 2020. Here are some more details plus photos of the 12 feature final dishes presented by each chef:

Marc-Andre Jette of Hoogan et Beaufort representing Montreal: Blanc de Gris mushroom dish with burn pickle onion, Matsutake gel, smoked thin bread, and Louis d’or cheese

Ian Carswell of Black Tartan Kitchen in Carleton Place for Ottawa/Gatineau: Milkhouse Farm lamb with Neeps and Tatties

Kai Koroll of Block One at 50th Parallel Estate Winery for Kelowna BC: Peace Country Lamb saddle braised cheek chestnut black quince butternut squash bee pollen garum chermoula preserved meyer lemon yogurt

Kyle Puddester of Fork in Mobile Newfoundland: Tasting of wild Newfoundland air dried partridge, liver mousse, parsnip chips and blueberry

Darren Craddock of The Village Bistro on Saskatoon: Local wild boar mosiac sunchoke BC quince, preserved summer apricot gel, boar blood pudding, shaved foie, foraged chanterelle and tapioca crisp

JP Dublado of River Cree Resort & Casino in Edmonton: “Char siu Foie Gras” Ube dumpling cured duck egg yolk Burgundy truffles, pickled chanterelles, calamansi verjus pearls, green tea, and foie gras powder

Keith Pears of soon to open W in Toronto: “West Meets East” of miso rubbed BC Albacore tuna, Ontario sunchoke & apple, warm leek emulsion, pickled pearl onion & local honey plus yuzu oil coloured green with parsley chives

Matt Pennell of Legends in Moncton: Lamb with sous vide Loin from Nova Scotia & spiced slow roasted belly from New Brunswick (also sea buckthorn) plus cured air-dried & shaved Tuna from PEI and baby king mushrooms from Ontario

Emily Butcher of Deer + Almond in Winnipeg: Sablefish & Turnip Cake with Whitefish Roe and Turnip broth served at table

Roger Ma of Boulevard in Vancouver: BC Coastal Terroir of honey mussel “gratinee” foraged bull kelp, uni (freshest ever!), Yukon potato and scallion terrine and amazing Manila clam emulsion

Barry Mooney of Fresh Twenty One in Dartmouth Nova Scotia: St. John River Sturgeon with shoyu koji lacquer, sturgeon boudin blanc, smoked sturgeon, kombu poached daikon, apple parsley puree, sturgeon bone marrowcrisp, tonkotsu cider jus

Jenny Kang of Shokunin in Calgary: “Sea Garden Eden” of ahi tuna, side stripe prawn, cured New Zealand snapper, raw Hokkaido scallop, uni, yuzu kosho Vietnam nuoc cham, fried fennel apple juice

Roger Ma’s dish perfect use of Black Box ingredients

Ingredients of Black Box not disclosed until the box is opened and each chef has to figure what they are and how to use them to make a dish using all 7 of them within a very strict one hour time limit

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February 3rd, 2020

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