Rule breakers and risk takers. These are the chefs whose creativity knows no bounds. Ten of Toronto’s most innovative chefs competed in the 2014 edition of the Olympics fundraising event at an evening which included dazzling entertainment, appearances by Olympic athletes, a fine wine auction and a tasting of delectable dishes.
A panel of professional palates, led by James Chatto had a difficult task judging the elegant flavor nuances created by our city’s top ten.
Chef John Horne, (Canoe) won the Gold Medal with his Short Ribs glazed with tree syrups. Crispy fried maple leaves, tissue thin birch – sweet, aromatic and utterly Canadian. He paired it with 2012 Iconoclast Syrah VQA from Creekside Estate Winery. Chef Damon Campbell (Bosk, Shangri la Hotel) took the Silver Medal with his Nova Scotia Lobster, potato gnocchi, forest mushroom, black truffle and lobster emulsion. It was a flawless dish, and my favorite. He paired it with a 2011 Poetica Chardonnay from Southbrook Vineyards. Taking the bronze medal was Chef Jason Bangerter (Langdon Hall), seen below. He brought a country setting to the city with his Wild Flower and Herb Smoked Game Fowl sausage, tucked inside a quail leg and garnished with fermented berry and celery root. It was paired with a 2010 Pinot Noir from Leaning Post Wines. The other chefs competing in Toronto were from Bestellen (Chef Rob Rossi), Café Boulud (Chef Tyler Shedden), Buca (Chef Rob Gentile), Marben Restaurant (Chef Rob Bragagnolo), Splendido (Chef Victor Barry), The Chase (Chef Michael Steh) and The Drake Hotel (Chef Alexandra Feswick). In my opinion, winners all.
The Canadian Culinary Championships will be held in Kelowna, B.C. on February 6th.